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Being One

My name is Diane Schenandoah, I am a member of the Oneida Nation, wolf clan faith keeper of the Six Nation/Iroquois confederacy, we call ourselves Haudenosaunee.

In our creation story we originated from the sky world, we are star beings. Our connection to the sky world is without end; this is a very integral part of who we are and how we came into being.

As humans, we want everything explained, we want everything understood and everything to last forever. As human beings we see dying as an end to our life and while there are many stories about the afterlife, human beings need an explanation they can believe in. If we were to pay close attention to our intuition, our inner knowing, we would find answers to that which we question so often. The vibrations of the natural world know this. We as humans used to be able to communicate with all of life—the grass, the animals, and the elements. However, the power of fear and doubt creep into our minds, we don’t believe or trust our intuition. I am not saying this is true for all; however, you can believe what resonates within you and discard the rest.

We say that each human comes into this world with a magnificent gift or gifts that will illuminate our path, when these passions are followed. We can see it in children, who use their imagination so effortlessly. The world is a magical place we slowly forget about as we grow into adults. Seriously think about it, what is practically every child handed when you get seated in a restaurant? A coloring book and crayons! At what point does that creativity get suppressed and by whom? Few are lucky to stay connected to that creativity however the vast majority find themselves searching for someone or something to make them happy.

Life happens and we suffer, we struggle, we strive, we scramble, and we survive horrific events and sometimes we don’t survive. In our traditional teachings we say all things happen for a reason, all living things have a duty. We can look around us and see that the plant, animal, and natural elements continue their duties. We as humans have the duty to care for one another and our mother earth; we forget this very quickly when we allow our egos to block our duties. Along will come the life lessons, opportunities to help one another, opportunities to learn from one another.  When we can learn these life lessons, we become better human beings, although sometimes it seems life can be unfair.

Nothing has happened that we have not agreed to happen in our lives. You can say I didn’t agree to get cancer, I didn’t agree to get abused, I didn’t agree to get killed and on a human level this is true, however on a spiritual level you did agree long before you came here to this consciousness. Perhaps for the life lesson of someone close to you or perhaps a perfect stranger or yourself. Compassion through love or forgiveness is the most incredible strength of healing power imaginable and usually happens by the most unimaginable circumstances. Compassion without love is truly just arrogant pity. We do need to love ourselves in order to forgive others and we can do this by having compassion for ourselves through forgiveness of one’s self. Truly this is what will bring peace to our hearts and minds.

Not to say that we have done wrong to ourselves but if others have done wrong to us we can forgive our selves if we take on the blame because its not our fault but for the lessons of others. When we die it is not the end, it is simply the illusion of not being here. When you lose a loved one it is sad, however our loved ones are right next us and we with our human eyes can’t see them, however we can sense them if we pay attention to our intuition. We can look in a crowd and catch a glimpse of them or we can hear their familiar laughter. Somehow someway the circle of life will continue and you will get reminders all the time when you are aware of your spirit within you.

You can say, “well I don’t believe in the afterlife” and you don’t have to, you will only believe when you’re ready to hear what you need to and what resonates within you. When you’re ready to learn your teachers will come, your life lessons will keep on coming until you learn, until you’re ready to learn.

As an artist, my gift was to create sculpture and many times early in my career, I was eager to create but as every artist who has starved until their work becomes collectable, we also makes what sells easily. As I matured with my work I realized my passion was what artwork I created for me, which in turn then centered me. Those who make that connection with my work can feel the healing vibration and become caretakers of my work.

At the end of the day we are really only able to make sure that we love ourselves enough to be healthy, centered spiritually, emotionally and physically. This is how we can take care of ourselves, and others in carrying out our duties as humans. Life is short as we know it here in this consciousness, we do need to love and care for each other. Being an artist allows me to create within a nurturing energy for which I give thanks. As human beings we need to be grateful for all things even the not so good things as there are great lessons to be learned from one another. Creative energies can heal the world, using a good mind in all that we do is a key element to this work. Many good thoughts, prayers, and energies go to all who read this,

Nya weh, Diane Schenandoah


Diane Schenandoah


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2015

All Issues