Self-discipline is a curious thing: it can be a foundation for success and equally a source of great discomfort.
One story my dad likes to tell is one about my grandfather asking his own father if he can go on a hunt. His father tells him he must first learn to build a fire. And when he has finished learning that, he is asked to build the fire in the snow, the rain, and the wind. That preparation for survival in nature is not to be taken lightly, nor mastered overnight. It also illuminates the importance of discipline - that ability to make a fire is to serve the community and to bring warmth to what you do. That story triggers thoughts of my own discipline and what it takes to know my best self.
Look to the Stars: Indigenous Astronomy
Our stories are who we are, as Nehiyawak.
The keepers and creators of story impart wisdom and celebrate language. They are also crucial to survival—younger generations once learned how to trap, eat, and stay alive in a long, cold winter thanks to the stories passed down by the Nehiyawak (Cree People).
Hunter here - your friendly Director of Story - and I have a thought for you. It’s kind of long but bear with me:
A couple of years ago, around this time of the season I stumbled upon Wilfred Buck. Mr Buck is a Cree science specialist with the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre in Winnipeg. He published his findings and research online about Cree constellations and the teachings of what is known as “the Sky World.”
Now the inner sci-fi nerd in me freaked out. Cree astronomy? What? Seriously? I devoured his research within moments. I learned alternative perspectives on constellations that up until now I felt no immediate connection too. Suddenly, the big dipper transformed into “Mista Muskwa” - the big bear - and held a teaching about the abuse of power. I could look up at the sky and not only see what my ancestors saw, but also the stories and teachings they found necessary to weave into the constellations.