Day 25: Living on Indian Time

{DISCLAIMER: These reflections are solely my reflections from my journey as a Potawatomi woman. They do not reflect the journey or stories of every indigenous person, and it should not be assumed that every indigenous person has the same experiences. Thank you for joining me here. May we grow toward unity together.}


I really love the holiday season. I always have. I love gift-giving and snow and Christmas songs and hot cocoa by a lit tree.

But I don’t love the stores so much at this time of year. And I feel horrible for those UPS workers, for the people delivering packages up until Christmas day and even after.

I think we lose something in the hustle and bustle, in the Black Friday fights.

This holiday season, we’re slowing down. It’s something that’s characterized in indigenous culture. That’s why there are jokes about Indian Time, about people who move on a different time frame than what most of America requires.

A few years ago when we decided that we wanted our family to move at a slower daily pace, it was a decision that I knew would run against the grain of so much of American society. Still, it’s what we choose. For a long time, my husband, whose family is of German descent, also chose it. He taught me, in a way, to learn more about my own desire to live a slower life, and over time made space for me to learn about my own Potawatomi culture’s ideas about daily life and time. Since then, we choose it every day of our lives, choose to live a slow kind of life, to take our time, to be present to one another.

It’s a characteristic of indigenous culture, but it should be a personal characteristic of all of us. And especially at this time of year, when things are hectic and crazy and our kids are focused on that day when Santa comes with gifts galore, we get to choose to stay sensitive to ourselves, to one another, and to the world around us.

It takes work to be present. It takes work to live a slow and steady life.

It takes work to make space, and much of that work fights against a culture that is always going, always wanting, always saying there isn’t enough when we know that there is.

So this holiday season, put yourself on Indian Time. Give yourself to the slowness. 

You won’t be sorry.

My book, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places is on sale at Amazon today! It is a collection of stories and prayers from my life, and I hope that if you buy a copy, they help settle you into a slower kind of living, a practice of being present to your own story and to the stories of others.



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