Fast Wisdom™, Newsletter of Holden Healing Studio
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February, 2017
By Lonner Holden

Standing Rock:  Water is Life!

“Mini Wikoni!
Mini Wikoni!
MIni Wikoni!
Water is Life!
Water is Life!
Water is Life!”

Led by Grandmother Beatrice Menase Kwe Jackson of the Alaskan Tlingit Tribe, we chanted, bringing our hearts, minds, and words together in community in the tradition of Peacemaking true to indigenous cultures around the world.

Earlier this month, we gathered to learn the lessons of native elders traveling the country with their message of the deeper environmental, social, political and nature connected truths of their experience as Water Protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota in the summer and fall of 2016.

Yet something more mysterious brought us there, I believe.  Something profound and beyond words which connects all people. It felt like Water herself had whispered into our hearts to honor her. For to understand Water is to understand Life, and to understand Life is to protect Life.

The properties of Water are unique. All Water molecules share the same mission - to seek the center point of the earth. Water is remarkably cohesive, every Water molecule bonding effortlessly with every other Water molecule. Water reflects and magnifies. As a gas, liquid or solid it is always ready to become what is needed in its lighter or denser form to perform the required function. Water cleans and purifies, delivers nutrients and carries away toxins. 99% of the mass of a living cell is Water. The human body is 70% Water; 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by Water. Water unites Life everywhere. This is the Blue Planet. What are astrophysicists searching for in deep space? Water! Our affinity for Water is at the core of our existence and our relationship with the planet.

Water unites people worldwide as it is revered in all religions as a source of nourishment, generosity, purification and peace. Yet, Water is not represented anywhere in the US Constitution. So how does Water receive protection in our country? If Water is Life and it is not recognized in the Constitution as a basic Human Right, as Life is, how good are we at protecting Life; at protecting nourishment, generosity, purification and peace? Look at our society - ill-health, greed, corruption and conflict are rampant. Could this be a reflection of not valuing Water enough?

Is it possible to imagine Life without Water? Have you thanked water lately? The Water in your drinking glass, bathtub, toilet, washing machine, kitchen sink; your plant watering can, car’s radiator; the rain, the river, the reservoir? Imagine acknowledging Water as a living being. What might it feel like to express compassion for Water; feel respect, gratitude and a desire to care for and serve Water, as if it were your loving ancestor? Are there any ways Water does not care for and serve you?

One of the native elders, Oz, said, “We are people of the Water. When we walk, we walk as Water, with the Water, for the Water. Water makes us all one people, one love.”  When we allow pollution of our Water, we are saying that we are OK with our and our children’s bodies becoming polluted and diseased. To politicize the issue of water (or air or soil or species) is a denial and usurpation of innate responsibility of each person’s birthright to Life and to stewardship of Life. To politicize clean Water management and conservation is to commit violence to Water and therefore to all Life - especially against 70% of oneself, others and nature - all of whom are united by water. To politicize Water is to create and condone conflict, denying the innate peace of everyone and everything united by Water. Water is no more a political issue than Life is a political issue.

Lakota Elder Woableza shared, “The plants, animals, insects are doing the work; they love one another. Standing Rock is about water and oil. Water is threatened by oil all over the world. People came from many countries to be Water Protectors at Standing Rock. Unsolicited food, supplies and support of every kind came by the truckload, donated by people everywhere. Be a Water Protector in your own community.”

I came away from this beautiful gathering of songs, prayers, ritual and teachings with a deep shift in my relationship with Water and with Water-polluting industry intentioned for personal gain rather than on behalf of service to nourishment, generosity, purification or peace. I learned that Constitutions do not protect Life - people do. Standing Rock is not just in North Dakota, Standing Rock is wherever I am and wherever you are.  

At last week’s VIVE! Nature Wander,™ I led a heartened group gathered in community on a clear day in Blackstone Canyon in Marin County to take Water into our senses; to move as, feel, see, listen and sing to, and tell our personal stories about our experience with Water. We brought Water’s wisdom into our minds, hearts and bodies. Everyone’s experience, to some degree, was very personal, compelling and transformative. The shared feeling of humility, gratitude, and sense of service to Water was very present. By honoring Water with our full, embodied attention, we gave Water voice.

We are all born of Water, so we are all born Water Protectors. Bring your attention to other beings - the plants, animals and insects - and their relationship with Water. How does Water function in your relationship with them? What ways do you already honor Water; ways you do not? What can you do to honor and protect Water more? What can you do to become Water’s voice?

When I sit down to write I have always burned a candle to connect me with illumination and inner vision. Now, there is also a clear bowl of Water next to my candle connecting me to inner peace, thoughtfulness, generosity and to the deep desire to belong - to, like Water, become what is needed - a more connected human being. Connected to my mind, heart and words being united; connected to you, to nature, to your and my children and unborn grandchildren. I am committed to live as a Water Protector. Like a rock, more than before, I stand for Life.



Legal Funding:
Elder Support:
Pick of the Month: The Effective Citizen Resources Cheat Sheet (ongoing updates)

Lonner Holden:
Being a Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure practitioner for 24 years has helped me understand the healing potential of the body and the whole person.  A published poet and backcountry guide educated from early life by the natural elements and animals of the Alaskan wilderness, and with Animal Track & Sign certification, my knowledge of dance, trail running, yoga, meditation, body awareness disciplines and indigenous nature connection practices, I bring poetry, nature mentoring and a lifetime of nature awareness to Vive!  Nature Wander™ urban and wilderness treks to enhance awareness, creativity, vitality, health and well-being.


VIVE!  Nature Wander™
Marin County:  March 25: Trees 

Marin County Tracking Club:
Point Reyes: March 26

Sun Valley Tracking Circle: San Rafael, Beginning in March, 2017.  To be monthly (Stay tuned)

Jin Shin Jyutsu Intensive: San Rafael, May 19 - 22

Into the Wild Journeys:
Grand Canyon 2017


See events on calendar »




Fast Wisdom™ is the newsletter of my Holden Healing Studio practice.  Each issue explores a theme of living  in the context of healing so you can live a happier and more vital life infused with well-being, improved health and more effective and empowered recovery.

© 2016 Lonner Holden
Fast Wisdom™
Copyright © 2017 Holden Healing Studio, All rights reserved.

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