Exploring paths to mental wellness is something that I have been passionate about for a long time. Growing up on the Six Nations Reserve, part of me always wanted to understand how I could bring wellness into my own life and how I could help others on the Reserve with their emotional and mental health.
I have tried various methods of finding my own mental wellness, from spending some time alone in nature to participating in talking circles with indigenous people who offer guidance and wisdom. All of this has helped me come to terms and accept challenges that have come my way.
One thing that has made a huge difference in recent times is engaging with traditional Haudenosaunee customs such as smudging, mindfulness practices like yoga, guided meditations, and vision quests with tobacco offerings. Each of these practices are helping remind me of the importance of balance in our lives — balance between our human self (our body and mind) and our spiritual self — so we can be rooted and connected to ourselves as best as possible.
I remain hopeful about creating positive change within myself which will eventually ripple outward, both onto the Flagstaff mountain range where I often take walks, and those around me on the Reserve. To keep going forward on my journey through life I know maintaining inner harmony is key!