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Old 08-19-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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Default Daily Feast - August 24th - 31st

August 24 - Daily Feast

Nothing saves the day so much as a good word. And nothing has been misused as often. There is power in a word, whether we read it, speak it or hear it. And we command and are commanded by the word. We scatter, we call forth, and we comfort. Words are tools, weapons, both good and bad medicine - but very beautiful when used lovingly. The word, or ka ne tsv in Cherokee, is power to help heal, or make sick people sicker by negative talk around them. The word gives confidence when it builds rather than destroys. Relationships have been shattered beyond repair by a runaway mouth. Prosperity has been dissolved by talking lack. Until we listen to our own voices and how we talk, we would never guess how we use our words.

~ I am opening my heart to speak to yours to receive my words. ~


"A Cherokee Feast of Days" by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 24

"The mind's eye changes the way we judge things."

--Fools Crow, LAKOTA

"What you see is what you get." Our head has inside it a movie projector that projects out from our foreheads and shines on a screen a picture of our true thoughts. This is our reality. We can only see what we project (our beliefs). If we believe someone is a jerk, every time we see them we reflect our beliefs about what we think about that person and that is all we can see. Even if someone tells us this person is a kind, loving, caring, intelligent individual, we wouldn't be able to see it. If we change our belief about them, that person will change and so will our judgment about that person.

My Creator, let me realize the power of choice. Let me see the advantages of changing my beliefs. Today, if I am judging my brother, let me change my beliefs to acceptance. If my thoughts are of anger, let me change them to love. Let my eyes only see you in everything and every person.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Some of the grasses in the meadow have turned pink, some beige, some with new green. August has few days left and next month fall will arrive. Lots of warm days in between now and then, but at least the temperature will modify during that time.

Summer is a little like having a pesky child visiting. At first it is a barrel of fun and we love every minute, but when our tongues hang out from too much of a good thing we are ready for a change. We love it no less, but rest is welcome and we are already counting the days.

Soon, brush piles will send smoke spiraling through the trees and leaves of all colors will begin to drop. At one time, seeing the season change was a sad experience. But beautiful leaves become more beautiful and they are only lying down for a winter's sleep. Much to look forward to if we open our eyes and enjoy it.


August 25 - Daily Feast

We have a flair for convincing ourselves that there is nothing we can do about certain things - when it is more likely we don't want to do anything about them. As long as we still care enough, we go on looking for solutions and hoping for miracles. But every day that goes by distances us from so much that no longer stirs us. Gradually, those things we thought so important fade and slip out of our daily thoughts. It is called, gv ge wi s di in Cherokee, and means neglect in anybody's language. It is one thing to let something go when it means nothing, and another to think we still have control and find the urgent need to retrieve it. What is important? It is vital to know what we want and need - if we are ever to have it.

~ I was very sorry when I found out that your intentions were good and entirely different from what I supposed they were. ~


"A Cherokee Feast of Days" by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 25

"God is making use of you - you should be grateful He's found a use for you."

--Mathew King, LAKOTA

The Creator can only create through human beings. Each human being has a purpose given to us by the Creator. We are on this earth to fulfill this purpose. Our only work is to make ourselves ready, to become a channel, to perform for the Creator. We prepare ourselves by prayer. We prepare ourselves by becoming unselfish. We prepare ourselves by seeking and choosing to walk on a spiritual path. Each morning we look to the East and we say an honor prayer to the Creator. We offer our gifts: tobacco and corn. We ask him to help us do His will for today. In this simple way, we still fulfill our purpose. It should be an honor to serve the Creator.

Great Spirit, today I am ready to serve You.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Whenever we stop to consider where we are on the road of life, we might also think about why we are there. Whether it is success or failure, or wavering in the middle of the road, we are where we are because of someone or something.

Nearly every person can pinpoint the time in their life when there was a turning point, a change for worse or for the better. And usually there is someone to whom they give the credit for such a change.

Throughout our lives we contact many people, and they each leave an impression. As living continues the combination of all those thoughts and feelings and actions forms our opinions, our likes and dislikes, our fears and our loves. But there is one basic factor in all of this that turns us one way or other - the individual, the personal self. It is how we take life, what we expect, how we do our daily tasks, where we place our values that makes the difference.

