Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chief Spence: Hunger Strike

When I think about Chief Theresa Spence, and I often do. Which I find rather odd considering I have never once in my life met this wonderful lady. I have never once looked into her eyes, said hello to in passing, shook hands with her and it is very likely I have never even been in the same province as her. Yet the respect, love and admiration that I have for her is immense.  Why is that?

Now take into account I have considerable teachings on fasting, spirituality, vision questing etc, etc. so my question why, relates to having never physically met or been in contact with Chief Spence.  When my teachings tell me our physical being is the smallest part of whom we are. It is merely the starting point, it is from there in which we grow. I wonder how can one person reach the world far beyond physical limitations.

 In fasting and depriving our physical being from precious foods, water and anything we ingest on a regular basis may, on the surface seem as though your disconnecting when in actuality your reconnecting. In absence you find great hunger, great needs and great thirst, and the power of fasting actually builds appreciation to those things you crave and need the most. The things that we value are foods, medicines, vegetation and our water, our life depends on these things. I say having a deeper respect for these things are a good thing for anyone to have.

The next step is within our mind, our thoughts, our mental being. In fasting we find ourselves thinking a lot about the things we crave most. We find that our foods and water have great a impact on our mind as well. Our thoughts are different in hunger, our minds are weary, fatigued and very much focused on what we want. So fasting is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. A powerful mind does not give into cravings, for our minds are more powerful than our bodies.

The next part of who we are is going to another level, our spiritual being. This can be as big or as small as you want. It just depends on how far your willing to go. Our spirit most defiantly has greater reaches than our mind and body combined. In fasting you realize how powerful your spirit really is. You find one of your greatest strength in weakness,  in hunger, in thirst and even fatigue you will find your spirit power is unrelenting. It will not fade, it will not wilt, it will not wither, but it will remain as strong as you wish it to be.

The last part of who we are is by far our greatest asset. Our emotional being, our love and compassion is truly our greatest strength as peoples. it has no bounds, it has no limits emotionally just as our spirit is on another level and can be as strong or weak as we wish it to be. We must be very cautious on how we nurture our emotions. In fasting we find how much our foods and water are connected to our emotional well being. Think of how moods change in hunger, am I the only one that gets grumpy in hunger? I think not.

What I am going through here is a medicine wheel of sorts, In my language and culture  in Nuučaan̓uł (Nuu-chah-nulth) on the west coast of Vancouver island, we call the medicine wheel: sayaasim “North Star” the first child of the first people. This represents both the past and the future for sayaasim is the first child and sayaasim is an ancestor.

Sayaasim the north star is out of our physical reach and that is OK,  but in fasting and looking at the medicine wheel within we find a way to reach beyond our physical being. Anybody who is a parent or grandparent, or even anybody in the world that has lost someone they love, knows this. You do not need to see, touch or hold somebody to have love for them. love reaches the greatest distance and even beyond time itself. For love, like our emotions, have no bounds.

Now back to my original question, why is that I so immensely respect, love and admire somebody I do not even know?  The answer is simple Chief Theresa Spence has harnessed her greatest strengths her un-wilting spirit, her limitless love and compassion, she is inspiring people all around the world. Gratitude to her for awakening a thriving, spiritual, flash mob Singing beast I have had hidden within for far too long! Because of her I am #IdleNoMore

Because of her pride I have also rediscovered my pride and I will be a better person, partner and father, brother, son and yes even a better Canadian. Thank you Theresa

Yours Truly:  Wišqii of Turtle Island. 

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