Were you aware that your natural state is a state of bliss? Think about that for a second. Let it sink in. I was pleasantly surprised to remember this. I say remember because what we think we are learning or experiencing in this lifetime, we already knew. We simply need to remember. This particular remembering brought me some relief. I no longer needed to listen to the naysayers out there or my own ego (or human experience) who are always trying to diminish my dreams. I could trust in my own visions and intuition. I thought I would share with you what I have been remembering over the years to come to my natural state. A state of holistic balance. A state of bliss. A state of happiness.

Step 1 – Gratitude

I remember my mom talking about counting your blessings. Being thankful for what you have, no matter how big or how small, is a very good first step to happiness. Gratitude is imperative to happiness. It is important to express daily how grateful I am for everything that I have.  I have made it a nightly practice just before I fall asleep to express my gratitudes.  I am so grateful to own my own home. A dry, warm house complete with everything that I need and what my children and babies need. I am very grateful for the reliable vehicle that I own, my family, my comfy bed, all the little beings sleeping on my bed with me, my safety, my full tummy, and so on. And also if I am experiencing an especially rough time (i.e. financial hard times), I find that writing my gratitudes down in a gratitude book especially beneficial. It has something to do with expressing to Creator/Universe/My Essence that I am grateful and those feelings of gratitude invite more goodness into my life which of course promotes more things to be grateful for.

I am grateful for the five amazing children that chose me to be their mom.  They are by far my greatest teachers. Each child has a very old soul and is providing important teachings to me. I appreciate their wisdom. I am also very grateful for each of the fur babies that chose me to be their mom.

I am extremely grateful that I am now awake and able to appreciate everything in my life and appreciate what a beautiful Spirit I am. I am grateful for the other light workers in my life. I am grateful to be Ojibwe and grateful that I can appreciate how special that is.  There are so many things that I am grateful for.

Step 2 – Listen

Each of us receives divine messages every day.  Many times during the day. Are you listening to these messages? I choose to listen to the messages. I pray to the Creator, the universe, my Spirit Guides and all my relations to assist me to understand the message the first time that it is sent to me, when it is a whisper. In order to do so, I must start writing and sharing in a meaningful way. I have at many opportunities such as speaking engagements and ceremonies shared my story even at the caution of well-meaning friends who felt I was too forthcoming. I know that there are other women and other people out there just like me who are searching, searching and in some ways, do not even know what they are searching for.

For me, most of my messages come through animals. My gifts are through and with animals. They speak to me and I can understand them. For an example, when I started this journey, a grey wolf appeared to me just across the border on my way to Texas. She was magnificent. Her head was held high. Her tail was up. She was on the left side of the highway pointing me towards Texas. A couple of days later while on the Gulf of Mexico I received this dream of makwa during the last week of December in 2006.

“I was standing in my kitchen, facing the back door. To the left of me was my kitchen counter under the window, next to the stove.  To the right of me was my kitchen table.  Behind me, was the entrance to the living area.

Makwa (translated from Ojibwe, means bear) was standing directly in front of me, facing me. She was up to my chest while on all fours, so we were leg to paw, paw to leg. She was a huge black bear. What was amazing to me was, I was not afraid of Makwa, despite her massive size. We stood there talking and I understood everything that she said and vice versa. She followed me around the house and I remember thinking ‘Makwa is so well behaved.  She listens to everything that I say’.

Then, the next thing I knew, I was outside with a group of youth and we were preparing for a ceremony.  We were doing something down on the ground with a long post (likely as I know now, the Tree of Life). I do not know where I was or when this was, but I felt very honoured to be able to offer some guidance to the youth.”

That vision was the beginning of my journey and the beginning of that circle. The beginning of remembering about the teaching lodge, about remembering how to be a lodge keeper, remembering ceremonies. I also had some hard lessons and there was a lot of hard work building the lodges, taking them down.

In the fall of 2012 at the end of a teaching lodge gathering in Pass Lake where approximately 50 people from around the world celebrated the sharing of our Ojibwe culture I saw a fox on my way home. This fox was on the right side of the road, pointing in towards the bush, with his head down, his tail down and it was dusk. I instantly knew that that circle was now complete. I knew that it was no longer going to be a struggle for me to be the Lodgekeeper. Those struggles were now behind me. Those years of struggle were over. From now on, I would only accept the ultimate, the best of what I wanted. I would no longer settle for anything less. We would have a permanent location for the lodge. The property would come for the on-the-land operations. The cedar lodge that I envision would become a reality. Somehow I just knew these things.  In a way, I was a little bit sad but very much also looking forward.

Step 3 – Believe

The impossible is possible. This is a big one for me. I trust that the divine, the Source, the Creator, whatever you call your Higher Power, will provide for me whatever it is that I need in order to fulfill my divine life purpose for this lifetime. Therefore, I do not concern myself with how, when or what finances or tools will be provided in order for me to live comfortably while fulfilling my life’s purpose. I simply trust that I will receive those finances or tools when I need them.

