"We are excellent in Western society at segmenting our lives. Here's the physical exercise piece, here is the social piece, here is the career piece, here is the intimate-relationship piece, and over here, in its carefully defined corner, is the spiritual piece. I have learned this lesson well and I have a very successful career that depends on my ability to segment myself. For me, Native American spirituality has given me a way to once again become a part of the universe.
"The Lakota use the phrase mitak oyasin often. It is used at the end of prayers and in many cases is the only portion of the prayer uttered aloud. It means 'all my relatives,' and it contains within it the key to the Lakota view of the world.
"We are all related — human beings, four-leggeds, the winged, the insect people, the tree people — all of us are linked into a chain of being in which each has its place and in which none is more or less than another. We live whole lives by knowing our place in the chain and by standing strong in our place and being who we were born to be. That is why events such as the Vision Quest, the Sun Dance, and the Sweat Lodge are such important ceremonies. In these ceremonies, we thin the veil between ourselves and the spirit world, and at these times, the spirits can help us understand what we are meant to do and who we are meant to be. Our lives are the daily acting out of the visions that we receive from the spirit, and we may spend years studying and trying to understand the meaning of such a vision."