Difference makes us but…..in the end we are all related
How’s everyone doing? As I attended a Pow wow not too long ago, I feel fantabulous! I love Pow wows and I am sure you have seen some of my posts about them. The energy of the dancers and the drums, the atmosphere, the artists selling their beautiful products. I love it all! Different nations all unique but coming together to celebrate mother Earth, the music and traditions of the ancestors. And this made me think: are we all different or are we all the same? Well I think it is neither. I think, as the Etsy campaign says Difference Makes Us but! We are also all one. We all have a certain uniqueness but in the end we are all related. So inspired by the the motto of the campaign “celebrate all our un-similarities” I thought I would reflect on what makes me “me” and what do I identify with.
So what makes us “us”?
Hmmm that’s a good question no? I think what makes us “us” is our quirks, the ones that yes might annoy others. I don’t think it is one single thing, I think it is all the little things taken together. For example, my red hair, my tattoos, my smile, the twinkle in my eyes, my strength, my sense of humor, my numerous dresses, my thousand scarves with native designs (I am only slightly exaggerating…), my jewelry, my moccasins. None of them make me “me” on their own. My experience, my compassion, my passions, the fight I have in me, those make me “me”. And everything else I described before help me show what is inside of me, what I stand for, what I love. The exterior reflecting the interior. And that’s not an easy feat! For your true self to come alive and shine.
When I see Pow wow dancers and singers, I see their true self right there. Their regalia is a representation of who they are. It is deeply personal to them or their family and it reflects where they came from and what the previous generations went through. Think about it. For over a century, the Indian Act (established in 1876) banned all ceremonies or traditional practices. One could literally be killed for singing and drumming. My heart breaks just thinking about it (because my deep empathy and ability to feel what others feel are also part of me). So the fact that today, we are able to have music, drumming and dancing is amazing. What the ancestors have gone through for us to be able to have that is beyond words. The fact that it was not allowed for a century also renders me speechless. And makes me very angry and deeply sad. So let’s celebrate the regalia that the dancers are wearing, the drums that represent the heartbeat of Mother Earth and the voices that sing prayers. Sing loud and sing proud! The colors on the dance floor might be different and show our difference in style but they also unite us.
So how do I celebrate my uniqueness, my “un-similarities”?
Before I go further, let me say this. We are all one. We are all related. What I do affects you and what you do affects me. The term “All my Relations“, which I end all my posts with, is such a significant and powerful one in the Native world, in the Indigenous world. Mitakuye Oyasin, the Lakota/Dakota version. It means, we all come from Mother Earth and Father Sky. We all come from the Spirit world only to return to it. Everything has a spirit and is connected.
That being said, we also are all unique. As the Etsy campaign says “Difference Makes Us“. Our spirits are connected. We all have four different sides: our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual sides. All of them put together make us. We take care of all four sides to, ideally, live a balanced life. And believe it or not, Etsy helps me take care of all four sides. What you say! How is that possible? Well let’s see
Etsy and me
Spiritual and emotional sides
Well to say that I love Etsy would be an understatement. If you look in my Reviews section, you will find some of my favorite items and shops. For quick gift ideas, see my recommendations here. Basically if I am looking for something for myself, my home or for family and friends, I go to Etsy first. Not just for jewelry or cool accessories. I have actually bought for example, sage smudging sticks from the IndigoDesertMoon shop, which I absolutely love. Smudging is a huge part of my life. It is a way for me to take care of my spiritual side, to connect with the Creator and ground myself (as well as other ceremonies). It helps me start my day on a positive note and to get rid of the negativity at the end of the day. Some days, it is the only way I have to keep myself grounded and I need it. I also use smudging to cleanse my house and make sure to push out negativity. It helps balance out my emotional side as well. Seriously, visit the Smudging section of the shop to get your own sage or sweetgrass (brings in positivity).
What else have I bought on Etsy to help with my spiritual and emotional side? Well I also have bought some stones and crystals which I have carry in my medicine bags and also have at home. No, not to worry, it is all not all shenanigans and “hocus pocus”. Stones are our grandfathers. They have existed for millions of years and have a spirit (remember, all my relations, everything has a spirit). They also have wisdom and are strong protectors. One shop I like is TheWhimsicalOffshoot, from which I bought my Tibetan crystal, which is a strong protection stone. Look at their crystals and stones page, so many options! Another stone I always carry with me is an obsidian stone, also a protection stone (made out of lava) and one that wards off negativity.
