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Old 12-31-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
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Default Daily Feast - January

Unu la at nee'
The Cherokee people stand upon new ground. Let us hope the clouds which overspread the land will be dispersed, and that we shall prosper as we have never done before.
January 1 - Daily Feast
If, like a Cherokee warrior, I can look at the new year as an opportunity to stand on new ground, then strength and courage are on my side. If I have waited a long time for everything to be perfect - and there have been moments, brief as they were, that filled my expectations - then I can face the challenges. I will remember that things do work out, bodies do heal, relationships mend - not because I said it, but because I believe it. But it is time to make things right, to stay on the path. As water runs fresh and free from the woodland spring, so new life and meaning will bubble up from my own inner source. I will be still and steady, because there is nothing to be gained by showing fear in a chaotic world. I can turn from ignorance and prejudice toward a light that never goes out.
~ The death of fear is in doing what you fear to do. ~
'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - January 1
"…because if you believe in something, and believe in it long enough, it will come into being."
--Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
We are created by the Great One to accomplish His will through our mental pictures or visions. Our thoughts are three dimensional: words, pictures and feelings. We create the vision by thinking the words and we create feeling for the vision by feeling enthusiasm, desire, commitment and other strong beliefs. Once we create the vision, we move toward and become like that which we think about. All visions are tested by our self talk; for example, "This isn't going to happen, where is the money coming from anyway?" When this happens, we need to let go of the test and focus on belief in the vision. Why? Because God said if we believe it long enough, He will guarantee it!!!
Great One, let my beliefs be strong today. Help me to have faith in my visions.
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler
I don't know of anyone I'd rather see happy than you. Perhaps somewhere along the way you'll also find what causes it and maybe it will be something you can find within your heart to share with others....for only in sharing are we ever really happy.
Just remember that it may well be where you least expect it. You may recognize it as something you're about to give away.....But don't worry, it will come back so many times; like love, it seeketh not its own but flies over us like angels. And when it finds a heart big enough to hold all the love it can supply it settles itself, wings and all, within the soul of that love.
And then the world will be new. There will be sights you've never seen, yet they have been there all the time....there will be laughter from the heart.....and gratitude for all of life's privileges. There will be peace and contentment....and strength abounding to withstand all adversity.....and quiet acknowledgment of God. For without God, there could be none of these.

January 2 - Daily Feast
This morning, snow wrapped every tree and rock in soft white, and promised to keep the outline of distant hills hidden against a gray sky. But it could not keep its promise. After a few hours the sun came out and turned it all into nature's jewelry, beautiful dew gems sparkling on the grass. We can be so busy that we miss the little things that sweeten life, the way a pet waits to be noticed, the way an owl, a wahuhi, hoots in the woods, and a blue jay chortles in the middle of winter. It is a lovely thing to turn away from busy work to pay attention to our loved things and loved ones. We know how we wait to be told we are important. We should never wait to say or think something beautiful that will make someone's day easier and more secure.
~ We do not want riches. We want peace and love. ~
RED CLOUD - 1870
'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - January 2
"People have to be responsible for their thoughts, so they have to learn to control them. It may not be easy, but it can be done."
--Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
WE control our thoughts by controlling our self talk. At any moment we choose we can talk to ourselves differently. The fight comes with the emotions that are attached to our thoughts. If our emotion is high and seems to be out of control, we can say to ourselves STOP IT!, take a few deep breaths, then ask the Creator for the right thought or the right decision or the right action. If we practice this for a while, our thought life will be different. It helps if in the morning we ask God to direct our thinking. God loves to help us.
Great Spirit, today, direct my thinking so my choices are chosen by You.
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Have you ever known someone whose very presence comforted you? They seem to have no need of words, but their quiet companionship soothes  like balm to the soul. These are your kindred souls who have already been the route you're traveling, or are just ahead and leaning back to take your hand.
Wherever you are on the path of life, there have been many these before you. It may seem the loneliness of the road has many empty echoes. But there have been many good people concerned enough to make an effort to mark the rougher places to allow your journey easier traveling.
And like all travelers we must look for those signs and make them more plain to the ones who will follow.
And then, in quiet communication, we can each take our turn by understanding.
How often we see people who desperately need our help. We would like to help them, but we put it out of our minds because it seems beyond our means and beyond our strength. We use the excuse that we have enough problems of our own without going out on a limb for someone else. Charity begins at home and at home and at home.
If we have the true desire, and the welfare of someone else in our sights, we can ask divine guidance, and we will receive help. If help does not come, it is because we were not truly serious. Or perhaps whatever we wanted to do is not in the best interests of all concerned. Our help may only have slowed their progress or weakened their efforts. If our desires are worthy we need have no fear that a way will come to help.
The desire to help is a divine gift, and we accept it most beautifully by using it.