We are born with the right to choose - and whatever we choose there will always be someone there to help us be good or bad. But first, we must give credit where credit is due.


August 26 - Daily Feast

He sat easily on the ground and leaned his back against the rough bark of an oak and spoke solemnly of a problem relatively new to Cherokees. "Time was when, ka in gv na w, that doctors call depression was not in our camp. We had our lands and families, but it has changed. Old ones cry to leave land and trees, children wave little hands. Hardship not new, reason new. A scar is depression in skin. A hurt is depression in soul. Medicine cure cuts, but only Spirit cure hurt. Speak to it in your prayer and tell it go. Refuse it a place and always say thank you. Sing some, too. Deep in soul, sing, and it iron out depression."

~ I am afraid that the white men are not speaking straight.... ~


'A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II' by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 26

"Those who live for one another learn that love is the bond of perfect unity."

--Fools Crow, LAKOTA

To serve each other, to respect each other, to trust each other, to honor each other, to love each other, to cooperate with each other, to care for each other, to forgive one another, to focus on peoples' good, to laugh with one another, to learn from one another; to pray for each other - these are all acts of love. These values and actions will connect us to one another in the Unseen World. Nature is a good example of how we should get along with one another. Watch nature. She is our teacher. Nature lives to give to one another. The insects give to the birds who give to the four legged who give to the two legged. The Creator made all things perfect.

Oh Great Spirit, let me serve the people today. Let me see that it is better to give than it is to receive. Be with me today.

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

We want much. It seems sometimes that wanting is all we ever get done. And yet if it were not for the desires of our hearts, there would be little incentive to work and plan and expect.

Some would have us believe it is wrong to desire more than absolute necessities. But good desires channeled in the right direction can do nothing but better the one who seeks.

Sometimes getting is only a substitute for the true desire. Humans have a way of looking outside themselves for things to satisfy their spiritual hunger. It may be prestige. Or it may be anything that will inflate their egos and give them feelings of security.

Emerson wrote, "The implanting of a desire indicates that its gratification is in the constitution of the creature that feels it." We have the ability to rise far above what we think we can. We have within us the answers if we but have the wisdom to seek those answers.

And perhaps we should consider, even before we begin to seek, the wisest of all instructions, "With all your getting get understanding."


August 27 - Daily Feast

Guilt imagines that every eye and every mind judges. But guilt can be false - a thing of the conscience that becomes so real it rules our common sense. We are aware that all guilt is not false - but for most people the fear of someone thinking we are guilty is reason enough. What we do not realize is that it is our own thinking, our own emotion and fear that keep us weaving and dodging. A person trying to lose a few pounds feels guilty if someone see him eating. A prudent spender feels the weight of spending a dollar - and so goes the guilt which is not guilt at all but fear. From one fear comes a thousand things to get rid of - and false guilt should be the first.

~ Will you sit idly by, supinely awaiting complete and abject submission, or will you die fighting? ~


'A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II' by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 27

"We begin by letting the Powers know that we are willing to be their servants to others."
--Fools Crow, LAKOTA

There are certain prayers or actions we can take that will call the Powers. The powers can only work through people. The Powers are always waiting to express themselves through people that are ready. Every person born is born with a purpose. They have a song to sing. They have a mission to accomplish. Every true purpose will always be about serving the Creator and helping others. When we let the Powers know that we are ready to serve the people, the Powers get excited because they can now do things to help the people and make things better for them. The decision is powerful because it turns an idea into action.

Great Spirit, the greatest joy or feeling that I have ever experienced is when you are using me to help the people, the feeling of giving, the feeling of being your channel. Today, let me have that feeling of giving. Use me as You will.

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

We know without being told when we have acted unkindly or behaved unjustly toward another. Intolerance, whether it is personal superiority or religious bigotry, serves only to isolate us from the greatest joy in life - the sharing of ideals and happiness and friendship.

We must be patient and fair toward anyone whose opinions differ from our own. There is a much better chance of convincing those whom we hope to influence by being an example rather than a voice.

It is much easier to be led than to be pushed and not so hard to be tolerant when we recognize within ourselves the reasons we are not always tolerant.

