Archive for the ‘2009 March’ Category

grandparents-1024x7681We honor our elders by giving them respect and hearing their wisdom, as they did with their elders. They grew up practicing in their lives what their elders taught them. We have the same opportunity in our lives to continue the circle.

We honor our elders when we put into practice what we have been taught. We honor them when we show respect for all life. We have learned everything – from the smallest insect to the largest elephant – has its place. We honor them when we make the effort to bring a smile to a young child’s face. We honor them when we live our lives as the Creator intended.

And we honor our elders when we say to them, you have taught us well. You have shown us the gifts of love, laughter and learning are bestowed to us all by the Creator. Your teachings will continue with our children and their children.

Native American Indians

Child friendly site about American and Canadian Indians. 1400+ legends, 400+ agreements and treaties, 10,000+ pictures, free clipart, Pueblo pottery, American Indian jewelry, Native American Flutes and more.

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It’s becoming increasingly clear that we (and by that I mean you and me) have an opportunity to make amazing things happen. During this time of financial crisis, lack of confidence in the future, and a tendency to contract we are coming to realize just how vulnerable we all are.

In that awareness, we can also recognize how interconnected we all are, too. Imagine if we took the time to help just one other person. We have a workshop called “Living In a Sacred Manner,” and during the closing session we ask each individual to bring food to share. Participants don’t need to bring enough to feed the entire group; just enough for themselves and one other person. That’s it. Not too hard to do, in fact, it’s easy. Oh yeah, one more thing: bring something that is ‘finger food’ so you don’t need a fork or spoon to eat it.

So, the food comes and we cut it into bite-size pieces. Doesn’t matter what it is. And then we set it out on a banquet table. Each person fills their plate and goes around the room sharing food with others. There is ALWAYS so much food that we couldn’t begin to eat it all. And that’s from having enough for ourself and one other person. That’s the most amazing thing. The answer is not as difficult as it seems, we just usually fail to ask the right question…

So, starting today let’s make a promise to help one other person every day. Just one small act of kindness. One tiny act of generosity. Let’s see what kind of world we can make for our children…

Here’s ours for today. On Thursday night at the Palm Springs Street Fair, we had the great pleasure of meeting Jennifer from Chick Picks. She and her partner make these fantastic earrings from guitar picks. They are beautiful, and unique. They’re light as a feather to wear, too, which I love. They’ve got a great company and do wonderful work. Go to their site and order a pair of earrings. I LOVE mine, in fact I’m wearing them right now! Get them for yourself or for someone you love. Check them out at

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Thousand Palms

Yesterday we sat and told stories to a little lizard in the Thousand Palms preserve in southern California. He came over for a visit while we were enjoying the beauty of the land. He sat and listened, with great attention.

We’re never far from nature, it is inside us everywhere we go. Being out in the open air, feeling the warmth of the sun on our skin and hearing the cooling sounds of the water as it travelled past us…felt good.

We are part of nature, and nature is a part of us. So it was, and so it will always be.

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We have the privilege of hearing people’s wonderful stories from all over the world. Every one of those stories is presented with a unique voice bestowed by the Creator.

The more we travel, the more we learn how precious the gift of diversity is. We hear quiet people who tell stories about overcoming adversity. We hear people with resounding voices who can encourage an entire audience to laughter and celebration. And we hear elders offering the wisdom of their experience through stories to their grandchildren.

And many of their stories are much like the ones we tell. Their stories, and ours, honor our ancestors, speak of the children we love and give thanks for the bounty our Mother Earth provides for us.

We celebrate all of these people and the stories they tell.

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Thanks to everyone who attended the IHSA Conference in Springfield, IL on March 3-6, 2009. We had an AMAZING time and loved meeting you! We felt truly humbled by the standing ovations you gave us.

Remember to contact us for more info on how easy it is to get us to your program for Professional Development and Parent Programs. We want to meet your families!

We’re offering special pricing to all Head Start programs, so call: 800.592.7323 or email: quest@thetalltrees.com to see what we can do for you.

We look forward to seeing you again.

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Start Where You Are

forest2“I’m hoping to share an experience with as many people as I can,” the letter began. The writer told us he had an opportunity for a badly needed break from the stress at work. He had the chance to go for a walk in a nearby forest with a childhood friend. He was enjoying the tranquility when his friend grabbed him hard by both shoulders to make him stop walking.

“Back up and look down,” his friend told him.

They moved backwards a few feet and saw movement in what he thought was just a pile of leaves. He was stunned to hear an unmistakable rattling sound, see the snake emerge from the leaves and move away from them.

“It’s not attacking,” were the first words he could get out. “People talk about them like they’re vicious killers.”

“He won’t as long as we leave him alone. And from the snake’s point of view, that would be self-defense. He was afraid of being stepped on,” his friend told him.

“How did you learn about snakes?” he asked his friend. “You grew up in the city same as me.”

“Remember that Native American Pow Wow open to the public?” his friend answered. “I got to talking with them. And more than just about snakes. They talked about listening to nature. There was a difference in the sound of the leaves.”

“I heard the leaves move on the ground,” he said to his friend. “I thought it was just the wind.”

“The texture of the sound was different,” replied his friend. “The wind is blowing again. Do you hear the difference with the leaves now?”

“Now that I’m listening, yes,” he said.

“And there’s a lot more to listening. There’s a conversation going on between two of the birds we’re hearing. Two males finished establishing their territories. So they’re singing back and forth enjoying themselves. They’re repeating some of each other’s phrases.”

He had to ask… “How did you learn to hear that well? I mean, I’m not sure my hearing is good enough for that.”

His answer was another surprise. “My doctor told me if our hearing was only twice as sensitive, we would hear molecules vibrating. So anyone with normal hearing can do it.”

“How did you learn it?”

“The same way you are now,” he answered. “Start where you are, have a calm mind and listen to whatever you hear.”

After standing still a moment, they looked around at the trees with the wind blowing their leaves. “There’s a lot to hear – I just wasn’t listening.”

Trees, animals…they each have different voices. There is so much to hear when we stop and listen.

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