June 9, 2020 by Greg Friedman
Every direction of the Native American Medicine Wheel has an intention and an energy.  According to the way I was taught, the West is the place of death and rebirth.  Most hear this and immediately get activated by the word death.
People are even more triggered in this moment of our warped history; death is broadcast 24-hours a day on every media outlet.  We are incessantly inundated by illness, death and dying and it causes fear in most people.

Right now, the entire world, is exposed more vividly than ever before to the reality that death exists. We feel it in our bones and those that have not made friends with the fleeting and often fragile experience of life are terrified by the prospect of death.
The truth is simple.  All we have is this moment. Everything, everything is a constant process of having (life) and letting go (death).  The more we grip and try to retain a moment whether that moment is beautiful like love or joy or is difficult like death or tragedy the more we are the facilitators of disease.
The word itself says volumes.  Disease, dis ease, is lack of ease.  What are we doing that can promote health and happiness and what are we doing to detract from that happiness and instead foster greater grief?

From time immemorial, we have all experienced death of a variety of sorts.  We most often think of death in context of losing a loved one. There are all kinds of different deaths. When we graduate high school that is a death. When we leave a job or a relationship, those are deaths as well.  When we retire or move we die only to be reborn in a new life.

You may think the point I am making is that not all deaths are “bad”.  I’m not.  What I am doing my best to convey is that all deaths are beautiful.  Death isn’t hard. We only die once, or at least once a lifetime but we don’t necessarily live. We exist, but do we actually live?
To live is to be present. Every great philosopher, spiritual master and psychologist proclaims that the only true happiness is right here, right now in this moment. Lao Tzu said, “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.
When we are living, truly living in this moment, death becomes less scary, less important. It evolves into an understanding that death is not dramatically different than walking from one room into another.
We may not be able to see or hear one another as well, yet we are here nonetheless.
Once we divert our fear based gaze away from death, the vital question then becomes how do we live, It may sound silly to ask but the majority of us refuse and/or resist with all of our might awakening and shifting from an accepting an existence into being a vibrant, living being.
There are three main keys to living an awakened life.  They are Gratitude, Forgiveness and Personal Responsibility.

We so often get upset or even punitive with ourselves for not being ideal.  Let me tell you, ideal is an illusion.  It does not exist and never will, at least on this planet. I am urging you to forgive yourself for not being ideal and move towards embracing the fact that perfection is this moment.
Perfection is the process and I urge you to be an active participant in your life, forgive, let go and please stop being so mean to yourself.


If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will back into you.
What does this mean exactly? If you seek to fight the “monsters,” then you shouldn’t do it using their methods, or you’ll be as bad as the thing you want to destroy.
Even now and even in the darkness of our deepest shadow, there is always something to be grateful for. Find it and then take the personal responsibility to make that your primary focus.  Energy flows where attention goes.  The quality of our life is absolutely tied to our willingness to take ownership for what we are choosing to focus on. There will always be an opportunity to choose to hone in on the garbage or the sunset, the muck and mire or the lotus flower growing through it.

Transition is an incessant process and nothing is left behind; it is always integrated into how we show up in every given moment. The quality of our lives, the taste, the smell, the feel of our beings is more than our choice. It is our responsibility.

Everything has its moment. Everything has its season. Even though it seems counter-intuitive, let go in order to have. You can’t pick anything new up if your arms are full, desperately gripping onto yesterday. So, like the song says, “Let it Go” and then live with greater ease and happiness. Yes, even now with all of this craziness going on embrace life. Take a big bite out of it and let all of the flavors explode and become a part of your entire being.

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