Shit is Fertilizer

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by Aliette Frank -

“Shit, it happened.”

Sometimes shit happens. As much as we don’t want it to, it does. When it does—and it will—we can make a choice: we can become the ‘victims’ of our shit, or we can use the shit for what it’s really meant for—as FERTILIZER.

Fertilizer is any material that brings abundance, affords possibilities for development, and gives great resourcefulness for growth. In the context of earth’s elements, fertilizer is plant medicine: it’s the primary, secondary and micronutrients that improve the fertility of soil so that regular ho-hum vegetables can be organic superfood and flower gardens can flourish with beauty. For people, fertilizer is what increases human capacity to support joy and happiness in life. Most fertilizer—for both plants and people— comes from shit. The question is, how can we transform it:

Wisdom from a Great

This is the true story of Naya Nuki, as told by her tribe.

Naya Nuki was a young Indian girl who was taken and held captive when her tribe was invaded. She watched her family be slaughtered, and then she was made a slave. Naya Nuki was an expert on transforming ‘shit.’ She has some guidance to offer:

Naya Nuki was a member of the Agaidika tribe. The Agaidikas’ traditional enemies at the beginning of the 19th century were the Blackfeet and the Sioux Indians. One day a Blackfeett raiding party (Hidatsa warriors) invaded Naya Nuki’s home. She was out in the woods picking chokecherries. From the woods she watched, while at the mercy of Hidatsa warriors, her mother, aunts and friends died agonizing deaths. Naya Nuki was then abducted by the warriors. She was 11 years old. The Hidatsa’s plan was to make a Naya Nuki a slave for life.

The Hidatsa warriors marched Naya Nuki and her best friend, Sacajawea, for days 600 miles away. Naya Nuki could have given up.  Naya Nuki could have just accepted her fate as an orphan made Hidatsa slave. But Naya Nuki, from the moment she was taken from her home, was determined to escape and live the life she wanted to live. All during the march from her abduction and slaughtered family, Naya Nuki watched for landmarks, hiding places, and the safest route to follow back. Her slave march was a time of heartache and fear, but she kept it together so she’d have the resources she needed when she made her escape back. Lesson: Stay out of your emotions so you’re rational and aware about what’s really going on right now.

As a slave of the Hidatsa’s, Naya Nuki worked hard and contributed to the tribe´s welfare. Naya Nuki learned to help make their lodges and to grow, harvest and prepare their foods. She learned to speak their language. She learned their customs and whatever survival skills anyone could teach. Who knew what she would need? Lesson: Be open to what your experience is trying to show you; what you need to learn is often something different from what you thought. Like meditation, surrender to the process.

Confined to slavery, Naya Nuki didn’t hold her anger against the Hidatsa’s.

But she wasn´t one of them.

Remember this: If you get angry and hold it, you’re only creating more shit for yourself. Keep the lesson, but let the anger go.

Let your passion be what drives you.

Naya Nuki always kept only one thing on her mind: her escape and amassing the supplies she would need for her long journey back. Buffalo skin, extra moccasins, dried food, a knife. . . she would escape from her captors. She wasn’t going to have this shit. She would do what she had to do, no matter how long it took. Lesson: take as much time as you need to ‘get out of your shit.’ This is your life we’re talking about. Measure three times, cut once.

And then one day, when it was right, she ran. She ran for hours without stopping to rest. She was getting home no matter what she had to do. Naya Nuki travelled alone, from the plains through the mountains through the forest for over a month. She survived on what she could pick from the land, building shelters to sleep in, avoiding wild animals, even climbing a tree to flee a hungry grizzly bear. The grizzley shook the tree violently. She stayed up there, holding on with the bear stalking beneath for two days. Naya Nuki never thought she could remain in that tree all night, the pain was so great. But no matter the pain, she was determined to stay safe from that bear. Lesson: STAY. DETERMINED.

By now, Naya Nuki’s tribe was some 1,000 miles away, and nor did she know where.

No excuses. For Naya Nuki, this was only fertilizer for the fire. Naya Nuki found her people and made it safely home.

No Excuses

It doesn’t ‘just happen.’ If shit ‘happened’ to you, it’s yours. A bird poop on your head? You could’ve worn a hat. Did someone invade you? You could’ve protected yourself. Is someone trying to control you? Don’t let them. With shit, there’s no excuse. Either deal with it, or get used to it, because it’s going to keep happening until YOU CHANGE. This isn’t about anybody else—it’s about you. Accept what is, and learn how to transform your shit. Eleven year-old Naya Nuki did. The shit will drive you to be smarter, be sharper, more aware, more sure and act faster the next time. The more shit you transform, the easier life becomes . . . because there’s no more ‘shit’ in your life— it’s only fertilizer to make you even stronger.

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Thomasma, K. (1983). Naya Nuki, Girl Who Ran. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Taken from her home. Naya Nuki: Her Story, by Her People. Retrieved July 13, 2012 from http://Naya

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