My Approach to Helping
Lakota for "All My Relations" connotes the inclusivity of all living things; how we are all related to one another regardless of the apparent differentness. In our efforts to navigate the at times rough terrain of our lives we often forget this interrelatedness. The result can be a profound sense of loneliness, despair and a loss of focus and purpose. We may forget how resilient our human spirit can be. Problems-in-living (PIL) exist when people have lost touch with this inherent resiliency. Coping strategies become limited and ultimately unhelpful. Our choices become also restricted and limited.
One way to rediscover our purpose and to move towards health is to take a hard look at our values, what we give meaning to. The Baobab Tree, "the tree of life," has its origination in Africa but has been able to grow around the world in every imaginable condition. It symbolizes the determination to flourish regardless of the environmental conditions. When we define our purpose we can nurture ourselves towards growth even if the environment is less than supportive.
Sankofa, an ancient African symbol, means "to go back and fetch it." To reclaim our purpose is to explore what we value, what we give meaning too and to use that knowledge to move towards healing. In this way, we realize that we are not alone. We can live in the spirit of Mitakuye Oyasin.