A couple years ago, I had a near psychological meltdown. The fires and drought in my home state were evidence that life was changing and water would soon be more valuable than any other element on earth. I was dealing with more drama with Sage’s dad than ever and it was tearing our family apart. Then the image of the Syrian baby washed up on shore appeared in the media and I couldn’t stop crying. I cried for weeks. Everything seemed to be shaped by my fear and by the evidence of tragedy both environmental and humanitarian that was befalling, and continues to, our planet and ourselves. I was also balancing a fairly new career as a publisher with the nuts and bolts of an industry I felt both at home in and like a total alien in. Everywhere I turned there was a mountain to climb, a cause to get behind, and a heartbreak to tend, I felt sad, angry, alone, powerless and hopeless. And this was before the 2016 election…
Soon after the big crack in my psyche and heart, I was on a drive down to Mexico with my spiritual godfather, Gay Hendricks, for my first TLC (Transformational Leadership Council) meeting. One of the first presentations to be made was by Dr. Anita Sanchez called: The Four Gifts and depicted four sacred gifts the elders of all indigenous tribes from around the world agreed upon and wanted to give the world in order to heal from the divisiveness, pain and suffering of the intense times in which we find ourselves then, and now.
These four gifts are:
The Power to Forgive the Unforgivable
The Power of Unity
The Power of Healing
The Power of Hope
In the power to heal the unforgivable, Anita spoke of being sexually abused by her father for much of her youth, until her father was murdered in a hate crime in Kansas City. She spoke of the rituals of forgiveness the elders put her through in order to move the trauma from her body. From there, she was able to become an activist, healer, and PhD. teaching Fortune 500’s the power of inclusion. To be able to forgive her father took everything she had, and it put in perspective for us that forgiveness of that which we find unforgivable is the key to healing our world. I couldn’t agree more…
Forgive me as I learn to forgive you.
In the Power of Unity, she showed us how to be in right relation, to unify all beings in our mind and soul to include all elements of nature, all colors of people, the sky, the ancestors and the spirit world. For in unity we find our strength to connect deeply with others and to live with no fear of “other” getting, taking, or hurting us as we are all one. We live unnaturally in the modern world. What I mean by unnaturally, is that we have an illusion that we are separate from others. We think that what effects one group doesn’t affect the other, but in this we live painfully isolated, trying to “make more money,” get the promotion, land the account, compete in the modern marketplace…etc. What occurs from this type of belief is a disparate “us and them” yes, even the them you don’t agree with politically are one with you.
The Illusion of No-Relation is Healed by the Visualization of All-One Relation.
The next gift she shared was the power of healing. In this section, Anita taught us to “listen with the softest part of our ear” in order to really hear others, and in doing so, this heals them (and us). Imagine a council of those from North Korea, Syria, Russia, the US, and China all sitting in a circle of respect, listening with the “softest part of their ears.” What would be possible if we all did this and through this action healed the most broken parts of our psyches? We would perhaps experience life on earth as love in detail, wouldn’t we? I began to use this with Sage’s dad and others, and it worked. For what was being said wasn’t what others necessarily meant…understanding their pain underneath their words helped me see that we are all seeking the same thing: To belong.
Listen with the “softest part of your ear” to heal yourself and others.
The fourth and final gift is the gift of hope. Where Anita taught us that her elders believed that the pain, the struggle, the heartache is all manageable, but the loss of hope would not be. As Gloria Steinem says, “Hope if a form of planning” and I agree. While we can become “addicted to hope” and not be realistic in how we see the world, hoping is also a motivation to ensure the world becomes what it could be one day. Without hope, we lose our passion for what’s possible. A hopeless people would never have the energy to fight for what’s good and right in the world. A hopeful thought opens the door for all that you can create for your life and our world.
Hope is a form of planning. –Gloria Steinem
As I watched this powerful, strong and beautiful woman present these gifts, I could feel a sense of responsibility overwhelm me. I just knew I had to publish her story and the gifts of the indigenous elders for the world to read, absorb, and use to heal. For the first time in weeks, I could feel my duty become stronger than my despair. I approached Anita and asked if she’d like to talk about a publishing partnership and from there, a two-year friendship and collaboration took place. The result of which is this beautiful, healing, insightful book which is available today!
It’s days like this that I am renewed. To have found Anita in a time I was so distraught and lost was a spectacular transmutation of sadness to compassionate action. And sharing this work with the world has given me a sense of purpose. It shows that the world is indeed on a healing path, and that our pain and the pain of feeling like we can’t do enough can be healed. Through connecting your concern with hope and compassionate action, you can heal yourself and our world. Through these simply four gifts, we can indeed recreate our world.
I hope you’ll join me in congratulating this majestic, beautiful, humble woman, Dr. Anita Sanchez for a job very well done today. You can post for her here. You can mark it to read here and you can buy it here. For more information, and to see an interview with Anita, go here.
I hope you will read this book and join me in a commitment to heal the divide within and in our world.
With all my hope, light, and love,