Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The paths we walk

Last night i hiked 6 miles with my pup Ishka. Every day I walk. It is a part of my daily practice of staying grounded, connected and keeping my heart open. It is also a time for me to exercise my energetic little girl, Ishka (Ishkode, means 'fire' in ojibwe) who is my bridge to Ahnung. It was 4 years ago, not long after the passing of my spirit dog Ahnung, when she led me to this adorable little puppy who was a surrender at a Leech Lake Legacy spay/neuter clinic up at Leech Lake Reservation. I did NOT want a dog to replace Ahnung and I especially did NOT want a puppy. Yet the signs continued to come from Ahnung that I was meant to adopt this 8-9 week old puppy. I share more about this in my October 16, 2013 blog post, "Ahnung's gift to me ... Ishkode (means 'fire' in ojibway).

It has been four years. If you asked me back then where my life was going to be, I can honestly say I don't think I would have thought it would be what it is today. It has been a journey. Many paths and doors have opened up; many have closed .. i continue to listen to Ahnung, to her guidance. She speaks to me. Sometimes it is her energy I sense guiding me; sometimes it is through Ishkode; sometimes it is through my partner Joannie; sometimes it is through the squirrels, eagles, hawks .... or my other pups (Legacy, Missy or Mister) ... sometimes it is through my partner's beloved soul dog Piper who is now with Ahnung.

Last weekend my partner and I painted rocks. She learned on a recent trip to Colorado ..."If you find a word rock, pick it up, drink in the sentiment, and place it somewhere else for another to enjoy!! Spread the love!!" So last weekend we painted rocks. One of the rocks had the word 'Fire' on one side (for Ishka) and the other side had 'Passion'. So last night Ishka was very helpful in picking a spot to place the rock along the trails at a park we hiked.

Earlier this week I have placed two other rocks at different parks. I have gone back to one of the parks to see if the rock has been moved. It has. I am hoping the word 'Be' which was painted on the rock gave someone a moment of calm as they took in a breath of fresh air and welcomed the opportunity to just 'Be'.

I am grateful to live in a state where there are so many amazing parks with miles and miles of trails. I recently took a women's intro to navigation and compass basics class .... I will always have my north star, my Ahnung, my true North ... She will always be my internal compass. Now I am moved to learn more about navigating the world externally, and noticing the relationships and connections to my inner landscape. There is deep connection between the outer landscape and our inner landscape. The more we allow ourselves to explore and learn about our inner landscape with curiosity, we open up our eyes to see the outer world with a new lens and a new perspective.

Today I am reflecting on paths and trails. In the past months I have been drawn to explore and learn more about new trails and parks. This morning I realized, I am doing the same with my internal landscape. I am exploring my inner landscape in new ways, and opening myself up to new possibilities and paths and trails.

I don't know where I will be in another 4 years. I don't even know where I will be tomorrow. My commitment is to staying open to listening, so when new paths/trails emerge I can see them. And when it is time to leave a path or trail I have been walking that I will just know it is time. What I have learned over the decades is the importance of a daily practice to keep me grounded and centered. I have my daily practice ... some have changed over the years but meditation and writing have been my constant.

Dear sweet Ahnung, you may no longer be by my side physically, yet you still walk with me, and you will always be by my side. Miigwech for the gift of Ishkode, who walks with me physically.

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