Updated: Apr 6, 2021
I just watched an incredible webinar from Mental Health America called Reclaiming our Power - Indigenous Wellness Today. The speaker, Chelsea Luger, shared a unique and sustainable model for holistic health and wellness that ties ancestral knowledge to everyday modern life — the Seven Circles of Wellness, developed by Well For Culture.
Indigenous people and tribal nations across the U.S. and Canada are working to promote, preserve, and evolve ancestral health and wellness practices. From the resurgence of tribal food sovereignty on reservations to the epidemic of cultural appropriation in mainstream wellness, the presentation highlighted prominent examples of successes and challenges that Native American and First Nations wellness leaders and programs are currently experiencing.
I found their wellness initiative intriguing as it is very much in sync with sustainability and environmentalism. The 7 Circles of Wellness is their original model for holistic health. The emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical components are:
1. Sleep – which is so vital to immune support, reduction of stress, dream state, memory consolidation, and muscle building/fat burning.
2. Real Food - that is wholesome, natural, organic Indigenous foods – just like their ancestors did for thousands of years.
3. Movement - improves brain cognition, regulates blood sugar, reduces anxiety and stress, strengthens movement patterns, and gives us a sense of empowerment.
4. Ceremony – which includes mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, mindful breathing, stillness, song, and silence.
5. Connection to Earth – gives you a sense of well-being strengthens your connection to the land and makes you more in tune with the seasons.
6. Sacred Space – Your sacred space should have natural light, be free of toxic substances (like alcohol), have minimal electronic devices, be clean, and have access to real food and traditional medicine (like herbs).
7. Community/Kinship – Encourages a sense of belonging, support for one’s wellness, fosters confidence, and strengthens entire communities.
It all goes back to Seven Generation Stewardship - "In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation...” - the concept that urges the current generation of humans to live and work for the benefit of the seventh generation into the future. It is believed to have originated with the Iroquois which holds appropriate to think seven generations ahead and decide whether the decisions they make today would benefit their children seven generations into the future.
I would love to try some of the ancestral food recipes on here website and find out more about her workshops, since she lives here in Phoenix!