I intend to use the medicine wheels to take care of my family, clan, and community in the next few years. As a helper, I need to create a safe zone for practicing and honoring my identity as a human being. It is because things will come up at some point in time. I plan to reach out to the ancestral spirits in search for strength, unity, and relief. I will recognize my human nature in this walk that I share with my wife, kids, friends, and community. I am comfortable with my anger levels, and can easily tame them. I need to pick up my items when going through lifes obstacles.
My plan is to understand the purpose of the truth, how to deal with it and to walk in kindness. The spirit of my intent is that it is all about our children. I want to be informed about community decisions and continue to put my food offerings, dance, drum, sing and live well with the universe. I have realized that this was standard practice at one time of the Dakota and Anishnawbe people.
I do believe that I get help with the daily decisions I make in my practice by putting out my semma. In my practice, we are encouraged to use our tobacco and food. Moreover, we have alters that allow us to make use of daily prayers. In my practice, I plan to put out semma and food before work, allowing myself to seek that help from the creator. In so doing, I can be able to appreciate and give back to the universe. I will be seeking blessings for my friends.
I wish to tell my sons to learn and relate well with others before they go to school. I will be gentle and kind to them and myself. Furthermore, I will teach my boys good manners on how to respect themselves and others. They will learn about the medicines, dances, songs and ceremonies of the Lakota and Ojibwe people as initially intended. Through the MSW program, I have learned that it is not about getting to the end of our path when school is complete, rather how I have enjoyed the journey throughout the school. It felt as though I have relinquished some negative elements of my life but gained so many new insights. The Great Spirit has invited me to partake in activities that have boosted the growth of my spirit. All of it has helped with my identity and holistic wellbeing. This knowledge will help me support others who wish to heal in a right way. It is my intention to assist humanity and learn to understand how it is connected to all living things. If we can help others with good health and mental wellness, then we will have listened to the original instructions of the creator.
Some of those instructions include teachings from the medicine wheel (Myron, 2008). We can use the medicine wheel to help each other. It has been part of the people for thousands of years. Also, it has been a healing source for many communities and must be used now. The wheel assists our hearts, minds and bodies and spirits. The wheel can reach other people of different creeds and colors. The wheel consists of four quadrants that support one's personal goals, health, and spirit (Myron, 2008). It provides exercises followed by recommendations for an individuals service plan to wellness.
For the Anishnawbe, the most important goal in life is to build and develop their being. The Anishnawbe people have respect for all life and to their mother earth. We coexist with mother earth and do all that we can to protect her. When the earth is well taken care of, a balance is struck among the people, animals, and all other living things. When there is no balance, people get sick. Moreover, humans and animals are placed at risk. Our obligations must be to work for the Great Spirit in a right way so that we may live together in peace. Each Anishnawbe person works for his family and the entire. That is an obligation given to them by the creator and to pass that knowledge to their children and grandchildren. We continue to teach the world and people around us about natural law and all of its creation.
The medicine wheel has a circular shape and represents the Anishnawbe way of living in the sense that all life is circular shaped and this provides a holistic perspective on life (Myron, 2008). When I was living on my reserve, an uncle once told me that all things in life are circular in that they represent good things in life. We coexist with other animals as they can see the same circular ways of life as we do. That we must protect them when they are in need, and you should take care of yourself holistically should you require assistance,
Therefore, I shall take care of myself through the use of traditional medicines, sage, sweet grass, cedar, semma. On the other hand, I shall partake in traditional ceremonies such as vision quest, fasting, and sweat lodges. I will also show my children the proper use of holistic medicine. My son is already asking me to use Smoke (smudge) in his room before he sleeps at night. I would also learn the Ojibwe language although I studied it once when living in Thunder Bay attending Confederation College. I have not spoken Ojibwe in Toronto because most people speak English.
I also carry the pipe and may wish to use it again. I put down my pipe years ago following family feuds on my reserve. It happened when people were using the medicine in the wrong way. I only want the best for the people and would never engage in that behavior or practice. Furthermore, a holistic practice includes everyone taking care of himself physically (Myron, 2008). Our people used to run a hundred miles a day to deliver messages. Our bodies were clean and secure, and we ate natural foods. We have strayed away from that, and it is easier to grow big, eat unhealthily and not exercise. I have always believed in hard work and will continue to build woodworking projects with my hands as a mental relief from the work that I do. I also believe in traveling as an excellent way to ease stress. I wish to visit my parents and in-laws cottage throughout the year to get closer to the water, nature, medicine, animals, plants, my children, wife, and my creator.
