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Living An Authentic Life


“In thinking on my death I hoped I would be ready, so that on that day my obituary would be able to say I was a strong individual; that I nurtured my uniqueness; that I always stood up for equity and diversity to their fullest among all things; that the ordinariness of the white culture is a crime of boredom and a waste of sacred potential. I hoped it would say that I was never ordinary.”

– Kay Cordell Whitaker, “Sacred Link – Joining Fortunes With The Unknown – Chapter 5, Touch The Clay, Touch The Altar”


Touch The Clay, Touch The Altar

…Chea handed me a bowl to put away in the cupboard. “So,” she said. “That leaves the gifts of the directions. These things here on the counter can wait for us. Let’s sit down in the big room. We’re going to talk about this now.”

I walked to the bench by the front window and looked out at the graying sky. It started to rain. The water was slow and silent. Domano brought out the little heater and set it in the middle of the room. We all crowded around it on the floor close to the warmth.

The front of the heater had a grill that was in the pattern of a circle divided by a cross. Chea said that was like the symbol for the Medicine Wheel of Life, which for us is situated on our Mother Earth. The spokes described the four directions and the four elements, and the space beyond described the fifth direction, the above. She said that all things here were made from the four elements and the five directions each in proportions unique to themselves.

Chea pointed to the lines of the cross. “Every direction has its own nature, its own part of life that it regulates. Part of your long journey is to figure out just what that is. You have your mind, your senses, your heart and you have the gifts of the directions to guide you.

“Look at the south, the gift of knowing your own Song. Have you ever learned how to do something really well?”

“Yes.” I answered. “My music. My art.”

“What did you feel when you did this thing really good? What was in that feeling?” She grabbed her arms around her knees and rolled back and forth.

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Living An Authentic Life – How Could I Have Forgotten?


Photo Credit: Elido Turco – Gigi

You likely remember last week’s video in the post “About Rethinking The Bucket List.”

At the heart of the TEDx talk by Kathleen Taylor in that video was the top regret of dying people, “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself.” In other words the top regret of people close to dying is not having lived an authentic life.

I think we can all relate to that and I think we can all learn a great deal from that.

But what does it actually mean to live an authentic life?

Not an easy question to answer for any of us, for sure.

Yet, obviously, a question close to our hearts, none the less.

At the end of her talk Kathleen Taylor encourages people to make their life’s story about how they really are, because she believes the world needs us to. We agree, but as importantly, we believe you yourself needs you to live your truth, everyone and everything you love in our life and in the world needs you to.

Here is what Kay said about living an authentic life in closing chapter 5 of her book “Sacred Link – Joining Fortunes With The Unknown,” titled “Touch The Clay, Touch The Altar”:

In thinking on my death I hoped I would be ready, so that on that day my obituary would be able to say I was a strong individual; that I nurtured my uniqueness; that I always stood up for equity and diversity to their fullest among all things; that the ordinariness of the white culture is a crime of boredom and a waste of sacred potential. I hoped it would say that I was never ordinary.

In the following conversation from the same chapter, Kay and Chea talk about how we start out living such a life and how, over time, we simple forget about it mostly because we think we need to in order to grow up.

(Below, at the end of the post, there is a link for you to download the entire chapter).

When you read this excerpt (or the entire chapter), please keep in mind these excerpts are a brief glimpse into a 13 year intense apprenticeship Kay went through with Chea and Domano Hetaka.


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Power Of Song

Knowing Song - Knowing Self

Image by Kay Cordell Whitaker

Barely a post goes up in which we do not talk about or recommend for you to learn to know yourself. Learn to know your Song. Learn to know your truth and find out what is real and what is just another (spiritual) way designed to keep you asleep.

Here’s an excerpt from chapter 4 “Power of Song” from Kay’s book “The Reluctant Shaman”. In this chapter both Domano and Chea, Kay’s adopted Peruvian grandparents talk with Kay in more debth about Song.

There is a link at the end for the entire chapter, if you’d like to read more, and, next week we’re planning to share the ancient ceremony of finding your Song.

Enjoy …


POWER OF SONG (excerpt)

Chea spoke with her mouth still full of grapes, “Balance is a state due to equilibriums. Equity and harmony with the self and all forms. The world looks very different when we learn how to shift and redirect our attention. The unfathomable beauty, the joy, the extraordinary amount and feeling of exchange with other forms. It is a human heritage.”

“My god, Chea,” I said, surprised. “That’s so poetic.” “Life is poetic,” she smiled, “with all its gracefulness and passionate depth. The rush and play of loving. The impregnation of daylight. The extravagancy of darkness. It is living poetry.” “Well, I doubt if most people experience it like that,” I said.

“That is because they are afraid,” she answered. “Humans fear everything. They have spent eons learning how to be afraid. Now they must learn how not to be afraid.”

