How BIG (or small) do you feel?

I knew that this journey would provide many answers to a lot of the questions that rattle around in my monkey mind. AND, you may just find a part of yourself in the story I am about to share.
This particular Sundance Ceremony was exceptionally magical. I didn’t realize how much I have missed seeing many of my friends that I made while attending several years ago.
When I first came to Sundance ten years ago…it was (to me) all about the dancers….the ones front and center. I craved that attention. Somehow, I figured if people were looking at me, and paying attention to me, it made me important.
I danced the next year…Four days. It was hot, and challenging to be on my feet dancing in the hot sun all day long. When I would get tired, there would be at least one supporter (and frequently more) that gave me energy to continue just by being in the arbor and dancing.
This year, I made a profound AHA. I came as a supporter. I knew I didn’t have the stamina to dance for four days.
We worked preparing for the Ceremony like a well oiled machine. EVERYONE had a job, and EVERY job was essential for our International Sundance for Peace.
Tree day was absolutley off the charts. We axe cut a tree that had given of herself the previous fall for our prayers. We carried her into the arbor. WE CARRIED HER. As a team.
After we finished (at ten)…the kitchen had a meal ready for us. Last minute preparations were taking place. EVERYBODY played a part. No one was bigger or smaller than any of the rest of us.
The dance was one of the highest vibrational dances I have ever attended. A HUGE spiritual vortex….on very sacred grounds.
The smell of cedar filled the air…and the drums beat the heartbeat of Mother Earth. We prayed. We danced. When we could feel the dancers energy dip…we would dance harder in the arbor. We were/are a tiospaye. At night we would laugh, cry and catch up on each other’s lives. We would spend time getting to know those that were new. There was no drama. Ego’s were dropped (well MOST of them!)
We danced and hugged and loved one another.

After most of the camp left, I had a moment to collect my thoughts. EVERYONE could not have existed without the other. The ones who made the meals, stripped the cedar, ran the lodges, kept the fire, cleaned the arbor, gathered trash, cleaned the porta-potties (THANK GOD!!!), smoked the chanupas, carried the cedar, the singers, the ones at home taking care of our homes and pets, the ones saying prayers, even the small children playing, etc etc….ALL were important.
After the last round, we stand at the outside of the arbor, and greet each of the dancers…The last day, I was gifted by many of the dancers with their head jewelery, and wristlets….Every single one of them told me thank you for dancing, smiling, and laughing in the arbor. They told me how much it helped them when didn’t feel like they could dance one more step. All I was doing was being me.
WHOA Nelly.
Eye opening.
Yes, I was BIG. Big to someone who needed my support, without even being consciously aware. AND ALL I WAS DOING WAS BEING ME!!! Being happy. Joyful. Ornery. (And was reminded time and time again, how much others enjoy that about me – which is something I beat myself up alot about.)
Any time you think that you are small, think about how….just by being you….you affect others. We are all so interwoven. Not one of us can totally exist in a vacuum.
Nobody is big. Nobody is small. We just are.
I KNOW that this dance – this beautiful International Sundance for Peace – changed the world. And will continue to change the world as we all go forward and carry this image – this energy of peace with us.
And so Spiritual Gansters….powerful lesson for all of us here…WE ARE IMPORTANT. Our energy affects others. Work on your stuff. Heal your wounds. Attend ceremonies. Whatever is YOUR thing.
Love yourself. Please. You are beautiful.

Paula

I found a tiospaye in Arkansas, so that I can start attending sweat lodges again….Time to step it up!!!

PPS….Fixin to head to Chaco…I will see you on the other side!!!

4 Responses to How BIG (or small) do you feel?

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience of the Sundance. I’ve never been to one but I felt somehow I was connected to it through praying for people there and also gratefully to be able to see the prayer tree with all its colorful directions of cotton cloth and tobacco tied to it. Thanks for sharing pictures. I’m am glad you found a space for sweat lodges in your area. I am grateful for having been able to be in many myself and pray with others with such intensity for Peace and Healing of the Mother Earth. I love reading what you write. It’s speaks to My heart I love the message of EVERYONE there being intrinsically connected to everything in and above and around them.

  2. Thanks, Paula, for sharing this experience. It’s been several years now since I was at that dance, and yet I still remember the feeling you’ve expressed. I danced there for my daughter-in-law’s mother, who had been given 3 months to live after a stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis. She lived for 10 years. Our ceremonies are powerful. I learned much from that particular dance…I spent the 10 years she was able to live with many difficulties in my own body, ending with a double bowel resection after several years. There is much to learn about our ceremonies…I’m grateful for my experience, and I am grateful that the spirits accepted my offerings. Again, thanks for sharing…you really took me back. Love to you, Kat.

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