January 3 - Daily Feast
When we last saw Essie she had been ashen and without the strength we see in her now. Now she sits flat on the ground, legs straight out in front, and reeds tumble across her knees and lie around her. Nimble fingers seek the perfect one to start a basket. Essie is close to our hearts. She has our Grandmother's name. Her reticence does not inspire idle talk, so we ask what happened to change her. With a quick glance, she says, "God heal." "Is it possible? So quickly and completely?" Hesitantly, she asks, "You got fast oven?" I say I do. "What make it work?" "Why, microwaves - energy. They change the molecules, the structure of the bread from cold to hot." Seconds pass. She says, almost too softly, "Prayer energy. Make me well."
~ I love a people who have always made me welcome to the best they had....who are honest without laws....who never take the name of God in vain.....who worship God without a Bible.... And I believe God loves them too. ~
'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - January 3
"We don't have to say or think what we don't wish to. We have a choice in those things, and we have to realize that and practice using that choice."
--Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
Having choices makes us fully accountable. No one can make us think anything we don't want to think. No one can determine our behavior and how we act. It's not what's going on but how we look at what's going on. If someone does something and we get upset, we can change how we look at it any time we want. We can tell ourselves in the morning that the day is going to be beautiful and that we have expectations that great things will happen. Doing this daily sets our mind to look for the joy and the excitement of each day.
Great Spirit, help me to choose my thoughts with Your wisdom.
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

No hope? How foolish, for as long as there is a breath of life there is hope. How many people have sprung to their spiritual feet at the challenge of "no hope" and proved there is always hope. Perhaps there's nothing you can do for me, or I for you, but then again, perhaps there is.
As long as I do not impose the thought of hopelessness on you, and you do not convince me that your strength is all I can depend upon, then there is hope.
The things we sometimes call miracles are merely hopes activated by faith. And a wise teacher has said, "Give thanks for that which you need and soon you will have that for which you have given thanks."
If hope seems to elude you, let us give thanks that it is ours again. Let us speak words that are positive and reassuring and throw ourselves unreservedly into faith and trust, disregarding every emotion that seeks to convince us otherwise.
To lie down and be discouraged is our temptation, but to hope and have faith is our wisdom.