Your faith and your belief structures are crucial to your healing and receiving guidance. It does not matter whether you follow a specific religion or faith or simply follow your own inner self. What is important is that you believe in it. For example, I believe that if I ask Archangel Michael to help me find an item that is lost, that he will help me to find it. I also believe that if I participate in a sweat lodge for healing, that I will be healed through that sweat lodge and likely I will also receive guidance on my next steps. I believe in our traditional Ojibwe ceremonies and I also believe in other alternative healing such as reflexology, acupuncture, and other amazing energy work. I also believe that when I ask the universe a question, I will receive an answer. The answer could be presented through a stranger, a knowing inside me, an email, a song on the radio, an animal that appears before me, a dream or a vision, and so many other ways. I experience divine downloads in my ears through a kind of buzzing that I hear or a noise that would sound like a radio frequency. This is the sound of a higher energy frequency in me. I believe these messages; I trust where they are coming from. I also know when I am receiving a yes or a confirmation to my question. I feel a tingling up the back of my shoulders, back of my neck and back of my head.  I do not analyze the situation. I simply accept it to be true and I move on to the next step. Sometimes in one encounter, you could receive 5 different leads. When you are following up on those 5 leads, you could receive 5 more from each lead. Now you have 25 leads to follow and so on.

I follow what resonates with me. I feel deep within me that this is right. The secret is your belief in your dream or your faith in your dream. If you want to learn, if you want to be healed, if you want to live your life a certain way, you can. You simply need to have faith and believe it.

Step 4 – Release

Forgiveness or release (I personally prefer the term release) is one of those secrets of the universe that most people are struggling with. Little do they know how powerful this practice can be. By forgiving someone, not necessarily forgetting, we release ourselves from that prison that we were in. This includes forgiving ourselves. This is most important. I believe that what we are experiencing on this level are illusions, illusions that we have created in order to remember specific teachings. Why get all bent out of shape about something that we did that we regret? We did it to learn a lesson. What we did is an illusion. Consider forgiving yourself, just as you are able to forgive others for things that they have done (in these illusions). By practicing forgiveness, we are open to receive the wonderful gifts that are available to us.

Release that which no longer serves you. Release is a powerful practice to conduct. You can release things in many different ways. Personally I like to release using water as I am connected to the element of water. So I may use symbols of things and put into broad cloth, wrap it up with tobacco (which is a traditional practice for me) and release the whole bundle with my prayers and intentions into running water, such as a river. This practice can also be done using fire. A sacred fire would be good, in other words, not a camp fire or fire that is being used solely for warmth, but only being used for spiritual practices such as burning tobacco (asemaa in Ojibwe). You can also do a feast plate for the Spirits that you may be releasing for and put their favorite foods onto a paper plate, again with tobacco (not on top of the food but next to it) and release that into the water, fire or in the bush. This practice of feasting the Spirits is important. In whatever way that you feel comfortable to release, please do. Your Higher Self or True Essence knows what is best for it. If you don’t know, ask your Higher Self.

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About twelve years ago, the Elders were prompting me about the terminology that I was using and it is only in the last few years that I really understand what they meant. Our thoughts create our reality (or illusion depending on your understanding). Our words create our reality. We reap what we sow. What we give out to the universe is what we receive. If we make a statement like: “Oh I am so stupid” out of frustration, not only are we hearing it which causes that hurt to ourselves and our Higher Self, we are sending that out into the universe which brings more hurt back to us. When we are thinking and speaking, we must, we must, we must be using positive terminology.

Step 6 – Prayer

I pray for love, happiness, joy, comfort, grace, peace, serenity, good health and prosperity.  I remembered a long time ago not to pray for things such as courage or bravery because those types of prayers put us in situations where we have to receive courage and bravery such as I would need to be brave if I was facing a life threatening disease. So instead, I choose to listen to the quiet messages to remember what I needed to remember i.e. unconditional love.

Spirit is with you and surrounding you at all times. Spirit cannot intervene to help you unless you ask for that help. So I do. I ask for parking spots close to my destination. I ask that Spirit remind me about something so that I can put it out of my mind and not worry about it anymore. I ask that Spirit help me to get at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. I ask that Spirit help me release any old fears or past life fears that may be blocking me from fulfilling my spiritual purpose. I ask that Spirit help me to facilitate healing for my fur babies, my children, clients, family, or any individuals attending the teaching lodge. I ask them to reinterpret a present illusion. It may be too painful or too upsetting and I ask them to reinterpret. Bring me an illusion that illustrates the other side of the teaching. Sometimes I need an answer to a question that I have and I will use many mechanisms to receive that answer or to receive guidance on my next move.