It sometimes becomes habitual to be dissatisfied with everything we see others do. We don't take time to understand and know the basis for their actions. We often fall short of listening to them long enough to understand, and their next words or actions may explain it.

We cannot afford to be intolerant, because no matter how good our ideas are, there is always a better one.


August 28 - Daily Feast

Everything that thrives is fed by the light. Lift up a rock, and the seed that sprouted beneath it is bent, stunted and colorless. But after a few hours of filtered light it begins to straighten, and will eventually throw off all the effects of being held down. We need, a li so qui lv di, a weight or a burden, lifted from our shoulders so we can grow and thrive in the light. We have to show willingness to stand on the rock and not beneath it. To see ourselves in better circumstances, to think clearly, is to be free. Little by little we see the possibility of health and order and great prosperity which includes everything we need. To see good and say good will eventually cause good, but our vision and our words must be steady.

~ You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight to our hearts.


"A Cherokee Feast of Days" by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 28

"With prayer and good intentions, we make our lives sacred and so come to balance."


Only through prayer can we make spiritual changes that are permanent. You have told us that all life is sacred. Today I intend to serve you, my Creator. Allow me to overcome temptation, and if one comes along, let me see the lessons that will give balance. You have told us that all life is sacred. Let me see today with a sacred eye. Let me see beauty in all things.

My Creator, let me know what You would have me be today. Let my intentions be honest, respectful, humble and loving.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Symbolism is a part of all our lives. We see certain things and they call to mind a state of life that enriches or drains us of all hope. How like the old Indian chief in the book WHEN THE NIGHTBIRD SINGS. He heard the bird's clear song at the midnight hour and he rose up from his death bed totally well.

The bird sang of good life and the old Chief heard it. Listen for such a song in your own heart because it may be a miracle for you and you can rise like the phoenix out of ashes to become a new person.

Life has its mysteries, but often those mysteries are more true than the things people shout about. Spirit does not shout to us, but what a wonderful thing when we hear Him whisper. The very breath of life, the holiness of a moment of truth. Listen and hear it.


August 29 - Daily Feast

To earn a standing place takes control, control of the tongue and all that leads to what it days. Being clever and having powerful connections is about as reliable as cheap scaffolding. It can all tumble down under the slightest pressure. Permanent security is never in things or in fame. Securing is an inner, personal reliance on what the Cherokee calls, Galun Lati, or the Great Spirit. People have always attempted to amass fortunes and still be happy apart from anything spiritual. Things and fame can come to anyone willing to work for them - but contentment and health go hand in hand with the Great Spirit.

~ We never quarrel about the Great Spirit. ~


"A Cherokee Feast of Days" by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 29

"The devastated earth, the air, water, the extinct species of mankind, animalkind, and plantkind, the drugs, suicides, family separations - these are all the result of false ceremonies."

--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

All life is a ceremony. Every act is a ceremony creating a result in our lives. Every ceremony we do always brings results to our lives. If we do bad medicine to others, we do bad medicine to ourselves. If we keep on doing bad ceremonies, we will eventually destroy ourselves. Any time we live our lives out of harmony, we are doing bad ceremonies. Any time we treat anything with disrespect whether it is another human being or a plant or an animal, we are performing bad ceremonies. These ceremonies not only have an effect on ourselves but will simultaneously affect everything. We need to use our power well, only do good ceremonies.

My Creator, teach me only good ceremonies. Teach me ceremonies that accomplish good for all the people. Good ceremonies cause good results. Teach me ceremonies that are helpful.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

The last few weeks of anything seem to take longer than all the time that has gone before. The last few weeks of summer are the hottest and driest and seem like forever before we get the rain we need. Not unlike waiting for the baby, we know it is going to be joyous but to the mother, those last few weeks are heavy and stressful.

Suddenly, everything changes in a moment's time. It moves so quickly we can't quite grasp all the details. We have prepared, we think, and we are ready, we hope, but here it is and what do we do now?

Being prepared is quite different from what we suppose. We have hoped and wished and prayed, but we stand totally awed until we have had time to digest it. The heavy little shower came in the heat of summer and was gone before we could listen and taste and record the details in our minds. Ready? Never quite ready. But willing to take it and be grateful as it comes.