January 4 - Daily Feast
To the Cherokee, worry is the dalala, the woodpecker, pecking away on the roof. It is easy to understand that even new wood cannot bear such hammering without giving way. Imagine what would happen to a roof which has already been through storms and many hot summers. But how do we handle this woodpecker called worry? By seeing it for what it is - a bird that causes damage. We can shout and scare it away for a while, but as soon as we drop our guard it is back again. Worry did not crash in suddenly. It entered our lives little by little, so that we did not notice. Surely it will go away, but it takes its toll so gradually that we grow accustomed to it - thinking it is just a normal part of living. When we hear worry rapping on the roof, we can ask ourselves, what have we talked about? What have we heard or dwelled on that distresses us?
~ Udadolisdi nuwhtohiyada Jalagi. Cherokee pray for peace. ~
'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - January 4
"Our circle is timeless, flowing, it is a new life emerging from death-life winning out over death."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA
When we look at the world in the manner which the Great Spirit designed it, we can see why it makes sense to live in harmony with it: the trees grow and bear fruit, the fruit has seeds, the seeds fall to the ground, the ground grows new trees, old trees die to make way for the young. Any time we think we can interrupt this cycle or change it we will experience turmoil and confusion. The Human Cycle exists as the baby becomes the youth, the youth becomes the adult, the adult has children, the adult becomes the Elder, and the Elder teaches the youth. Elders go on to the Spirit World. Spirit comes into babies to produce new life. Flow into the flow. Be the path of least resistance.
My Creator and my Maker, today, teach me to just flow with the river of life.
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There are so many things we must come to know. If there are obstacles we have made them. And if there is unrest it is because of a lack of holiness, of recognizing the truly important. If our appetites are too great, it is not that we crave food or drink, but something higher than that which we are experiencing.
Sometimes we fail to know the needs of others, but more often we can see their needs more clearly than we can our own. And we can help ourselves quickly by recognizing the truth of our own being.
We are spiritual beings and to operate in the strict physical and mental sense is likened to running a car with only gasoline. It cannot be done efficiently. It takes water, gasoline, and oil.
When we learn that it takes our physical, mental, and spiritual beings to make one person, then we are whole and have eliminated the inability to help ourselves. The outcome depends on you and me. And it is our duty to disqualify the thousand and one excuses that keep us from that duty.

January 5 - Daily Feast
Nothing is so bedraggled and beaten down as a garden in winter. It promises nothing, and shows only wilted, gray and soggy leaves. There are no straight defined rows, no hint of green to show that it will be any different. But the Cherokee knows the difference. Long before winter - in the season of planting, we sowed the best seeds we could. As tiny and insignificant as they look, they will produce. When the best is planted and watered and cared for, the time will come to see the increase - to see a miracle. Life can be renewed and restored. Bedraggled and ridden down as life can be, don't despair. Plant good words, plant good seed. Nurture them with warm attention and care. Be a perennial believer and watch those first warm rays of sunlight awaken your garden to the Season of the Green Corn.
~ Sweet grasses and seeds serve as perfume for body and spirit. ~
'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - January 5
"But first, let us join hands and pray."
--Starleaf, SHINNECOCK
Where two or more human beings joined together for a common cause, the helpers and the Grandfathers will show up to help. When our Indian people come together, the Elders say, "always pray first-do a ceremony and ask the Creator to be with us and to help us. We can never pray enough." The Elders also say, "pray in a circle because the Creator made things in circles. When we stand in a circle and pray together, a sacred hoop will form above the people. This is the spiritual way."
Oh Great Spirit, through my prayers I can find Your guidance. I pray You guide my path today. Touch my life with Your holy Breath.
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Most successful ventures have behind them some hardships. We as human beings demand such experiences before we can truly appreciate the meaning of victory. No one promised that life would be one long gala event, but if we're made of durable stuff, we neither let it hinder us nor make us run roughshod to get ahead.
We must always recognize past hardships for what they are. We cannot ignore them, for they are a part of our makeup. But neither can we let them become crutches to lean upon when there's need for an excuse.
Bitterness over past experiences wastes valuable time. Perhaps it was those hardships that gave us the strength to rise above the mediocre things. However crude, ugly, or unhappy, even tragic, some of the times may seem, as seen alone, when combined with all our other knowledge they form the perfect circle and play no more important part than all the rest.
In the words of American poet John Neal, "No man ever worked his passage anywhere in a dead calm."

