At the dawn of a new year, many of us look for ways to create positive change for our lives. One way is to study the wisdom of the Relatives who came before us. We can use this wisdom to guide us along our journey. As we navigate our way through busy and sometimes difficult lives, peace of mind is hard to find. It seems there are constant choices to be made and those choices are often in conflict with one another. A conflicting mind means conflicting motivation. Increasing motivation for change is what we need to guarantee change. What would our lives look like if we were motivated by peace? The spiritual teaching aid favored by holy man Nick Black Elk, known as the Two Roads Map, can serve as inspiration in creating a personal map of our own that aligns our path with peace.
Black Elk, Oglala Sioux, 1863-1950, was a holy man and former warrior. As he assimilated to Christianity he realized his sacred personal vision aligned closely with the spiritual themes depicted in Catholic theology. Black Elk, baptized as Nick, served as a Catechist and taught the salvation story among his people. The map depicted angels and demons, human beings, various scenarios, and a red road and a black road. The red road depicted a life of virtue and the black road depicted a life of difficulties. Black Elk embraced the teachings of the Two Roads Map as he found it in alignment with his own personal truths. Black Elk taught from the Two Roads Map until the end of his days.
By making peace our objective we are able to make a shift in attitude and awareness, thus claiming dominion over our mind. The clear, gentle voice of the Great Spirit guides us to realize the truth within us. We come to realize that our choices here on earth do not change the truth of the Creator. If we choose peace we choose beauty, grace, harmony, compassion, and forgiveness. With practice we begin to realize the quiet power of the Great Spirit’s voice in perfect consistency, truth is always aligned with peace. Let peace decide for you.
Seek your own personal vision and truth in alignment with the Creator and you will open a portal to the Divine. Keep peace as your focus and your path well-lit with the light of hope, faith, and trust. Make a life commitment to follow peace and the Great Spirit will go before you making your paths straight. Judge every thought you allow to enter your mind in the light of peace. Whatever is in accord with this light will strengthen you. What is partly in accord with it and is for your good, ask the Great Spirit to purify. But what is out of accord with peace entirely, reject it and recognize it by the level of unrest you feel.
Change in motivation is a change of mind. It takes great courage to walk the path of light when all you’ve ever known is darkness, terror, and shame. Shining the light of sacred wisdom and love from the Creator upon our lives is enough to chase fear and all its manifestations back into to the nothingness from which they came. Motivation is known as a force or influence that causes someone to act. Start the New Year with a changed mind and an open heart, enabling you to surrender and focus within and towards the Great Spirit. We can be guided out of conflict and inner turmoil and relinquish those destructive thought patterns once for all. Peace of mind is impossible while trying to follow two separate paths that are in disagreement. Agree with peace. Follow peace. How do we do this in a day filled with chaos?
As we journey through life there are two roads to choose from at any instant in time, two voices distinctly separate from one another, one loud and critical, the other small and still. Our ego persuades us to think that its voice is true, and often we listen to the voice that deems us unworthy. Choices made from this state of mind are rarely in our best interest.
Whatever is opposite of peace is not peace; doubt, worry, violence, fear, and that is why it promotes different moods. The peace of the Great Spirit never varies, and so the one mood He engenders is JOY! Protect this by rejecting everything that does not foster joy. By training yourself to follow peace you choose the path that has the potential to keep you wholly joyous.
“The good road and the road of difficulties you have made to cross; and where they cross, the place is holy.” - Black Elk