I have been transfixed and moved deeply by the events at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The Lakota Sioux Nation began in April 2016 to protest a pipeline that was slated to go through Reservation land, and under the Missouri River, threatening their only source of water. This pipeline was rejected by the city of Bismark on the grounds that it would irrevocably pollute their drinking water. The Dakota Access Pipeline was then rerouted, threatening the water source of the Standing Rock Sioux, as well as 17 million people living along the Missouri River.
Through them, the movement 'Protect the Sacred' ('Water is Life') was born. Over 250 tribal Nations, as well as supporters from all over the world, have gathered at Standing Rock, in support of Protecting the Waters. Protests are happening in cities around the world as awareness is growing.
The government of North Dakota, in collusion with the Dakota Access Pipeline Company, has deployed what appears to be militia — complete with Riot Gear, Military Tanks, Sound Canons, Batons, Rubber bullets, Mace and Pepper Spray — to meet the peaceful, unarmed Protectors with violence. The excessive force has only strengthened the resolve of the Protectors, and brought more like-minded others to stand with them. This single movement encompasses issues of Environmental Health, Human Health, Native American rights and Human Rights.
The modern Western mindset is receiving a massive lesson now, from the people of Standing Rock and Indigenous People all over the world. Their ability to listen deeply to Life is sounding the alarm that we immediately change our ways. For the modern world, this means that our 'idea of living' has come into direct contact with Life Itself. While we have been taught to compartmentalize our existence, we are being faced with the reality that all of Life is inseparable. What we take for granted as 'a lifestyle', (complete with gasoline cars, endless plastic packaging, and chemicals to enhance our food, shampoo and makeup) is now in direct conflict with Life.
Life is speaking, loudly and clearly, through the Earth, and through those who hear when the Earth speaks. What can we do? Listen. Life is also speaking through each of us. Take some time each day to listen to your breath, your heartbeat, your skin, the taste in your mouth, the feeling in your feet as they touch the ground. We are not the masters of Life, Life is a gift in which we exist. The Sacred lives in us as much as in the waters and the stars. If we can touch that place, live from that place in ourselves, we will hear more and more what is true, instead of what we have been taught.
So listen. And keep listening. Pay attention, within and without, and you will be guided by Life. The same Light of Creation is expanding in each of us in different ways. We are one movement, One Voice, called to Action by the cry of those who have been listening for generations, since the beginning of time.
With deep gratitude to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and to Indigenous People everywhere, I Stand With Standing Rock.
(If you are called to action, click on the above link to see how you can Protect the Sacred at Standing Rock.)