In the Métis way, pishkaymitook (caring) for yourself and others is expected. It often begins by remembering that our lives and communities are interconnected in ways that stretch beyond blood ties to ecosystems that live and die based on the strength of the relationships. Each of us is sacred, our place in the community is integral and pishkaymitook deeply for ourselves allows our strength to serve our relatives when needed. I recently read a passage in “Our Words- Our Ways” that speaks directly to the practice of honouring one another.
“When you take time to talk to [each other], remember: the first moments are sacred; they involve the honouring of the dignity of each life that you meet. Take the time to listen with your heart.”
Pishkaymitook for others who could not look after themselves was practiced by everybody in the Métis community. Métis hunters made sure that the Elders always had enough meat and provisions, women cooked and mended for each other to lighten the load and children were encouraged to spend time with Elders to help them with small tasks such as writing letters, cooking, or making tea.
As I look out my window into to the deep cold of the prairie winter, my thoughts go to those in our communities that do not have the same access to warmth and food that I do. What is our path to pishkaymitook for them?
This week’s meditation is focused on that path…
Recall a moment of caring connection from some time in our life, a moment of relative unconditional support when someone was rooting for you, deeply listening to you, or simply seeing you. As long as it makes you happy to recall this moment then it is perfect for this meditation
- Settle into the memory, fill your belly with breath, drop your shoulders and lower your gaze to begin.
- Feel the warmth of the connection with that other human slowly fill your body. Feel it travel to each limb, slowly and deliberately. Breath into it with each breath, expanding its reach and giving it life.
- Wrapped in this gift of warmth and love, open your mind to your own gifts. Don’t force the thoughts, let them drift slowly to the top like steam rising off a fresh cup of tea.
- Allow your gifts and abundance to fill the room, gently, quietly and with grace. When you can see the gifts that you have to give, imagine each as an opportunity for pishkaymitook. Let your minds eye shift gently from one gift to another, and when you find one worthy enough to give, let it settle into your heart.
- Bring your attention back to your breath. Stretch your attention back into your physical body. Wiggle your fingers and your toes. Open your eyes.
Now take that gift from your heart and find a way to share it with your community.
Today’s photo courtesy of Canva Pro
If you are still wondering how you can help, please consider volunteering or donating to The Lighthouse.
This is part of a series of mindfulness prompts that are based in Métis teachings. Each weekly post has an image specifically designed to fit the lock-screen on your phone. The idea is that you can make mindfulness easy, effective and beautiful all at the same time. Placing each new image on your lock screen serves to keep it in the front of your mind while the week allows you enough time to lean into the learning.