Ok, all the Yep happenings are moving.

To a new home;

http://soulstrongsociety.com/

Yep was a seed, Soul Strong is a seedling. And who knows what will grow from that. That’s where life is right…possibility and discovery?!

Soul Strong is a little platform for wellbeing. What unites us – the universal. What makes us unique – the personal. A place to look, and get ideas, but also a place to go for practice…classes, retreats, and trainings with teachers from all over the world who dedicate their lives to sharing practices that feed the soul.

The place of one such teacher, Gurukkal Muhammed Sherif Ka, is shared in the video ‘Here I Stopped Running: Kalarippayat’, from the previous post. This video story is one of the creations that have come to life while Yep has been sleeping, and Soul Strong Society has been waking up.

The story is about movement, expression, and living your true nature. It involves the body and the mind of Alex. Alex travelled to India from Germany, searching for meaning through Yoga. But what he found was the body-oriented system of health and self-development – Kalarippayat – Southern India’s ancient martial and healing art.

It is a true story. And Alex is still living it! And so is Gurukkal Muhammed Sherif Ka. The world’s people are amazing. You are amazing. We are amazing!

Hope to see you all in the big wide world. Will leave with a happy thought…

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Back in the land of Oz.

Working on a new website. Editing projects from India and Brazil.

Learning to speak Australian again.

This is a little bit of what’s coming….

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This image was taken by one of the Hesquiaht youth, Patrick Charleson IV – I love it! The creative brainstorming that led to the image was a result of all the Hesquiaht youth’s unbound imaginations. I love those too.

I would just like to say to the Hesquiaht kids, you are AMAZING. Truly AMAZING. I have had so much fun with you all, and  your courage and creativity has taught me a great deal.

To the Hesquiaht community – wow, wow, wow. My last day in Hot Springs Cove was so special. Thank-you very much for all your kind words, gifts, and final moments of Gold Rush glory.

Klecko Naas : )

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Tomorrow, I am leaving for India.

It is nice to share sometimes, and sometimes it is nice to be quiet. Probably for a little while, this blog and I, will be quiet.

Last thought for the moment, a quote from Yunus Emre that sums up the last year for me…

“Come, let’s get acquainted, let’s make the job easy, let us love and be loved.”  

According to statistics (note: I am wary of such things, but here it helps to communicate a point);

First Nations youth in Canada are more likely to be incarcerated than graduate from High School

The First Nations youth I know, are incredibly aware and perceptive. They know what is happening around them. These are smart kids.

The world around us influences our ability to fulfil our full potential. It is a reality that some kids have a more challenging ‘world around’ them. There are real reasons and histories which have led to this. If we can each try to understand these reasons and histories, and do what we can to address these, we are a step closer to creating a place where each child is able to become their truest, happiest self.

If anyone would like further context about what Patrick Charleson Jr. has spoken about here, and what I am writing about, there are many great resources about First Nations in Canada. Including, what they have experienced in recent history and how they are moving forward as a people.

Online you can check out;

-the First People’s of Canada Website

-the University of Calgary

-the Assembly of First Nations Website

You are a brave man, and a great teacher.

“I’m proud now that I’ve dealt with my residential school and how I feel about white people in general. Because I grew up hating white people. Because of how it was. I had sugar shakers broken on my head.

I tell ya, have you ever seen that movie called Billy Jack and these white guys are pouring flour over an Indian boy’s head, and it triggered that so bad, I was right back with the Brothers…the sugar was just pouring down.

When they say they take something out of you, that’s how I feel, they took something out of me. And that was trust. And it’s really hard for me to trust. I think I’ve grown up to a point where I don’t feel angry anymore.

Maybe it’s because of my grandchildren. Whenever I’m hurting, like when my wife took off, I used to have them over all the time. They’d come and hug me, I’d tell ‘em I love ‘em and I’d just hold ‘em, and it makes you feel better. Because you know that they’re there, it makes you stronger as a person. I call them my medicine ay.”

Hesquiaht Elder, Patrick Charleson Jr

Photography: Donovan Williams, Jacine Charleson, Kevin Charleson, Patrick Charleson IV, Rakaylyn Charleson

“The best thing for our kids here is going home to their parents, going home every night to their parents.

We never had that. Ten months of the year we were gone. So we…I didn’t know [how to be a parent]. It took me long time to learn how to be a father.”

Hesquiaht Elder, Patrick Charleson Jr

Photography: Donovan Williams, Jacine Charleson, Kevin Charleson, Patrick Charleson IV, Rakaylyn Charleson

“I used to dance when I was young, we were always taught to respect our culture. By respecting our culture, we had to learn how to dance, and speak our language.

After I got out of res [residential school], it was drilled into our heads we couldn’t and we shouldn’t – our grandparents are heathens.

One of the pride and joys of Hesquiaht is the Sparrow Dance, we had some of the best sparrow dancers. I want to see my Grandson here, do that dance. But our tribe is so…always feuding. Certain groups saying we’re doing this wrong, because they think they’re right, stuff like that.

When it comes to actually doing it, as long as they’re learning. That’s what my Great-Grandfather said, he said, as long as they are doing it ay, they are not losing it.”

Hesquiaht Elder, Patrick Charelson Jr

Photography: Donovan Williams, Jacine Charleson, Kevin Charleson, Patrick Charleson IV, Rakaylyn Charleson

“Don’t be like me. When I was in school that’s how we talked – with our eyebrows. And we talked with our head. You know why, because we were not allowed to talk.

That’s why I say to you guys all the time learn how to use your voice. Be proud of it, don’t be ashamed of it. When someone asks you a question, don’t just nod your head.  Talk with your voice ok. Don’t be shy.

Be proud of who you are. From here…from your heart.”

Hesquiaht Elder, Patrick Charleson Jr

Photography: Donovan Williams, Jacine Charleson, Kevin Charleson, Patrick Charleson IV, Rakaylyn Charleson