January 6 - Daily Feast
Dare to believe in miracles. Look beyond the mud on the windshield, beyond the impossible, and know life is more than anguish and stress. Reach out to someone, when your heart is too heavy to feel the sunlight or to taste the rain. Rid yourself of dark thought and melancholy. Open your mind to fresh air, to the unlimited music in your soul. Thoreau wrote of waking in the night to hear a strain of music dying away - travelers singing. He said his whole being was so expanded and infinitely and divinely related that he knew how narrow his own thinking had been. The Cherokee always teach their young to listen. We hear not the crash of cymbals or the noise that rise the airwaves - but the sweet song of the meadow, the even rhythmic sounds of nature. It is here where the dikanowadidohi angel sings.
~ Speak to yourself in spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. ~
'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - January 6
"When we're through with this earth and all these problems, we don't have to come back. But as long as we're here we have a job to do and a purpose to fulfill and that means dealing with the circumstances around us."
--Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
We are put on the earth to participate in life. We have a beautiful mind, we have the ability to pray, we have the ability to change, we have the ability to accept, and we have choices. All things God created are constantly changing. This constant change causes our circumstances to change. Sometimes we say life is difficult. During these times we need to use our tools: the tools of prayer, and the tools of meditation. We are designed to change and live joyfully on this earth. The only requirement for living joyfully is to live according to the laws, principles and values given to us by the Creator.
Great Spirit, give me Your courage today, and guide my footsteps.
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Think on pleasant things. Deliberately turn your thoughts to something pleasant when the pressures are too intense. And be careful as undisciplined thought quickly sifts back to the unhappy, unsettled mind.
The greater part of the time we are victims of our emotions. They play havoc with our peace of mind and are great friends of pessimism. They tell us things are true with such sincerity that we believe them into fact. They convince us things are a certain way and that we cannot remedy them with any amount of effort.
But stop where you are and consider what it is you are listening to and how it affects your feelings. Do a turnabout and take the positive route of deliberately replacing thoughts of unhappiness, injustices, and misunderstandings with the thought that these are merely chariots to carry us past all that has withheld freedom.

January 7 - Daily Feast
The earth is too small for all the lonely people to have missed each other so completely. But the voice of loneliness seems to persist and deepen with every hour. The Cherokee elder teaches the young person, "Learn to know and like yourself. Learn to be your own best friend." Learn the art of enjoyable solitude - of having lunch with yourself and being comfortable about it. A person alone is unique. A lonely person shows it in his haunted stare. Sometimes loneliness comes because we have not made room for anyone else. We need to stretch out beyond our boundaries, step out of familiar territory, stop nursing emptiness and self-indulgence. Loneliness is looking for something to fill a void. Joy is expanding so that others want to share our lives.
~ May your way be blessed with life by the unifying force of the Great Holy Spirit. ~
'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - January 7
".when we become hollow bones there is no limit to what the Higher Powers can do in and through us in spiritual things."
--Frank Fools Crow, LAKOTA
If we want to be of maximum use to the Creator, we must ready ourselves to do so. If we are to become a channel for His purposes, we must prepare ourselves to do so. If we have resentment, fear, selfishness, or anger, we are not hollow bones. We must be rid of these things. We must change ourselves. We must ask for forgiveness for ourselves and forgive our brothers and sisters. We must keep our insides clean. We cannot use our power in a good way when we have blockages such as hate, judgment and envy. When we are free of these things the Higher Powers can use us beyond our wildest imagination. Then we can really help ourselves and help our people. Only when we are hollow bones can we have an effect on the world.
Oh Great Spirit, remove from me the things that block my usefulness to You. Remove from my day all thinking that is out of harmony with Your ways.
Grant me Your peace and allow me to function as a hollow bone.
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Until you've walked in the rain you cannot truly appreciate the protection of a shelter.
Unless you've felt the heat from a sweltering sun you cannot fully enjoy the coolness of shade.
Only after the clatter and bang of crowded places can you find quietness and solitude so soothing to the nerves.
Before you can stop worrying and start living, there must be an elimination of fear which is the cause of all worry.
Sometimes, unfortunately, we must collide with the bad before we can totally appreciate the good.
It is said that we too often must be reminded of our obligations before we take charge of them.
Frequently it seems we must have our freedom threatened before we muster enough patriotism to defend it.
Too many shoulders are bowed by our thoughtlessness before we finally learn the key to real success is kindness.
We never know how truly wonderful it is to be loved until we are loved when we've failed to deserve it.
M.R. Smith's words, "God's plans, like lilies pure and white untold - We must not tear the close shut leaves apart - Time will reveal the calyxes of gold," revealed, after all, that patience does its perfect work.
"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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