Knowing that I write this column, my husband read to me a story that he read he thought might be good to write about. I did some research and in fact it IS a good story to write about, but for a different reason.
The story is commonly described as Cherokee in origin. According to sources considered expert in Native American/First Nation stories, it is not. The story in its various forms is about two dogs or wolves that fight each other…one good and one bad. When asked which one wins, the answer is “The one I feed.” Just google “Cherokee two wolves origin” to get to these sources.
What is interesting about this story is that, unlike First Nation peoples, we of other origins need to add a moral to our stories. That is how we “think”. That is not a bad thing…it just isn’t First Nation. It IS a great description of our contemporary evolving thinking, that what you think about you give energy to…and attract it to you. This is an issue I struggled with a great deal over the last 9 years as a mega-mining company wanted to build the largest open-pit gravel quarry in the country less than two miles directly up wind of our home.
What a great opportunity this was to learn to really LIVE this belief!
I didn’t want to “push against” the quarry, as that would give it my energy. But I really didn’t want it in my back yard for many reasons…nor did the majority of the 100,000 plus other people who are my neighbors. So what did I do? I certainly did participate in all the marches, etc. I made signs and advertisements and flyers as was requested by the group. I showed up. I did research and presented at meetings the potential economic effect on real estate/property tax revenues.
But I also built a water sculpture in my yard facing the mountain…using art to send energy to protect it. I also made, just for myself, a little movie about the mountain…inviting all the “Gods” of the world to come and dance on the mountain. I only showed that to a few people because the important thing to me was the positive energy I sent out from myself, from my heart, during the act of creating it. I was showering the mountain with love from my soul.
I did the film after I was drawn into a public argument with one of the mining people at one of our events. Of course a very unattractive photo, in color, of me arguing was on the front page of our newspaper the next day…with my name in the caption! Also the day of our event, the wind blew a big bulletin board over and hit me on the head…I literally had to be hit on the head to remind me to stop that behavior!
So I tried to balance the energy by making the little film.
A few years into the situation, the local Pechanga First Nation people made public their belief that this mountain was the location of their creation story. I had no idea of this when I made the water sculpture or the film. In the end, after many ups and downs, wins and losses, they were able to purchase the land and stop the quarry.
My good friend Rani Mari and I have spent many hours discussing this subject…of your thoughts giving energy to “things”…and we came up with a new way of looking at it. Pretending something isn’t there really doesn’t work for me. So now, I acknowledge it, release my feelings about it, and, with feeling, focus on what I want.
- Release the negative feelings
- Focus, with feeling, on what I do want to see.
A.R.F. …just like a happy doggie barking for what it wants. So, back to the dog/wolf story. Think of a happy dog, a cartoon dog if you like, with the voice bubble over his head filled with “Arf” to remind you of this technique!
That is the dog/wolf you want to feed to make your life as happy and successful as it can be!