Spiritual inner strength

Our spiritual inner strength and home within ourselves

Hello everyone!

A year ago I read a book that enlightened me so much that I just have to share some of its

Blackwolf Jones

Blackwolf Jones

content and philosophy with you. The Book is called Listen to the Drum by Blackwolf Jones and Gina Jones. You can also find it in my resources section here. Blackwolf is an Ojibway man and his writing is just simply beautiful and touching. In the past year I found myself going through some tough times and really leaned on Blackwolf’s words and teachings to find my spiritual inner strength as well as my bigger purpose in life. Following the Red Road truly helped me remain calm, serene (up to a point…) and okay with whatever came my way. So let us look at some of Blackwolf’s teachings in regard to inner strength.

Ain-dah-ing: our home within our heart

The concept of Ain-dah-ing (pronounced AH-da-ning) is important for Blackwolf Jones. It refers to our home. Our home within ourselves, within our heart. Ain-dah-ing is our inner sanctuary, that place within ourselves where we feel safe, protected. Where we find ourselves at peace. In our Ain-dah-ing, we feel safe from our worries, from threats, it transcends time and space. What do I mean by that? Well it means that no matter what is happening in our lives, we can go to that place within ourselves to feel safe. I don’t know about you, but to know that such a place exists is very reassuring to me.

inner peace

How does one find their Ain-dah-ing you ask? It starts by following your breathing. Follow your breath to see where it comes from. Follow it to its source. You will find a very deep place within yourself, a place where nothing can affect you. It is a place where there is no end, no death, as we rejuvenate ourselves. Ok I know this sounds easy and some of you might be thinking “yeah I can follow my breath, not a problem”.

Well it’s not as easy as that. It took me a while to fully grasp what this means. it requires an ability to shift our awareness and fully focus on our breathing. I am normally able to do that when I smudge or talk to the Creator at the end of the day. I lay still, take deep breaths and whisper to the Creator. I then get into a sort of trance (no not in a New Age way…) and feel such a calm overcome me. I feel at peace and very safe. You need to be very much in the moment for this to be possible. To just stay still and see what comes up. It is not easy to do when one is stressed to the max but with practice, time and by integrating other traditional practices, one can get there. When one finds their Ain-dah-ing, one feels connected, relaxed, capable, calm. One feels at home. There is also an exercise to find one’s Ain-dah-ing in Listen to the Drum, which I won’t copy here as it is lengthy. However, it is a helpful one.

single tree

Mash-ka-wisen: the gift of Ain-dah-ing

When we find our home within our heart, we find the source of our spiritual peace and strength. We find our connection to the Creator, the Creator’s strength given to us. Its energy. A calming and strengthening energy. Mash-ka-wisen (pronounced mash-KOW-sin), in the Anishinaabe language means to be strong and accept help. Mash-ka-wisen includes the concept of inner strength and is what one gets out of the Ain-dah-ing. It is the gift of our Ain-dah-ing. It is the energy that originates and flows from our Ain-dah-ing. As we are fluid. Indeed, a good analogy to consider is this one. We are like rocks and rivers. Indeed, we need to stand strong like a rock while moving like a river. In other words, to be strong without being rigid (but rather being fluid and accepting help). I have lived it and I now know that accepting help is necessary. To take comfort in and lean on that inner strength that we have while also accepting help to overcome obstacles and heal.

prayer feather

Mash-ka-wisen helps you overcome or neutralize fears. But it is important to remember that the only way that fear can overwhelm or hurt you is if you react to it by fear, flight or freeze. If you react in one of those three ways, then it will become your master. If there is fear there is a master; either you will master the fear or it will master you. In order to master fear, one has to think and act like a warrior. A warrior faced fear head on, thinking clearly and not letting emotions cloud his judgment. Fear is felt on the inside even if it is caused by external events. We then need to identify its source, and really isolate the fear itself, separate it from the self. in other words, one has to feel the fear to track it but not engage in it. Then one can dip into one’s Mash-ka-wisen to face the fear. I know it sounds abstract, but if there comes a time when you will be able to do just that, you will know right away, you will feel that change within yourself.

peace in the world

By practicing the traditions and principles of the Red Road, I have found so much inner strength I did not know I had. I have let go of some fears by doing exactly what I just described. I have found comfort that I am not alone and that the Creator’s strength is also within me. I have accepted that life is a journey, that there is no “there to get to”. I see now that there is a process, a step-by-step process that cannot be rushed. I listen and keep my eyes open as I know the steps on the path that was created for me are shown to me. I now do not want to rush things. I am exactly where I was meant to be at this moment. And I was certainly meant to read Listen to the Drum, a book that can really help one on their healing journey.

Has anyone read the words of Blackwolf Jones? Anyone interested in them? Wanting to discuss more what was said here? If so, comment below and I will respond.

All my Relations

12 thoughts on “Spiritual inner strength

  1. Jesse

    Great article on spiritual inner strength. A must read for everyone who is interested in personal development in general. Nice to see this topic covered from native american standpoint. Very interesting thanks for writing this out 🙂

    Reply
  2. Marc

    I love seeing your articles about traditional native healing. I have always been fascinated with different cultures. You help me with my natural curiosity.
    Thank you,
    Marc

    Reply
  3. Vince

    These are some interesting concepts you have outlined here. I’m especially interested in overcoming fears, Mash-ka-wisen sounds great. On a bit of a tangent, I’ve read that samurai would daily, visualize dying in battle or numerous ways and accepting that fate, as a way to eradicate fear for when they did battle, so that the fear of death did not overcome them.

    I don’t think we need to go down the samurais path so much now though

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Vince!
      I did not know that about samurai! Although a tad extreme it is one heck of a good way to eradicate fears for sure and master them!

      Reply
  4. Mike

    Hi Emily,
    This is great information for finding your inner peace. More people need to know how to do this. Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Steven Schmidt

    Hey Emily, this is an awesome article.

    We have something a bit similar.

    In Maori, the HA or breath of life is the one thing that binds all of us and we share from inside ourselves. It signifies the first gasp as a new born baby that we take to the last gasp we take before we go back to god. We draw on strength from our ancestors and god to guide us through Karakia. (Prayer)
    When we greet each other, we touch noses, this is the sharing of each others HA and allows us connect at a deeper level.
    Many other cultures do similar things.

    Thanks for this great article.
    Steve.

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      Thank you so much for sharing this Steven! I love that you also have this concept in your culture. The touching of the nose is so meaningful it seems, such a beautiful way to connect. A’Ho

      Reply
  6. Roopa Subramani

    Hello There,
    Thanks for this very enlightening post:) For me, reading this gives me an added perspective of how different religions are able to go beyond just the outward rituals and into the very heart of the SELF where lies the answer to all our questions 🙂 This is indeed the very essence of spirituality,just told in all different ways by way of diverse religions:) I would love to learn more about this practice that you had mentioned about:) Thanks and Namaste:)

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      Hi Roopa
      Glad to see you here and that you enjoyed my article! I really see spirituality as coming from the inside. It does lay within oneself. It is as you said more than about the rituals. It is about how we relate to one another, how we relate to ourselves. As after all, we are all related and connected. Namaste indeed 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*