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  • Earlene Gleisner

Digging Deep for Guidance

Late on an August night, lightning rode the sky, breaking the summer heat and bringing a few sprinkles to my garden. At 4am, I basked like a flower under drops of water on my face. Standing as still as possible, I gathered moisture into my cells, into my being.

The fires started that night, with massive flames here in California and up the coast to Oregon and Washington. Charging through forests and towns, this devouring rampage has left many more homeless and untethered to their lives. And more than this displacement of people and ruination of towns are the emotions of anger and anxiety growing all around our country. Obstructive rumors and extravagant accusations are clashing and confusing me. Trying to stay out of the fray, I stand on the sidelines and wonder how much of what anyone is saying is true?

Many have death grips on their opinions. So many conversations are about the need to understand the why of what is happening. Shall I come up with an opinion of my own to throw into the cauldron? I admit I have tried to insert an observation or calm a frenzied tirade. I have felt pummeled afterwards. It has come to me that my logic, which of course seems very familiar, is based primarily on my experience and observations. I will never be able to agree with everyone. We each have our own perspective.

And that’s the point.

We each have our point of view from how we have lived our lives. Only as an individual with the awareness of self and surroundings can we find the path we are to take through our own lives and ultimately through the crises and confusion around us.

How can we access that internal knowing? Does it come as a voice? A feeling? A knowing? How can we know what our next step in life can be? It is possible that we can access intuitive information about our futures through all three of these kinds of sensations, but we have to get quiet.

The other important factor is to keep any question as simple as possible.

During my time of supporting different Native American tribes to embrace their own traditional ceremonies, I was blessed with the opportunity to participate in a traditional Lakota Vision Quest. Martin High Bear always suggested that when one ‘goes on the mountain” he/she take at least one question on which to pray for guidance and definitely no more than three. “If you take up a shopping bag of questions,” he would say, “You’ll never know which answers go with which questions.” He’d smile his toothless grin, “Makes for more confusion.”

I still limit my questions when I pray or when I process for personal guidance through writing. I hedge sometimes and ask, “What do I need to know to make this decision?” Then I wait to see what comes up, in my life, in my mind, in my aversion to one activity or my joy in doing another.

We each have a knowing of how to navigate the challenges before us. May you feel into whatever that next step is. I trust that you can trust yourself.


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