August 30 - Daily Feast

How can we know another man's heart or true desire? We're not even sure about our own. So many potent suggestions have been made to us that we question our own hearts. If we can understand who we are, we will know others. To identify something valuable in another person is to know it in ourselves. The, Tsalagi, calls it intuitive or perceptive - to know something without tangible evidence. The miracle is in finding something good in someone else and realizing we have to have it in us to be able to recognize it. One who never has a good word or a good thought for anyone reveals his terrible need.

~ Sentiment was against the Indian, that they could not be civilized....could not be educated....were somewhat like human beings....but not quite in line of human rights.... ~


"A Cherokee Feast of Days" by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 30

"I started drinking more seriously, seeking refuge, seeking death actually, from a world that was feeling more and more unnatural to me. Following a painful accident related to drinking, I finally realized that I must decide whether I want to follow my grandparents or truly take up this life. Circumstances that followed led me to choose life."

--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

My life is run by choices and decisions. Every choice I make today will carry with it the consequences of that choice. Every decision I make today will carry with it the consequences of that decision. The question I will ask myself today is, "Do I want to be happy or do I want to be right?" Which ever one I choose will have a lot to do with the consequences I will experience today. If today was the last day of my life, what choices and what decisions would I make?

Oh Great Spirit, guide my path today and help me see the value of choosing the Red Road.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

The woodbine that climbs the trunk of the old oaks has begun to change color. Bright red leaves drop to the ground and join the yellow ones that already have fallen. The cypress has pushed new knees through the surface near the pond, and sand plums are falling from skinny little trees near the barn.

Only a few signs that summer is coming to an end, but very definite signs. Owls call in late evening and hawks spread their tremendous wings and fly late into the evening, circling and circling hoping their sharp eyes will spot food on the ground.

Soon cool breezes will bear down on us and we will be glad for a sweater on late evening walks. Time passes so quickly and all the things we love about fall will be here. The biggest job of all is finding enough time to really enjoy everything before it all changes again.


August 31 - Daily Feast
A person totally dominated by his emotions is little different from a piece of paper lifted and tossed by the wind. Everything centers around caution - don't do this, don't say that - or an emotional explosion can take place. None of us escapes emotional extremes. We have cried our hearts out and laughed hilariously in all the wrong places. We have known melancholy and ragged nerves. But most of us know how to stabilize our feelings. The unstable times are when someone feels he has a right to blow. Without sadness or happiness we could be deadly indifferent, but to be blown about with every emotion is a waste of human spirit.
~ May the Lord bring you out of all your troubles. Trust your course with Him. ~
'A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II' by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 31
"Our Creator makes available to us all that we need. It is an honor to go out and gather it. We must remember to say 'Thank You.' It is honorable to give away, to show our gratitude... And to let the children see this."
--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE
So many times we forget to say "thank You" to the Creator. He made for us and abundant universe. He built the Mother Earth to reproduce plenty of everything. It is an honor to be a part of the Great Spirit's world. The Creator always gives us what we need. When we are given things, we should be willing to share it with others. Whenever we give to others, this makes us feel good inside. The more we give, the better we feel. The better we feel, the more we want to give. We need to teach this to our children. The children learn by our behavior.
My Creator, thank you for today. Thank you for the sun. Thank you for the earth. Thank you for my life. Thank you for......
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

If you don't know what to do about a situation - wait awhile, the answer will come. If weariness overcomes you before you've completed a difficult job, wait awhile, you'll get your second wind.
If you do not agree with someone else's philosophy, don't fret, perhaps later you will come to know that the same philosophy can be reached from many different directions.
If you think the activities of another person or group are frivolous and unnecessary, wait a bit, they most likely will feel the same way about you sometime.
If you don't like what others have to say, wait, they may clarify it - or you may change your mind.
If life hasn't dished you unhappiness, wait a bit, if you've planted any happiness seeds, you will also reap.
We can't always wait, but sometimes waiting is action, and action of the hardest kind. It is difficult to keep quiet when you have something to say, but it more often saves your face later and sometimes your life.
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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