Step 7 – Manifestation

Some would say that we create our own illusions. It is my belief that before we come to this plane, we make intentions and decisions about what we are going to learn and how we are going to learn it. We decide who our parents are; we decide what kind of an upbringing that we receive and so on. The rest is up to our free will.

We all carry the power to manifest what we need and desire to fulfill our spiritual purposes on earth.  Does that surprise you? Well, it is true. I have proven this to myself hundreds of times. I always say that miracles happen every day. Expect them. Pray for them.  Acknowledge and honour them when they appear. Be grateful for them.

I believe that if what you are intending or desiring to manifest are in alignment with your spiritual purpose, then you can manifest it. As an example, I needed to purchase the house that I am living in now. I had been renting for about three years and the landlord was threatening to put the house on the market. So, I let him know that I wanted to buy the house before he did this. He agreed and gave me two months to come up with the down payment. To add a little more challenge to me, my credit was not good as a result of bankruptcy and the bank insisted that I come up with 35% of the cost of the house. That meant that I only had two months to raise about $35,000 (the down payment plus legal fees). The universe must have agreed with my intentions and provided me with the contracts that I needed to do what seemed to be impossible. I rose to the challenge, worked many long hours for that two months and believed in my heart that the house would be mine. And so it was.

Step 8 – Going with the Flow

This step is about acceptance. This message comes up for me probably daily. I would like to share one story about a very large turtle in Hawaii. I followed a divine message to go to Hawaii to attend a light therapy course. Now, this meant that not only would I have to figure out where the money was going to come from to go but also that I would have to overcome a personal fear to fly across an ocean. Up to this time, I had not yet done this. As the plane was leaving Vancouver, British Columbia and now venturing onto the ocean, I did have a little fear but trusted that all would be okay. Hadn’t the angels and the Creator always taken really good care of me? As I was reassuring myself that all would be well, I looked out the window and there sitting lightly on top of the clouds were rings of spectrum colors or the colors of the rainbow. How happy I was to realize that they sent me a message through this sighting of Archangel Raziel’s halo (also known as a pilot halo). From that point on, I knew that I had made the right decision and that all would be well.

On the last day of our trip, we decided to do some touristy things (up to that point I had only been working) and we were going to go snorkeling hopefully to swim with some turtles. This was the first time that I had snorkeled or swam in the ocean and the ocean was very fierce that day. Each time that I tried to stand up in the water or take a few steps forward, the ocean would pick me up and throw me down. It was becoming quite embarrassing. I could not get anywhere and my fear was growing. I saw many other people swimming and snorkeling. Why couldn’t I get it together? I was standing there in the sand hoping that the surf wasn’t going to throw me around again like a spaghetti noodle and much to my surprise, a very large turtle was brought up right beside me within inches of where I was standing. Holey crap I thought. I had wanted so badly to see a turtle in the wild and yet I couldn’t seem to get into the water but the turtle came to me! I thought about how grateful I was for this experience and so grateful to the ocean for teaching me about going with the flow. Instead of trying to control what was happening to me, to simply enjoy the moment.

Step 9 – Have Fun

This last step should be very easy but perhaps the most challenging for some. It is vital to practice your passion. Do what you love to do! I have found that this is a great distraction from my ego or human side. When I find myself worrying or fear sets in, I go back to the basics. I write, I walk in nature, I spend time with my family, I travel, I visit my grandchildren. Sometimes I only need to go down the road and my mind is already in a different space. I practice what my life purpose is by being a Lodgekeeper. It would be helpful for you to identify what your life purpose is. This is very valuable.

Step 10 – Mindfulness

Mindfulness or living in the present moment supports happiness because you aren’t worrying about what has happened or what might happen. We seem to always be trying to multi-task or are sorting out many situations in our mind. As indicated in a previous step, our thoughts and our words impact our illusion here in this dimension. If we intend that we are going to learn our lessons in a comfortable and safe manner that is what will occur. Of course, this intention also means that we need to be present and listening and receiving the messages that are coming to us all of the time.

An example of being present could be that when I am holding my granddaughter that is the only thing that I am focusing on at that moment.  Listening to her breathing.  Praying for her well being. Sending out my gratitudes for this opportunity and experience.  Sending her love. Sending out love to my family and the community and the universe.

Another example of being present could be when I am driving from point A to point B, I am chatting with the universe and I spot an eagle soaring.  That is not only confirmation for my questions but also a demonstration of love from the universe.  I can send out my gratitude to that eagle and to the Spirits for letting me see the eagle.  If I have an opportunity (without causing an accident) I can stop and offer Asemaa to Spirit for that gift.

If I am doing dishes, enjoy the experience, thank Spirit, send out my gratitudes.  I think you get the idea.

I have highlighted here what I thought are the most important steps to happiness. I would love to chat with you about these steps. Perhaps you have some more ideas.