I recently made some big changes, so now seems like a cool time to start sharing. I left my 9-5 at a University in order to pursue my freelancing career in journalism and indigenous wellness full-time. It’s been about a week since my last day, and I’m really happy.
Changes happen all the time, but this one feels significant. I can sense that the way that I live my life on a day-to-day basis is about to be drastically improved, and that my perception of a “normal reality” is about to be completely reconfigured. I am going to be a lot more physically active, a lot less confined to rigid constructs of time, and will have a lot more head space to pursue truly meaningful work. It will be a journey and there will be tough times but I welcome the challenges. It's exciting.
“Wakinyan Tokahe” is my Lakota name (my real name), given to me at our Sundance in the Black Hills when I was about 8 years old. It means “First Thunder.” At the time, they explained to me that the first thunder in the spring has always been a significant event for Lakota people and other northern Natives. The first thunder of the year signified a cleansing of the earth, a new cycle of time, a break from the long, harsh winter, and the chance to enjoy life.
When I was given my name, they made sure that I understood that cultural and historical context. But the name didn’t come with further instructions nor with further qualifications. It doesn’t work that way. Nobody told me that I needed to act a certain way in order to honor my name, nor did they tell me that my name would bring any kind of certain fate. But they did tell me that I should always listen and pay attention to those times when the meaning of my name would become clear. Sure enough, as time passes, I continue to realize the meaning of my name and I’m grateful for this guidance and opportunity for self actualization.
I am blessed to have a huge family and a whole bunch of friends all over the globe who continually ask me what I’m up to. It’s too bad that I have to miss most of you all the time, but it’s amazing that I have you somewhere out there. Each person in my life has played a role in making me who I am. My experiences are yours, and I owe them to you. Enjoy my blog.