happy monday, meditators!
last week we went on a vision quest – pondering how we, and all of society, will benefit from learning to be true to our selves… that when we live authentically + do something that we love, then we contribute to the whole world.
this week we are moving a little further out from ourselves, but still staying close… one of the other important facets of native american life is community – those people closest to you + around you in your everyday life. now, there are two things about indigenous peoples’ family values that inspire me greatly. one, is the fact that their societies are mostly matriarcial (most, not all). the other is how open and flowing families are – they are not static, small families, but diverse, large, flowing, extended families – something that intrigues me, as someone who comes from a fairly small family.
today, though, i want to focus on the women in native societies. let me just share with you a few interesting tidbits of information about cherokee women (the cherokee tribe is native to western north carolina, and many cherokee still live here!). and, mind you, these are values from the mid-1800s!
- the most important man in a child’s life? not the father. the mother’s brother!
- women owned the houses where extended families lived + daughters inherited the houses from their mothers. boo-yah!
- women were equal to men
- women had sexual freedom
- while men hunted and fought, women farmed and offered advice (and fought as well!)
- women + men both were represented and had a voice in the cherokee government (council meetings). in fact, the cherokee woman, attakullakulla, who went to meet with the governor of south carolina in 1757 (!) said, “Since the white man as well as the red was born of woman, did not the white man admit women to their council?”
just take a look at these native american women – and imagine the influence and power and humility that they had. imagine who they were…
for me, i have been so blessed by a plethora of women in my life – women who have shown me the way, been my cheerleaders + confidantes. women who have been my mentors + spiritual guides. i’d say that the one trait that all of these women in my life, including my amazing love, have had in common is that they have all been seekers of living life exactly on their terms. they have survived tough times and become better, stronger, + more amazing than even before.
so, my question to you is this… who are some women who have been strong, peaceful, inspiring, amazing people in your life? as you go through this week, think about and honor the women that are in your life. and, if you get a hankering, leave me a comment + share some of your own stories about important women to you.
and, most definitely, if you are a women, dig deep into your soul + celebrate who you are. celebrate your feminine power, who you are, and the gifts that you have to offer. and you know what, if you find yourself in a place of inequality, then remember these cherokee women – and all of the other women all around the world – and fight for your right to be true to your humanity, just as you are!