I go to pow wows and drum and dance on many occasions in the city of Toronto and throughout. Going to pow wows and drumming and dancing helped me through my ten years of family service work with NCFST. I have worked in many challenging and tiresome cases. Dancing relieved my mind at the end of every week throughout the summer. I shall continue to drum and dance with my kids.
Medicine Wheel Diagram HERE
The medicine wheel helps me with real activities (Myron, 2008). I start off with my life in the today wheel. In this wheel, I have the four quadrants beginning with the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. What I am doing to enhance my emotional well-being? I ask myself and write it down. I then proceed with the other three quadrants. It is a self-reflection piece.
The purpose of the medicine wheel exercise is self-assessment (Myron, 2008). I am supposed to write my name in the center circle of the wheel of life. The following question initiates the process: What am I doing at the moment to enhance my physical well-being? I begin by listing all the actual positive activities or things that I am doing in the physical quadrant of the circle. The same process is carried out, with the same fundamental question for the completion of the other three quadrants. I am now ready to proceed to the second exercise.
The goal of the My Life Today chart" is to provide me with a graph depicting the first wheel (Myron, 2008). Again I write my name at the center of the wheel, beginning with the physical quadrant. I start from the center of the circle (besides my name) and to shade one square for each activity that is on my list on the first wheel. For example, if I have three events listed in the physical quadrant of the first wheel, then the first three squares will be shaded. I will use this process for the three other aspects of life, filling the number of squares corresponding to my productive activities listed in each quadrant.
Following the completion of every section, the person joins the outermost shaded boxes of the four sections by drawing a continuous line in the circular motion from the first to the last. This joining of my activities in the four aspects of life will show whether my wheel is a balanced circle or whether it looks like a rough shape. If it is not an entirely round circle, then my wheel of life is out of balance. As a result, my strengths and weaknesses become more evident. This exercise shows the attitudes and behaviors that I may need to develop so as to live a balanced, harmonious, responsible and accountable life.
In the reflection stage description, a practitioner will initiate a reflection with the client (Myron, 2008). It will be done using a set of guiding questions so that the customer can determine what other positive activities he may choose to incorporate into his life and identify negative behaviors that need to be avoided. Throughout the process, the emphasis is mainly placed on strengths. This step is the foundation upon which step four will be based. It enables me to plan my personal wellness program using the wellness wheel.
The following constitutes an example of a set of possible guiding questions which practitioners may use or adjust depending on my situation. Following this reflection, I am now prepared to identify a set of productive activities to be undertaken in each quadrant of the wellness wheel. Also, I can decide which attitudes and behaviors must be avoided on the transforming path towards well-being.
The third wellness wheel becomes my personal wellness wheel or self-care plan (Myron, 2008). Here, I list available active activities for each quadrant that he intends to practice in his daily life. Care is essential so that the activities enumerated in the wheel are equally balanced among the four quadrants. Moreover, the person may choose to list, and even prioritize, some harmful behaviors or things to be avoided. At this point, the practitioner may feel free to suggest some helpful activities or techniques that are relevant to the clients situation and culture.
For the individuals self-assessment of progress, it is important to constantly check regularly self-care progress to ensure balance and harmony within self and with the environment. Therefore, it is recommended to encourage clients to display my wellness wheel in a convenient place where they can monitor their progress on a regular basis.
This paper has restricted itself to the elements that are most relevant and fundamental to the topic. Some key concepts that would have revealed more completely the authenticity of the North-American Aboriginal worldview and philosophy of life have been consciously omitted. Furthermore, some vital elements about the medicine wheel have been excluded. Despite this, it has given all the required background information for practitioners to provide psychosocial intervention in utilizing this holistic approach. The article has shown how an ancient North American Aboriginal tool, the medicine wheel, is universally applicable and relevant in the current world. The wellness wheel offers a powerful and dynamic strategy to holistic health. As a matter of fact, as mentioned in this article, the United Nations, the World Health Organization, The Canadian Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Canadian health care educators and policy planners, as well as a number of authors recognize and confirm the necessity of holistic and ecological intervention to help people attain wellness and in so doing, delight in their life journey. In a nutshell, this paradigm challenges us to shift from the linear, mechanistic cause-effect models of thinking which currently characterize the Western industrial world, and to embrace the circular, ever ev...
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