Arnold W. Thomas, MSW, Chaplain, Motivational Speaker

MEDICINE WHEEL or SACRED HOOP



The four dimensions: Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual

Throughout this universe there are many teachings that are offered to mankind. One of many teachings that the cycle of life has offered to me is about the Medicine Wheel or Sacred Hoop. The wheel/hoop can symbolize many different cycles of life within this universe. Numerous tribes throughout North America use the Medicine Wheel or Sacred Hoop for various symbolic understandings.

The Medicine Wheel or Sacred Hoop is constructed in a shape of a circle. This circle can symbolically represent a life of an individual, family, mother earth or the universe. During my presentations I make certain points by referring to the wheel/hoop. Every human being seems to have the physical composition of the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions within their own wheel/hoop.

The four dimensions of an individual’s life constantly need attention in order to have balance and harmony. Also, having awareness and being committed to improving your life is essential for maintaining balance. The need to maintain balance and harmony within ones life is vital for maintaining the identity of your sacred wheel/hoop. When the four dimensions are in balance they assist one another to ensure that the wheel/hoop is balanced. Furthermore, when individuals find and maintain inner peace it helps them to visualize life in a different perspective. Recently, while presenting at a men's wellness conference, I had the opportunity to listen to a presenter talk about certain Native American prophecies. This individual, along with several other people, was carrying a sacred hoop across North America. The individual spoke about various tribal prophecies that have come to pass.

One of many tribal prophecies speaks of a time when people will be able to forgive the unforgiven. Also, healing and unity will began to be more pronounced. With the majority of the prophecies coming to pass, it seems that the time has arrived for many wheels/hoops to be mended. It will be interesting to observe the individual, family, community and national healing that will occur during this century.

I believe that the importance of forgiving, healing and unity continue for the well being of our future. Being able to forgive is very powerful. Within this society there are many individuals who have not forgiven those people who have hurt them mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The process of forgiving yourself, friends, family and other races takes time. The process of life is very unique in that there are always lessons to learn. The forgiveness process takes commitment, patience, consistency and determination. It seems that forgiveness has various stages that a person processes through and eventually ends with inner peace. The most important element of forgiving is maintaining a connection with a Higher Power. Additional stress management skills can be helpful in working through the process of forgiveness. Also, communication skills such as journaling, verbalizing one's thoughts, and physical and spiritual activities.

Being able to find balance and harmony would help a person live a moral, noble, intuitive and spiritual life. Once a person’s wheel/hoop is balanced the amount of homicides, suicides, rapes, burglaries and people addicted to chemicals will decrease.