Colorado: Finding balance in the medicine wheel |

Colorado: Finding balance in the medicine wheel

Kimberly Nicoletti
Special to the Vail Daily
Special to the Daily

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado “-Amid all of the fear and chaos happening in the world, Sacred Tree is offering a retreat to support a more centered approach to living. It is the first retreat that Sacred Tree ” a holistic health care and wellness spa in Breckenridge ” is holding in Glenwood Springs.

The two-day experience, titled “The Medicine Wheel Model to Natural Horsemanship,” is for anyone ” not just horse lovers.

Phillip Whiteman Jr., who lives on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Lame Deer, Mont., will guide participants in the Native American approach to working with oneself and with horses. Whiteman is a horseman, cultural consultant and performing artist who has shared his knowledge throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

Whiteman says all of us are all connected to Mother Earth, to all living things and to one another.

It’s important to pay attention to how we behave in the world because the energy we put out is reflected back, Whiteman says.

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Whiteman uses the medicine wheel, with its four colors, directions, seasons and stages of life, as a teaching model. He also uses horses, which he says pick up a person’s energy and mirror it.

For example, if a person approaches a horse with a bad attitude, the horse will respond in kind. “Horses, animals, plants, living things ” they don’t lie,” Whiteman said. “They reflect what you put out.”

The program includes Native American stories, songs and dance that have respect for the environmental and diversity as themes.

Brigette Schabdach, founder of Sacred Tree, is getting certified in Whiteman’s method because , she says, it can help make people healthier.

“We’re seeing a lot of people who are feeling stressed, out of balance,” she said. “When a lot of fear and uncertainty out there starts to connect with our energy, our thoughts are really affected.

“The more we are aware and return to our original state of being ” as sacred beings ” there’s a different kind of grounding and we become more healthy,” she adds, “and it affects our family and our communities.”

Whiteman describes his teachings as a good way to get off the hamster wheel that goes around and around, and “actually move somewhere.”

“The longest journey people are going to take is from the mind to the body,” he said.

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