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Jamie Sams on Story Telling

Jamie Sams, author of Earth Medicine: Ancestors Way of Harmony for Many Moons, says Story Telling is a wonderful medicine because they allow us to find ourselves without someone pointing a finger at us. We take what we need from the story to heal ourselves. The story telling Sams does helps people feel more whole, which, in turn, enables them to find inspiration, bring forth their best talents, and help make the world a better place. She wrote this one for children:

"While the river moved over rounded stones, and Night Hawk circles in the twilight, the young mother whispered to the child who suckled at her breast: You are the blessed that fell from the stars and took root in my heart, little one. You rested inside of my body, and I carried you there for nine moons. It gave me joy to carry the burden of such love. I toiled for many hours to give you birth. And finally, the earth mothers magnitude threw you into your earth walk. Now that you are here, I want you to know how my heart sings. The love I bear your father is the stuff of dreams. He has walked the path of strength and has been strong enough to share his dreams with me as well as his tears. He has lent me his courage. And I have respected him with all that I am. Together we have walked many trails and have faced each challenge heart to heart. In you, I see his courage, his determination, his laughing eyes, and his curiosity. In you, I see my gentleness, my compassion, and my desire to live life with joy. There is a love between your parents that fills each day with song. I want you to remember always that you are, and will forever be, a product of that love."

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Another story telling by Sams is based on the belief that our spiritual essence is the glue that keeps us together. When we are spiritually out of balance, we may try to compensate for a feeling of inadequacy by developing intellectually, physically, or by expressing ourselves artistically. But these can never heal a wounded spirt. The eyes reveal this unsettled state of being, which is why we feel afraid to allow people to look into our eyes when we are off balance. Sams addresses this issue with a short, but profound, story entitled "The Openings of the Orinda."

"The little girl asked her wise grandfather why the Great Mystery gave eyes to two legged tribes of humans. Grandfather smiled silently, remembering her grandmothers eyes that were reflected in the little ones face. And then he replied, "Your eyes can see the world around you and take in the beauty of creation. Your eyes can shed the tears that cleanse your hurt, allowing you to heal. Your eyes were meant for seeing all that the Earth Mother places in your path. So these things can be recorded as memories of your passage in this earth walk. Yes, little one, our eyes have many ways to teach us how to see the truth. Your eyes can betray your thoughts and feelings to others because they are the openings to the spiritual essence.

"One day, you will find a warrior to share your life with. When that time comes, you will be able to look into his eyes and see him with your heart. Through his eyes, the opening of his Orinda, his spiritual essence, you will know if his spirit can shelter you, and if his heart is pure. When you look into his eyes, seek the truth of his nature. If he looks away, he is not strong enough to shelter your love for him. If he looks directly into your eyes and allows your hearts to connect, adding his strength to your own, you will know that he is a courageous man worthy of sharing your earth walk."

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Finally, Sams writes about the need to prepare for a move to an age of illumination and peace. This requires that we all work on ourselves to let go of malice, envy, greed, and judgement. The ultimate result of this personal transformation will be a better world society for ourselves and our children. If we cannot do this during peaceful times, a disaster will occur as an ultimate wake up call. In this story, Sams is saying that we cant change society, but we can change ourselves. We cant change others but if they are showing malice towards others, there are times when we can intervene:

"The woman scrubbed herself with sand at the rivers edge. After a long winter, the sand washing felt good as the layers of dead skin rolled off the soles of her feet. Lost in her thoughts, she did not notice anything amiss until she heard a little girl crying. Looking up, she saw the childs stepmother scrubbing the childs skin raw. It was bleeding.

"In a heartbeat, she was on her feet, running through the water, whisking the crying child from the stepmothers grasp. She rocked the little girl, whispering to her, and then handed the child to one of the other women. Without any anger, she softly spoke to the erring woman, Feather, I understand how hard its been for you to raise my decreased sisters child. She was your old rival, the first wife to your husband. I will speak to her father, who was once my brother. He will understand if I lighten your burden by taking the child to my lodge to live. "Feather spat on the ground and used a hand signal to indicate that she was done with both of them forever and stormed off. The woman stood in the water watching her retreat, thinking of how much effort it must take to be that hurtful. She turned back to the river and made the blessing sign with her hand, showing her gratitude to the Creator for her own medicine and her name, Offers Kindness."

 

Jamie Sams concludes that people have an idealized concept of Native American people, but that the red nations are going through the same healing process as the rest of the world. The lives of American Indians changed drastically with the arrival of the white man, partially because local dialects were changed to standard English, and many of the old ideas and concepts were lost. Before the world was seen in a conceptual way, and everything was viewed as a circle. With the arrival of the Europeans, Indians adopted the idea of cutting the circle to divide and conquer. Since these ideas have been part of Indian life for hundreds of years, Native peoples, like everyone else, are in need of overcoming ideas of separation. Sams concludes, "All the peoples of the earth are going through the same thing because we have been in this fourth world of separation for over 60,000 years. It is very important that we encourage the potential and the desire in each and every person that wants to transform, that wants to go beyond the limitation, hesitation, and separation that we have created in our lives. To do that, we have to embrace the realized self, the part of us that can become our potential. When we do that, we are standing at the final frontier. The final destination is always the same--healing and transformation."

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