I remember my first moment of conscious engagement with this dance. I was a young woman, in my early twenties. It was a warm early summer day and I was seated in a meditative state in my backyard. At that time, I was learning how to track energy. For several months I had been deepening my ability to see the life force that permeates our world. I noticed a tiny ant crawling across a blade of grass. As I watched the ant move along, his little body began to light up. Then, the blade of grass lit up. As I sat there and watched, the entire area surrounding me began to glow. I slowly raised my eyes, and the entire field became illuminated, as did the trees that sat on the other side lining the entrance to the forest. Every bird that flew into my line of vision had an added layer of light surrounding it. I sat very still, quietly marveling over this newfound sight, afraid to move and lose it.
While I sat there observing my newly illuminated world, I noticed something intriguing. The field of light that I was seated in was rising and falling in unison. As I watched the Earth breathe around me, I felt my own breathing fall into harmony with it. Everything became sharper; all my senses came alive. While I sat there breathing with the world around me, the firm lines of my being began to fade. I felt myself expand and merge with all I observed. There was suddenly no separation between myself, the ant, the grass, the trees and the birds. We were breathing with one breath, beating with the pulse of one heart. I felt an achingly beautiful and complete sense of kinship with the entire creation. This single moment of open awareness allowed all the teachings that I had been raised with to sink deeply into my heart.
Following that experience, my intuitive abilities dramatically increased. I was able to receive clear messages from my guides and teachers, and I began to see the world in a whole new way. The concept of oneness was no longer an abstract concept in my mind. All the mythology from my upbringing took on new meaning. I finally understood these amorphous concepts of oneness and interrelatedness I had been hearing about since I was a child.
I had been contemplating this newfound awareness for months when the universe decided to provide me with a deeper lesson. One weekend, while I was home visiting family, I found myself in a long line of traffic on Main Street. I watched the people walking up and down the street and sitting in cars around me. I was thinking how nothing appeared to have changed over the years. I wondered how much people could learn while staying in the same small town for their entire lives.
I realized a part of me was judging their apparent lack of movement. The moment I recognized that uncharitable thought, several people turned to look at me. As I looked back, I noticed that they all had my face; the people on the street, the people in the cars, they were all staring back at me with my own eyes. In that split second, I had flashes of countless lessons being learned simultaneously. We were all learning those lessons individually, but at the same moment in time. I realized then that we were all deeply and inextricably connected, all expressions of the same source, having a simultaneous experience of ourselves.
We return to that source when our learning is complete. During our journey, we will all have many of the same experiences, seeing the world and one another from multiple angles and through multiple lifetimes. Sadly, there will also be times when we lose sight of this basic fact. During those times, we will become lost in the unfolding stories of our individualized realities.
Albert Einstein once talked about the illusion this distorted view creates. He described it as a prison that restricts our awareness of connection to the whole.
“A human being is part of the whole we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself in the thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest…a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion, to embrace all living beings and all of nature.”
This idea still seems fantastic to many people around the world, but indigenous peoples have held it since the beginning of time. Our songs, stories and mythologies all speak of our interrelatedness. From birth, we are taught to be aware of the expanded kinship networks that surround us, which include other human beings, along with the beings of the land, water, and air, the plants, trees, and all remaining unseen beings that exist within our universe. This multisensory understanding of life is now blossoming across the planet; we are witnessing humanity awaken to a whole new level of being. We are able to recognize, for perhaps the first time in our history, that we are in the process of an evolutionary leap, which makes this a very exciting time to be alive!
Our challenge is to re-member all of who we are. We begin this process by expanding our awareness to include the entire creation, just as I did that day in the field with the tiny ant. In that moment, I altered my awareness by shifting my vibrational level to match the world around me. This awareness created a kinship between me, the ant, the grass, the field, the birds and the trees. And, again, with the people on the street who looked back at me with my own eyes. These simple moments changed the way I saw the world. A full layer of illusion faded away, and a new view of reality appeared.
This did not happen because I am special or unique. Everyone possesses the same ability to shed their illusion and see the world as a unified whole, simply by expanding their awareness and shifting their vibration. Once we have mastered these vibrational shifts, we can begin to modulate the reality we live in to one that is more harmonious, balanced and more in line with our divine source.
Sherri Mitchell (Wena’ Gamu’ Gwasit) was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian Reservation. She is an Indigenous Rights attorney, writer and teacher. She’s been an adviser to the American Indian Institute’s Healing the Future Program and the Spiritual Elders and Medicine Peoples Council of North and South America. Sherri speaks around the world on issues related to Indigenous rights, nonviolence, and the traditional Indigenous way of life. Sherri is the Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization committed to protecting Indigenous Rights and the Indigenous Way of Life.
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