Monday, March 29, 2010

Why Don't You Just Be Happy

Our weather here in the Great Smoky Mountains has been cloudy, rainy and a bit gloomy to say the least. The wind storms have thrown the chairs off my porch and bent some of the trees here. Well I don't know about you but I'm ready for the spring flowers and the warm sunshine on my face. But you know we could have snow in these mountains in April. Anything you're worried about seems even more depressing when it's gloomy outside.

Well you know that we are often worried and perplexed about things that we can't change. So we grumble and complain or just worry about them.

Remember that worrying is a little like a rocking chair. You can sit down in it and it gives you something to do but it gets you no where. Some might say it's a waste of time.

So if you can't worry about it and you can't change it, then the only thing you can do is change your attitude about it.

I love the freedom of knowing that circumstances do not have the power over me - to ruin my day by making me despondant or depressed or angry. I choose happiness.

And I learned a long time ago that happiness is not dependent upon how the day is going or my circumstances or even how I am feeling. Happiness is a state of mind and it is a choice. Remember the song "Don't worry, be happy"?

A few years ago I was performing an Indian Show at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. I turned to my guest, a sweet little 95 year old Hopi Indian lady, sitting on the floor by the tipi, making her Hopi basket, and I asked her "grandma Pooyama, I know you have lived a long time and you have much wisdom so what's the most important advice you would give our audience today?"

And without hesitation she said into the mike, "Just be happy." Her neice told me that the only words she could say in English were Coke and Be happy. The audience of 2700 school children laughed but the words of grandma Pooyama that day were truly wise and will always be remembered. So let's all take her wisdom to heart and "Just Be Happy."

I hope this will give you a fresh perspective admidst the stressful circumstances you find yourself in. We should remember to be thankful that God is our source of strength, a very present help in time of need.

An old Cherokee friend of mine, Robert Bushyhead quoted that verse to me on the mountain one day - "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." So I can be at peace knowing that He is with me and He knows the path that I take.

Here's an Indian Blessing from my heart to yours - to cheer up your day.

"May you be strengthened by yesterday's rain, walk stright into tomorrow's wind and cherish each moment of the sunshine today."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Moving Back to The Smoky Mountains

"You can take the girl out of the mountains but you can never take the love of the mountains out of the girl." My husband said to me several years ago "Someday we will go back to your Smoky Mountains that you love so much."

I grew up in these mountains and I loved the Fall Season when the leaves started to change colors and the spring flowers that grew in April and May, but I really loved the sudden summer showers that came so quickly that we all had to run for cover and we all loved how much the showers cooled the hot tempertures in the summer afternoon.

The birds in the Smokies are so beautiful and the sunsets we watched from the wrap around porch brought oohs and ahhs from us all.

We grew up loving the old people and always respecting the wisdom of their years of experience, listening to their yarns and stories of hardship, courage and answered prayers, their folk songs and hymns, the fiddle and the juice harp.

After years of living in California, Washington DC area and traveling around the world to perform, I am so thankful to be back here in my Great Smoky Mountains, living in a big log home and sitting on my wrap around porch at evening, listening to the whipperwill and watching the sunset and everything so peacefully settling down for the night. I feel so blessed and as I sit on my porch, so many of the old songs I learned as a child keep coming back to my memory like Tom Big Bee River, Barbara Allen, Peace in the Valley, In the Pines and the old hymns we sung in the little churches in the mountains.

God has been so gracious to me and to my family to have brought us back to my home, to the place where my values in life were established and where I learned respect for all of life and how to appreciate the beauty all around me.

My childhood faith in my heavenly Father sustained me from the day I left these mountains to the fartherest corners of my global travels and I have returned to the Smokies with a geniune appreciation for the faith of our fathers in these mountains and the values I learned here as a child.

I am thankful daily and so inspired by the beauty of these Smoky Mountains. I wish now that I had returned to the mountains much sooner.

My special blessing too is that my sister Mary Jean and my brother Johnny (Bearfoot) also have come back to the Smokies. My sister lives in a chalet and Johnny lives in a beautiful cabin on top of the mountain, both within 15 minutes of our log home. We grew up singing and performing in these mountains and we are really enjoying being back here where our musical roots began. Our Cherokee reservation is on top of the Smokies too and so I feel like I am finally back home. We have alot of family history here and our old ones lie beneath this soil so it is precious to us. You may read my story by ordering my book from Amazon.com called - PALE MOON, STORY OF AN INDIAN PRINCESS, or part of my story is also recorded in DADDIES AND DAUGHTERS.

If you need inspiration, quiet rest, a beautiful getaway or just a few days of hiking, sleeping or reading on the porch, I invite you to come to the Smokies and stay in a little cabin on the hillside. I believe your spirit will be uplifted, and you will have the same refreshing rest and peace I have experienced in these mountains.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Inspirational thought for the day.

"May you be strengthened by yesterday's rain, walk straight into tomorrow's wind and cherish each moment of the sunshine today." Pale Moon's Indian Blessing

Additional Reading Materials