What is the Native Lifestyle?
The Native Lifestyle is way of living that is inspired by Native American wisdom and teachings and part of the NativeShades message. Its about applying the simple wisdom that allowed the Native Americans, before the European's arrived, to live as part of nature and flourish in a way and a sense of freedom that is not seen today. Granted the tribes had unwritten and sometimes written rules but for the most part the people live a simple and free way of life coexisting and being one with nature instead of exhausting and causing harm to what gives us life. Only taking what is needed and having respect for the world around them.
Now there is many advancements and new technologies that have led to many accomplishments and help in many ways today that the Native Americans didn't have during the past. We are not saying we should go back to some stone age way of living. But there is a lot of wisdom that the Native Americans had that can be applied to our lives now. It can't be denied that a lot of us probably have more stress in our lives today than the Native Americans did in the past despite having access to advancements far beyond imagining in those days. Why is this? Could it be that a lot of people have disconnected with nature. Or could it also be just the way society is set up that we have a lot of worries that the natives didn't have such as paying bills and taxes and even other unnecessary worries. We live in a world that is very fast paced and there is new technology and ideas coming out constantly. Sometimes this can cause information overload. Not only that despite many medical advancements we still see a lot of people with many health problems from diets filled with fast food, sugary drinks, and processed food. Some people might feel trapped and stuck at a job they don't enjoy and constantly worried living pay check to pay check. For those with the problems and stress from everyday life in our modern age sometimes its easy to forget where we come from and get overwhelmed. Sometimes to remedy all this you need to reconnect with nature but at the same time gain more knowledge and apply what works with the new and the old.
"I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, But rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man." —SUN BEAR, CHIPPEWA
There can be many ways to live the Native Lifestyle. Just the simple act of stepping outside and acknowledging nature and every thing we share with every living thing is living the Native Lifestyle. Is about making conscious choices in our day to day lives that benefit our health and overall well being as well as others. The Native Americans are very in tune with their environment. But today even science is proving our environment is being threatened. Forest are being torn down for monetary gain. The atmosphere and water sources are being damaged and polluted everyday. But the good news is more and more people are becoming aware of this and taking steps to improvise and work with the environment.
The Native Americans believe that all living things are relatives and we all share the same "Great Spirit". But throughout history we as humans have constantly separated ourselves in to different groups whether its race, religion, ethnicity, and many other social groups. This separation has resulted in many conflicts and in some cases horrible acts of violence. Regardless of what religion Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Buddhist most all major religions share the common trait of one supreme omnipresent spirit. Instead of fighting over the name and who's religion is right why not realize the oneness of everybody. Even if your not religious or have a certain belief it can't be denied that you can not survive if it wasn't for the living things in nature. We couldn't breath or even eat if it wasn't for the plants on this earth. We are dependent on nature and when we harm nature we are harming ourselves as well. The Native Lifestyle is about bringing awareness to the connection between everything. Its not just about environmental awareness but self awareness as well. After all you can't help anybody if you can't help yourself.
How to Apply the Native Lifestyle to your Life?
There are many ways to apply the lessons and wisdom from the Native Americans to our every day lives. Its about taking steps and actions towards growing as an individual in all aspects of your being and connecting with nature as yourself. Its the little simple changes you can make to your daily routine or taking steps towards bringing yourself and others closer to nature and each other. Here are just a few examples of applying the Native Lifestyle to your life:
- Practice Meditation- When people think of meditation they usually think of eastern philosophies such as Yoga and Buddhism but the Native Americans also practiced meditation to cleanse there spirit and get closer to nature and the universe. You can see this in Shamanism and vision quest. A daily practice of meditation has been shown in studies to fight stress, increase focus and contribute to your all around health.
- Go hiking, on a walk or any outdoor activity- For some people today a lot of there time is spent indoors whether its at work or just at home watching t.v. For some people this has lead to vitamin D deficiency, obesity and overall lack of proper exercise. A majority of a Native Americans time was spent outdoors resulting in a deep respect for nature. Not only can you get closer to nature by spending time outdoors but you can improve your overall health as well.
- Start a garden-Though a lot of Native Americans were hunters and gatherers some did rely on agriculture.And Today Many are still following after there ancestors. Gardening is a great way to live the native lifestyle. Not only can you get a sense of accomplishment by starting from a little seed and watching it grow and flourish but you can provide yourself with food that is natural and better for you. Today a big part of the american diet consist of processed food that is full of carcinogens and holds little nutrient value. When you garden you have food that is fresh and still full of life. Countless studies have shown that fresh food in its natural form keeps you healthy and prevents cancer and many other diseases.
- Become one with the music- Have you ever heard a song that you felt throughout your whole body that felt as if it was speaking directly to you. Sometimes music can make you feel as if you were in a trance and the Native Americans used it for just that. Often during healing and ceremonies shamans would use the beat of the drums and there own vocals to induce a trance like state to aid in cleansing bad energy or spirits and to help in healing. Music can undoubtedly be magical in many ways and bring about many different emotions. So the next time you put on that song that brings back certain memories or puts you in a certain mood remember that connection you have with the Natives and every thing around you and that it is all music.
- Become an entrepreneur- A lot of people become entrepreneur's not only for money but for the freedom. Freedom is something the Native Americans cherish and encourage among each other. It has even been speculated that the discovery of the Native Americans legacy of individual liberty, limited government and legitimate law lead to the Colonist separating from British rule. Native Americans sometimes even encourage children to change there own names as they grow older and learned more about there individuality. In some tribes leadership positions were not determined by gender and equality was shared among the members regardless of there sex. To Learn more read Liberty in Perfection: Freedom in Native American Thought. Being a entrepreneur allows a sense of freedom not found in the regular 9 to 5. Not downing anyone that has a 9-5 which is sometimes necessary and other times enjoyable when it is something your passionate about. But a lot people don't enjoy there jobs and want more time to spend with family and experience more of the world and not have to worry about money as much. Entrepreneurship also requires a lot of creativity which the Native Americans are known for. You can see this in there art work and all around way of living.
- Make Your House Self Sufficient- More and more people are going off the grid and building homes that do not require that you pay for bills such as power and water. The Native Americans are incredibly resourceful and that same resourcefulness can be applied today. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to worry about that power bill next month or that water bill getting to high. With so many alternative energy sources today and if your located in the right spot this can fairly easily be accomplished. Not having to rely on big companies for your utilities brings back that sense of freedom that the Native Americans once enjoyed.
As you can see there are many ways to live the Native Lifestyle the ones mentioned are only the tip of he ice berg. There are countless ways the wisdom from the past can be used today. Some of this knowledge and understanding is timeless and can be used in any day and age of living.
Feel free to share your idea of a way to live the Native Lifestyle in the Comments: