Call in your spirit


“People get sick because they leave parts of themselves at places.”  Today I listened to a Lakota elder explain that health and wholeness require, among other things, to keep all of our spirit with us.

We were visiting the Atka Lakota Museum and Cultural Center in Chamberlain, South Dakota. The elder, in a video, explained that when we leave a place, whether it’s something we loved or that was difficult, we need to call in our spirit four times.

She shared, with a chuckle, how her grandson responded when she was teaching him this. “He said, ‘Grandmother, you mean I have to call in a ghost?’”  She explained that it was the spirit that lived in his name so he needed to call out his name four times.

I tried it when I left the museum today where I had been inspired by the resilience and wisdom of the Lakota People and, again, horrified by the genocide that people who look like me had inflicted upon them.

“Diane, Diane, Diane, Diane.”

I got into the car and pondered all the times I have left parts of myself elsewhere.  How I have given over my spirit to people and things that diminish what it means to be human. How I left some of my spirit at places of beauty and comfort because I so desperately yearned for them to buoy my daily life. I wanted to stay there instead of facing the change that was needed.

I call my spirit back from those places. The good and the difficult.  Everything is enveloped by what the Lakota People remind us is the circle of life. Alchemy is at work in our lives in ways that often are not visible yet can be transformative.

Tonight I ponder about our country and how it is sick because it has scattered parts of its spirit in some treacherous spaces.  “United States” “United States” “United States” “United States.”  In its weakened state, it will take a strong circle of love to make it whole again. “United” not to act as a single entity but to model a united effort towards peace and justice.

We can start by calling our spirits in to enable us to be more whole and loving in our daily lives. We can encourage others to call back their spirit from places that diminish the sacredness of who they are. It isn’t always an easy thing for there are systems that seek to keep our spirits weak.  Together, we will dismantle systems to stop their destruction.

I don’t know when it will happen. I live each day believing that it will. I call in my spirit to strengthen my commitment to keep going.


Post by Diane.

2 thoughts on “Call in your spirit

  1. I just read your Blog of the recent months–wow! I have been to some of those places in my long ago past, but your being in South Dakota hit closest to home. My mother was born in the Black Hills and I have been to that western part of South Dakota many times–but not for 4 years! I think I have left a part of myself there–in those beautiful woods and quiet hills. I will ponder what that means, and share more later. In peace, Carol

    1. So great to hear from you, Carol. We were in Wyoming yesterday and I was thinking about you and your family then. I didn’t know about your mom being born in the Black Hills. I look forward to more conversation about this when we return. Take care, Diane.

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