Physical and mental sides
Now to be well rounded, I also need to attend to my physical and mental sides. I am someone who is very active physically (even though the car accident I was in is affecting my ability to do all I used to do) and I do physical activity every day. It keeps me sane! I am an avid kickboxer and it helps me release a lot of frustration. I also dress my body with clothes and accessories that reflect who I am, my beliefs and passions. And I have to say that has changed over time. In the past, you would have never caught me without my high heels! Now, my moccasins go everywhere with me. My scarves or earrings made my local artists or those I find and meet on Etsy are always with me. I don’t dress fancy but I dress to reflect my roots and the cultures I am surrounded by. I dress with what makes me comfortable. What makes me “me”. Let me show you some examples.
I honestly never go out without one of my scarves 🙂 They basically define who I am. No matter what I am wearing I wear a scarf, sometimes as a wrap as well. I have so many with designs from local artists from the West Coast. And I have 3 scarves from ScarvesChrissyInk. Chrissy has the most beautiful scarves I have ever seen. Such good quality. Check it out now! Because every single scarf is gorgeous. Just look at this one I have below (click here to see my review of it). I get stopped everywhere I go by people asking me where I got it. I was once eating in a restaurant and a man came to ask where I bought the scarf. I told him on Etsy and he came back a bit later to show me a picture of the scarf he had found, asking me if it was the same one 🙂
And what to say about this one! I mean holy! I love owls (I even have one tattooed on my back!) so this was perfect for me. Such a wonderful design. Just look at all the details on it. And all of Chrissy’s scarves come beautifully wrapped, packaged with such good care. Ordered yours 🙂
Next step for me: jewelry with traditional elements. I can say that all my earrings, bracelets, rings and earrings are Native American inspired or traditional from local artists. No shining diamond or gold for me. And I love that. I love all my traditional jewelry. I really do. Because it is unique and it just suits my personality. I used to be way more “high strung”, I guess one could say. High heels, diamond ring (well I was married at the time….), heavier makeup. But as I grew older, I found my real style, I found myself, as corny as it sounds. I have never felt so good in my own skin. I love the traditional woman that I am while also being able to kick ass as a kickboxer 🙂
But that being said, I have found so many wonderful pieces on Etsy, including this great arrowhead necklace. Check out my review of it here. I just love that beautiful dragon vein agate stone. And such a good length as well. Just a stunning piece. But really all the jewelry pieces in the HonuHippie shop are just amazing. I do have a few pieces from that shop as well (cause really I never stop at one when I find something I love and that is well made). I have reviewed so many jewelry pieces I have bought on Etsy. From feather earrings to dreamcatcher earrings to traditional southwest style bracelets. Check out my review section for more.
But for now, let’s end this with an item that is close to my heart. Yes it is not technically jewelry but it is awesome and unique. It is one of the medicine bags I have (learn about the purpose and meaning of the medicine bag here). My medicine bags are close to my heart and I was so upset when I lost one recently 🙁 I prayed for my bag to come back to me if that is what was meant to be and for my bag and the medicine it contained to be taken care of in a good way. The one below is a bigger one that I leave at home. It hangs from my bedroom door handle (I carry a smaller one in my purse). I work in an environment that is not the easiest. Some days are harder than others and I need protection from the energy that surrounds me when I am at work. Hence why I always carry a bag with me and why there is one at the entrance of my bedroom (to protect the space). I also smudge my bedroom every night. But this bag from DieselBoutique is the perfect size to place your medicine and all items that are dear to you and help you. I highly recommend it!
So there you have it: what makes me “me”, what makes us “us”. With the help of Etsy 🙂 What makes us unique. We are all unique and different in our own way. But we also are all related. A concept that is very important to remember. Because we are all brothers and sisters and we also have to be thankful for our relations in nature. A concept I find very comforting because that means there is lots of strength and wisdom not only in me, but around me and from the previous generations. A’Ho to that!
Hope you enjoyed this post
All my Relations