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Judy Bluehorse Skelton

Lesson 2 – The Wanderer: Seeking Answers & Support

Goal: Making connections

Activity: Listen to Judy’s interview on Video 1

Read and review the information and questions presented

 

When we’ve felt or become disconnected from ourselves, family, community, or culture it leaves us with many questions; such as who am I? What am I doing here? Why can’t I have a better or different life?  Where do I belong?

When we are young we look to our parents for help and guidance but not all of us live in a home where that’s possible, so we have to seek out help from others.  Sometimes we look in the wrong places and find ourselves even further away from the answers or we become some other person that we aren’t happy with.

Walking alone through life isn’t fun, it’s rather scary and unpredictable, we might meet people who want to take advantage of us and lead us in the wrong direction.

Connecting with people isn’t an easy task, especially if we’ve lost trust in everyone.

Judy talks about the Cherokee ancestors who had to walk the “Trail of Tears”.  They did not have a choice because the United States made them.  They didn’t receive any medical support, transportation, enough food, or any other type of support from the government, they had to rely on each other for physical, medical, and emotional support but they kept moving forward.

Holding onto their culture, traditional values, and traditional knowledge they survived the journey began a new life and are still passing their experiences and knowledge down to you through their stories.

Judy talks about the ancestor still being here, she talks of her own experience with their presence during an appointment of which she was seeking healing and she shares this experience of how she felt and the message she received because she allowed herself to be open to their presence.

“Being plugged-in too much, electronics are a distraction, being plugged-in too much it can get in the way of us to be open to these transformational moments, because it occupies our senses quite a bit.  I think we have to unplug from these technologies sometimes and to have quiet time for these things to come in

Activity 1

· Have someone read story one first; to the group and then ask for reactions to the story

· Now have them write a paragraph of how this story applies to their lives.

· Do the same thing for story two.

#1 Empty Your Cup

A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. “It’s overfull! No more will go in!” the professor blurted. “You are like this cup,” the master replied, “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”

 

#2 Destiny

During a momentous battle, a Japanese general decided to attack even though his army was greatly outnumbered. He was confident they would win, but his men were filled with doubt. On the way to the battle, they stopped at a religious shrine. After praying with the men, the general took out a coin and said, “I shall now toss this coin. If it is heads, we shall win. If tails, we shall lose. Destiny will now reveal itself.”  He threw the coin into the air and all watched intently as it landed. It was heads. The soldiers were so overjoyed and filled with confidence that they vigorously attacked the enemy and were victorious. After the battle, a lieutenant remarked to the general, “No one can change destiny.”  “Quite right,” the general replied as he showed the lieutenant the coin, which had heads on both sides.

 

 

 

Acivity 2 Mindfulness is a type of meditation, where one focuses on their breath or breathing, clearing the mind of all distracting thoughts, being in the present moment and experiencing things without judgment always remembering to breath calmly.

Mindfulness can help when you are dealing with a chaotic lifestyle, it helps to reduce your stress levels.  Taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly helps to relax the muscles and clear the mind.

 

 

A Mindful Walk

Take a 15 minute walk, this mindful walk involves the following:

Quieting the mind while walking, focus your awareness on your breathing.

Mindfulness is an awareness of sights, sounds, or physical sensations that you experience; connecting to what is happening around you.

Sometimes distracting thoughts interrupt your experience, simply acknowledge them, and continue your mindfulness on your breathing.

Once you return to the classroom write down what you experienced during the mindful walk.

Discuss the following questions and:

· What thoughts, memories, or associations came up during the walk?

· What persistent or distracting thoughts kept coming up?

· What internal feelings came up during the walk?

· How did you feel before the walk?

· How did you feel after the walk?

· What sights did you notice during the walk?

· What physical sensations did you notice? (wind on your face)

· What smells did you notice?

· What sounds did you notice during the walk?

· What did you notice about the group during the walk? (Where was everyone at, who walked with who)

Journal Reflection

Reflect on the classroom exercises and the mindful walk write how these experiences have helped you and any other thoughts or ideas you may have.

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