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I came across this piece of art by Richard Patchco(sp?) which was painted in 1990. I was unable to obtain any information on him but I can tell it is Native Art and has been used by many to demonstrate a Sweat Lodge Ceremony which is of significant spiritual value. It calls on sweating out bad spirits as the temperatures rise and producing a purity in mind, body, spirit and heart. To find out more about the ritual, since it is not actually what this post is about please visit HERE – a site called The Barefoot Wind Walker.


Someone took this piece of art depicting the ceremonial sweat lodge ceremony and added the words “If it doesn’t nourish your soul, get rid of it.”

CAUTION OPINION INCOMING and it’s mine. Agree or Disagree – I can be flexible 🙂

I take exception to this statement. I don’t find it is in line with the whole purpose of the ceremony and runs into the danger of setting up such high and mighty boundaries that potentially could feed into narcissism and projection of entitlement, neither of which are redeeming features. I agree that fragile people, those who have been through trauma, mental illness (themselves and family members), exceptional losses, deep hurt and extreme life circumstances (too long to list) DO have to protect themselves but and it is a big but, not at the expense of others and not by carelessly tossing out segments of real life that are essential to growth as a human being. That is just counter-productive!

Not everything we come across in daily life nourishes the soul. Sometimes it is your turn to do the nourishing/nurturing instead of the rejecting all that doesn’t quite fit into the concept of a perfect life. There are multiples of reasons to develop your spiritual self aside from rejecting – all people who are not exactly spiritual, jobs that can squash your creativity and sometimes intellect, relationships that demand compromise, compassion and understanding. These are only a handful of examples of what should not be cast aside on the pretext of cleansing the higher spiritual self.

I am more than certain that sitting with a Native Chief and inquiring what it is that needs to be done to cleanse and nourish the soul that getting rid of everything that irks you (bosses, teachers, laundry, cleaning, licking envelops 😀 ) will not be in the dialogue.

Spirituality can offer many benefits to your life, both emotionally and physically. Developing your spiritual life can give you a sense of purpose and help you figure out where you are most passionate in your professional, social, and personal life. Some studies show that positive beliefs can comfort you and improve your health. People who have taken time to develop their spiritual life are also likely to better understand their needs.

Found at  http://swc.osu.edu/about-us/spirituality/

In our throw-away society, it has come (again my opinion) to the point that people are taking this ‘get rid of it’ advice a tad too literally. Maybe, just maybe, I am a little old school but I am pretty sure it is not meant to be taken at face value. What will become of society if there are no compromises? No re-cycle of old relationships? No forgiveness? Yes, stay away from toxic people but at the same time remember that staying away doesn’t mean never being in their presence – it means do not be pulled into their dance, don’t be baited into being someone you are not and avoid one on one confrontations.

There was a lot of debate on Facebook when The Sustainable Man posted this:

sustainable man

Once again – to take this literally and implement each line, in some circumstances can lead to accepting abuse but no –

Loving someone doesn’t mean letting them steamroll you and leave you for dead then welcoming them to do it again when they come back for more.
Sometimes love means saying NO and keeping firm boundaries.

Firm boundaries are a necessity to feed self-esteem, being assertive is a life skill that is often misunderstood to mean aggressive, dealing with issues that rub you the wrong way are taxing but running away from them, refusing to deal through dialogue makes for a lonely, lonely life and an immaturity that can follow through to old age.

Never is there a better time than the present to mature into a forgiving, (not forgetting!, I didn’t say forgetting because we need memories to deal well with future roadblocks and sorrows) compassionate human being who has developed the skill set to tap on their spiritual self and give back to society. Gaining control and purity of mind, body, spirit and heart will take you there without resorting to devaluing other humans. I promise.

Lesley Fletcher is a writer (freelance, books, content, lyrics,stage plays) as well as a visual artist specializing in monoprinting. To learn more about her please visit the tabs here on WordPress or her website at http://www.LesleyFletcher.com

Art is an Emotion

Self Portrait