11/21/2016 05:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

This Woman in Tech Uses American Indian Teachings as a Compass

I have always been very proud of my American Indian ancestry. My large, extended family in North Dakota is a major driving force behind my professional and personal success. I know where I come from and how it has shaped who I am today. I am an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, from my mother; and my late father was an enrolled member of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia. Thanks to my Dad, I am a direct descendant of Pocahontas. How cool is that?

Throughout my life I have been a student of many experiences. Now, as a working mother with three vibrant and spirited children, I am reminded how important it is to embrace each day with optimism and flexibility.

I am a planner to the core, yet I know that on any given day so much can happen that is simply out of my control. I find that when I take a pause and refocus on a few teachings that have been passed down to me from some of my greatest teachers--nothing is insurmountable. This traditional wisdom all ties back to a simple, yet powerful approach--the Medicine Wheel.

The Medicine Wheel is a circle organized into four quadrants that has been used for generations by various American Indian tribes for sharing of knowledge. Four is a sacred number in Indian Country. While traditional teachings of the Medicine Wheel vary, they all encompass the inseparability of the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual aspects of life. Here is how I use it in my daily modern life.

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