Can We Learn From the Native American Spirit Walk?
At various times in the lives of many people they tend to evaluate where they are headed and what they want to accomplish in the future. This often occurs at a time when they are having problems or when they are just not fully satisfied with their lives. Another time this may occur is at the end of a relationship or perhaps when they are nearing the end of their life. Some people might call this a spiritual awakening. Others may simply call it “time for a change”.
A friend of mine recently took a short trip to see a trusted old friend. During the visit this friend realized it was just time for a few changes in his life. Talking to a trusted friend or relative can sometimes help you sort out your feelings about the quality of your life.
In my first marriage after having 3 boys, I realized I still wanted to fulfill my dream of finishing college and becoming a registered nurse. I made that change not just because it was my calling, but I also knew I might have to end up supporting those boys. I knew the end of my marriage was near.
I often took long walks and I sat by the river behind my house, praying and trying to make some good decisions. In addition, I started attending church again. It helped me be in a much better spiritual place. I trusted God, and I knew I was making better choices then I had in the past, not perfect, but better.
I have found a very calming type of reassurance when I am out in nature, enjoying the scenery and listening to the birds sing. I think this might be similar to what the American Indians call the Spirit Walk, and maybe even somewhat like the Australian Aborigines refer to as the “walkabout”.
Life Is A Walking - Native American Wisdom
American Indians Spirit Walks
American Indians have taken Spirit Walks for many generations, which they believe is a pilgrimage taking them from one state of being to another. American Indians tend to be very religious, and they strive to be spiritually centered. They believe that everyone is accountable for their actions, and there are consequences to those actions, so the Spirit Walk is actually a right of passage where they listen to the call of their spirit. They believe you walk through life down many different roads but in the end you will come full circle, as the truth is always inside of you.
“A Spirit Walk is living not from ego, but from complete being. It requires that you be totally present and totally accepting, so that old habits and ideas do not continue to foster the illusions that have lead you away from your true path.”
The American Indian’s journey will lead them anywhere their spirit leads, which is an experience meant to help them realize their reason for being here at this particular time and place. If an Indian has strayed in some way, the Spirit Walk will help them journey back to a place of harmony for their mind, body and spirit. Indians believe the Spirit Walk is the only path to reawaken the power they had when they were born.
Australian Aborigine’s Walkabout
The Auatralian Aboriginal society Walkabout is also a rite of passage where men undergo a journey during adolescence and go live in the wilderness for up to 6 months. This typically occurs between ages 10-16 years. The goal is a “spiritual and traditional transition into manhood.” The aborigines have an oral tradition with spiritual reverence for the land on a Dreamtime belief. The Dreamtime belief remains from ancient times, and it is a present-day reality of Dreaming.
Hyllus Noel Maris may explain the Aboriginie’s belief better than most:
I am a child of the Dreamtime People
Part of this land, like the gnarled gumtree
I am the river, softly singing
Chanting our songs on my way to the sea
My spirit is the dust-devils
Mirages, that dance on the plain
I'm the snow, the wind and the falling rain
I'm part of the rocks and the red desert earth
Red as the blood that flows in my veins
I am eagle, crow and snake that glides
Through the rainforest that clings to the mountainside
I awakened here when the earth was new
There was emu, wombat, kangaroo
No other man of a different hue
I am this land
And this land is me
I am Australia.
Life can seem complicated sometimes, but ultimately we must make our own decisions and live our life based on our beliefs. Each person must decide what works for them as there are many ways to make decisions. We can do a knee-jerk reaction to various elements in our life, or we can evaluate things more carefully.
I have found that I need to take time to consider various aspects of my life and the impact of my decisions. It usually does not take long for us to see the impact of our every day decisions, so it is important to consider various aspects of our decisions. Maybe taking a “Spirit Walk” of sorts is the best way to make especially big decisions that impact your life and the lives of those we love.
Life Altering Decisions
Have you had a time in your life where you made life altering decisions?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Pamela Oglesby