“Why is that?” I turned my side toward the little heater. “Because they will not gain their balance as long as they are gestating fear.” She said the word “gestating” with such an odd emphasis, the impression was one of something slimy and unwholesome growing within its host. “And if they do not learn to balance, they will die. Our species is moving off its center. We are not even interested in equilibriums. Our life energy is seeping away.”

“You make it sound like we’re purposefully trying to kill ourselves off,” I suggested.

“We are,” Chea answered, reaching for more grapes. “That’s silly,” I said. I was actually being assertive. I confronted her and didn’t even realize that I was doing it. “All species have self-preservation instincts. I can’t buy it, Chea. How can you say that?”

“Because man’s fear is surpassing man’s experience of his passion for living.”

“What?” I couldn’t follow her meaning.

“What humans feel the most of,” she answered, “is fear. It has become their dominant motivator, and it is their biggest obstacle.”

“To what?” I asked.

“To whatever humans decide to do,” she said. “There are basic desires and feelings that motivate all of a person’s actions. They are what cause us to think and feel and decide in the way we do. Fear has woven its way deeply into their fabric. She slipped from squatting to sitting cross-legged in front of the heater. “As living creatures we all have a primary motive that is the basis for all other motives–the desire for experience. We want to experience the sensations of perception and to think and emotionally respond, or ignore it. And it is the nature of humans that our motives bear a hidden agenda of a desire for power. Spun singly or together they are all the color and inertia of the fibers of our web. You could say we have two kinds of motives–desires and fears. Desire for creating, communication, knowledge, pleasure, giving and receiving love, and challenge. And fear of death, the unknown or change, powerlessness, pain, loss, and failure. It is fear that generates hate and stress, distrust, guilt, and so forth. Each fear is a form of the other. And they are all a form of the fear of death. We give away our power to them and become their puppets.”

“How can you stop such a thing?” I asked. She seemed to approve of my asking questions and participating. “To gain mastery of your fear you must take it in hand and resist succumbing to its panic. Keep your control over your attention, and in spite of your fears go ahead and take action. You must walk into and through your fear.” Domano scooted closer to me and said, “The only way to ensure success here is to feel the passion of living to its fullest. This leaves no room for fear to take control. Otherwise you subject yourself repeatedly to fear, until either it wins or you desensitized yourself to it. With passion is how one moves swiftly through fear and eagerly reaches out to the unknown. In fact, it is difficult to do other than reach out.” I must have looked worried. I didn’t understand how passion could overcome fear.

“Being alive has a feeling.” He nodded his head at me. “A pleasant, stimulating feeling. An excitement that feels at first faint. Then as attention is put on it, it grows. This sensation, this beautiful awareness, is a formidable tool for collecting power. This is what we call passion of living. Fear drowns out this feeling. And nurturing this passion removes the grounds for fear.

“I will give you now your first homework. You are to find this passion feeling. Quiet yourself. Sit alone and watch for it. You will have much inside to distract you. But for ten minutes three times each day, you will do nothing else but hunt passion. Try this now.”

“Do I close my eyes?” I asked.

“Yes. I think that will help, but when you are adept you will do it anywhere, anytime.”

I closed my eyes and leaned back against the wall, crossing my legs on the bench. I wasn’t very sure of what I was supposed to be doing. I sat there and wondered what the pleasant feeling of being alive feels like. And then a barrage of thoughts crowded into my head. I wondered if I needed to go shopping on my way home and if the kid’s bus was going to drop them off on time. Should we really repaint the shower? And on and on. Domano said quietly, “Just let those thoughts drift on away. Don’t hold them. What you look for is on the other side of all those thoughts. An exciting feeling of joy.”

As I continued to hunt, I began to reflect on times past that I had felt joy, and I remembered occasions as a child when I felt joyful and excited for no apparent reason other than that of being alive. And the memory, the feeling of it came back to me, a happy, adventurous feeling.

After a time Domano began to speak, “The passion is your song. To feel the passion is to feel and know the song that is your own spirit’s vibrations. The experience of this is the foundation of ka ta see. When you are balanced you will all the time feel that way. But just because you feel this does not mean you are balanced. Ka ta see is understanding and controlling your attention. The first task in learning this way is to be able to feel the passion of living at any time. This is of great advantage. It will heal, advise, and comfort you. Fading away the lonely separateness we all have carried. In a child’s way years ago you had some knowing of this.” They were quite pleased with my initial success and encouraged me not to forget to hunt three times every day.


And, here is the full chapter.

 The Full Chapter “Power Of Song” from “The Reluctant Shaman”

Love and Song,



The Hetakas’ Definition Of Love

Image credit: Randy Son Of Robert

“What is the Hetakas’ definition of love?”

(This is another chapter from Love Ka Ta See Style)

Okay. Our next question:

“What is the Hetakas’ definition of love? It seems a too-general question, but I do see most of us struggling with that.”

Kay: The Hetakas’ definition of love is “unconditional love”, the same as I’ve been talking about.

This is where you have genuine caring, where there is no judgment of yourself or other, where you make yourself available to be there for the other when they really need you, they really need help with something.

