Debra's Wellness Tips


Sacred Stories is your invitation to again be enchanted by stories. Every story told here is true, although some may seem almost unbelievable.

~Angeles Arrien, cross-cultural anthropologist

“Often when you would go to a shaman or a holy person or a medicine person in traditional people’s, they’ll ask you, and you say that you’re disheartened or dispirited or depressed, they’ll say, ‘When did you stop singing? When did you stop dancing? Or moving in your body? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? And particularly by your own life story? And when did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?’ “

The idea of this page grew out of a workshop with Dr. Mary Jo Bulbrook as she kept saying to a group of individuals loosely called healers: “You need to find a way to write these stories.” But these stories happen in relationships governed by laws that protect privacy of patients or clients. It became obvious we could create a large bulletin board upon which to write, thus protecting persons’ identity while telling what needs to be told.

You may email to submit your sacred stories for consideration. As we honor our experiences—especially those that do not fit neatly into our logical structure of thinking—you let the soft animal of your body relax into a larger meaning of life.

Hawk VisitRed tailed hawk Hart(1)

This photo of a red-tailed hawk, taken by Hart Rufe, is used with permission.

 Following the transition of his young wife, a husband writes:

Over the last few years, my wife and I were working on spirituality in our lives.  We participated in some drumming circles, shamanic journeys and other activities.  She liked the idea of people having “power” things, e.g. power places, power rocks, power animals, etc.  The idea is that these objects of nature can help you achieve enlightenment.  For example, if you’re stressed, they can help you achieve peace…if you’re worried about something, they can help you discover your own answers…if you’re not well, they can help you heal, etc., etc.  There’s a whole process involved with drawing out their power.  In the Native American spirit world these are called totems (remember the old totem pole when you were a kid?)

One of her totem animals was a hawk, specifically a red-tailed hawk.  We have a few where we live, but not an over abundance.

In her final days, we discussed the possibility of her communicating with me from the Afterlife.  You know she was always open to new and radical ideas.  I guess our thought was, with all the crap we’ve been though, we may as well try something that would be positive and soul-embracing, as well as a little “out there”.  She settled upon 3 things that would be a signal from her:  a Red-tail hawk flying in your direction (flying toward you), finding a pin oak leaf in your path and the smell of a fire without seeing smoke or flame.

Ten days after she left this earthly plane, and two days before our son and I were leaving the country on vacation, he and I were at home (just the two of us) and a red-tailed hawk flew up to our backyard fence and just sat there looking in house.  I was awestruck!  My heart pounded in my chest…I couldn’t believe it!  Our son and I scrambled to get my camera, we had to get a photograph! The hawk stayed there long enough for us to clumsily and panicky load a roll of film in and get the photo.  What makes it so incredible is that in living there for ten years, only one other time have we seen a hawk of any kind on that fence.  They just don’t come around our suburb, being so close to the city.


Red-tailed hawk sitting on the deck.

I asked him what he thought it meant and he said, “It means Mommy’s spirit is riding on the back of that hawk and that everything is OK in heaven and she can have ice cream everyday!”

I can’t think of a better explanation.