It means to be a best true friend, ready to care, ready to listen, ready to respect and admire, ready to help, ready to talk things through, to figure things out without judgment.

Always, always, always no judgments.

And always trying to understand – trying to put yourself in the shoes of the other.

And when there’s interactions, there’s no assuming, there’s no expectations, there’s no jumping to conclusions, there’s no blind beliefs that are being held out there, no demands on the other person.

Whether it’s your lover or the people of another country. You are listening because you care.

When it’s personal, you’re there because you care.

You like the other person.

They feel good to be with. They feel good to be around. You can say things and do things and joke, and they get it.

They enjoy it. You enjoy each other.

Our modern cultural definitions of love are very different.

They always have a backdoor.

It’s a commitment with a backdoor, a big backdoor.

There’s always lots of conflicting rules and lots and lots of conflicting shoulds, lots of expectations, lots of demands, and lots of expectations of little cultural behaviors and dances.

Should, should, should, should, should.

It’s very difficult to try to live up to that and none of us really can.

But we can live up to unconditional love without judgment.

If we learn how to love ourselves, love our own Song, have no judgments of ourselves, we can offer that out to others.

It just flows out of us automatically.

It’s the natural state of being of our entity, our essence, the who and what we are.

The natural state of being of our own Song is this joy, this unconditional caring, loving acceptance of others. No judgment.

Judgment is a learned behavior.

In the Hetakas’ tribe, in their language, they have no word for judgment or condemnation.

They do not have a belief system that includes better-than and less-than. They do not have a belief system that includes hierarchy.

They have discernment.

Things are efficient, effective. Or not.

A plant, for instance, is either healthy to eat or healthy for some animal to eat or maybe it’s poisonous.

It’s not a better-than or a less-than. It’s not an evil thing because it’s a poisonous plant.

It’s just what it is.

It’s a plant that has something in it that is poisonous to humans, and so they don’t eat it, but they love it just as much. They care for it just as much.

They don’t rip it out by the roots and throw it away.

The Hetakas’ definition of love starts with loving yourself, knowing yourself, honoring yourself without arrogance.

As soon as you can do that it automatically flows out to others and you can see the Song in others. Plants, humans, rocks, whatever.

You can see the beauty in others and the potential. Without any kind of expectations or judgments or assumptions, it’s just what is about them.

And you can observe it and respect it and honor it and admire it.

As you interact with people, that respect and admiration, it just automatically flows out.

It’s something they’ve probably never experienced in their life before, and it changes them.

If they’re going to be waking up in this lifetime, or trying to, it makes a huge difference in that direction. It can help them wake up very fast.

And remember, whatever it is you’re thinking or feeling in the moment, mask or Song, you’re radiating it out and it permeates the space around you.

The space, the ground, the floors, the walls, the trees, the people, the animals: every single thing. It permeates it. It lasts there for hundreds of years, and it affects all of those who come into contact with it from then on.

It affects them, it changes them.

So, also, if you are busy being asleep, running masks – for instance, you’re running a big anger mask and you’re in a snit – you’re radiating that out, it permeates the space. There’s nothing about love in any of that.

Everybody for two-hundred years who comes into that space picks up on that thoughtform, on that energy.

It effects them.

It triggers them.

It encourages them to be angry.

If you’re in your Song and you’re full of unconditional love and acceptance and you’re radiating that out, that permeates the space. That’s giving that love into the current time for the current time, and into the future for the future.

Whoever comes into that and makes contact with that they can feel that acceptance and peace, the love and the caring, the admiration and respect.

They pick up on the knowledge that’s there and the knowledge of how to do that changes them forever and then they radiate that out.

Pebbles in the pond.

Happy Valentines Day!

Love and Song,


Other posts from Love Ka Ta See Style


Love Ka Ta See Style

“How to Manifest Untainted Love and Heart to Heart Relationships Based on Deep Deep Caring Friendships for Life!”

The Simple Love eBook

From the author of, “The Reluctant Shaman” and “Sacred Link”, Kay Cordell Whitaker, comes a new book on how to create loving relationships based on deep deep caring friendship for life.

Ka Ta See is a way of life. At it’s very core is non-judgment and unconditional love, virtues every one of us is capable of, but virtues it seems so many of us have long since forgotten.

In this new book Kay shares how the teachings she wrote about in her previous books, the teachings of Ka Ta See, can be used to create love in your life and in doing so create more love in the world, and god knows we need more love in the world, now more than ever.

With this new work Kay teaches us how to:

  • Love unconditionally
  • Love without judgment
  • Stay with love no matter what
  • Build deep caring friendships
  • Set boundaries
  • Trust sexual responses and desires
  • Create a Mate List
  • Heal family relationships
  • Make the right choices in any situation within a relationship
  • 45 chapters total of amazing teachings about LOVE. Read it in one night or several, but come back to it whenever you feel the need to.

AND, you can get a Free copy of the book by clicking this link, or on either one of the cover images.