The Five Legends

A Journey to Heal Divided Hearts

Anasazi Foundation (Author)

Publication date: 01/08/2019

The Five Legends
Drawing on 30 years of helping families in-crisis, this profound fable by the Anasazi Foundation illustrates the anguish of conflict and shows how we can end war within ourselves, within families, and even between nations.

The Five Legends tells the story of two estranged brothers, leaders of their people, who find themselves on an unexpected journey. Struggling against each other, they stumble and fall into a great and terrible canyon. Trapped, the two brothers are rescued by an old man—“the last of a people”—who offers to guide them out of the canyon if they agree to learn the five legends of peace. The brothers agree and begin a journey that may not only save themselves, but also their people.

The brothers learn that to heal any conflict we must first look within ourselves. As this fable beautifully puts it, “War does not begin or end with armies and leaders. In truth, war begins and ends within each of us
—within our hearts. When we choose to war with others, we turn our hearts away from them and blind ourselves to their light. …To have a heart at war is to invite war into your life.” The path to peace begins when we stop thinking about “me” and start thinking about “WE.”

This poetic and moving allegory is written for all ages. Its message is both timeless and desperately needed for our own time

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt

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Overview

Drawing on 30 years of helping families in-crisis, this profound fable by the Anasazi Foundation illustrates the anguish of conflict and shows how we can end war within ourselves, within families, and even between nations.

The Five Legends tells the story of two estranged brothers, leaders of their people, who find themselves on an unexpected journey. Struggling against each other, they stumble and fall into a great and terrible canyon. Trapped, the two brothers are rescued by an old man—“the last of a people”—who offers to guide them out of the canyon if they agree to learn the five legends of peace. The brothers agree and begin a journey that may not only save themselves, but also their people.

The brothers learn that to heal any conflict we must first look within ourselves. As this fable beautifully puts it, “War does not begin or end with armies and leaders. In truth, war begins and ends within each of us
—within our hearts. When we choose to war with others, we turn our hearts away from them and blind ourselves to their light. …To have a heart at war is to invite war into your life.” The path to peace begins when we stop thinking about “me” and start thinking about “WE.”

This poetic and moving allegory is written for all ages. Its message is both timeless and desperately needed for our own time

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Anasazi Foundation

In the Native American tradition, life is a “walking.” One’s walking is determined by the state of one’s heart toward all that is around him. Anasazi is a Navajo word commonly interpreted as “the Ancient Ones.” According to legends, the wise teachers taught that the Creator placed man on the earth in order for him to learn how to “walk forward”—in harmony with man and all creation.  

For years, ANASAZI Foundation—a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Arizona—has served families by introducing them to a New Beginning and helping them to discover their Seed of Greatness and the wisdom of the lives led by these Ancient Ones.  

Founded by renowned wilderness pioneers Larry Olsen and Ezekiel Sanchez, ANASAZI gives young people an opportunity, through a primitive living experience and a philosophy that invites healing at the hands of nature, to effect a change of heart—a change in one’s whole way of walking in the world. ANASAZI’s wilderness experience is nonpunitive. To those at ANASAZI, the wilderness is not a harsh place to break youth down but rather a safe place—a place free from distractions, where one can learn, ponder, discover, and build.  

Through this experience and ANASAZI’s concurrent work with parents, ANASAZI prepares parents and children to turn their hearts to one another, begin anew, and walk in harmony in the wilderness of the world.  

ANASAZI Foundation, (800) 678-3445, www.anasazi.org

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Excerpt

The Five Legends: A Journey to Heal Divided Hearts

The War Within

My name is Thunder Bear and

I wrote these words for you, for I am your brother.

You may think this is a mere expression.

A platitude. A turn of phrase to get your attention.

But that is not true.

The Creator has shown me that we are all connected—

that our lives are woven together. In the deepest,

and truest, sense we are all of the same family.

Some would disagree with that, for on the surface

we seem so different from one another. But we are

more alike than we think. For all hearts, regardless

of origin, must walk the same path—the path of life.

Our lives are a walking through the wilderness.

In my walking, I have felt the pain of choosing war over

peace—as have you. For you live in a time of great and

terrible wars—wars between nations, religions, and

cultures; wars between neighbors, friends, and family

members; even wars against your own selves.

Every day we are asked to fight:

“Whose opinion do you believe?”

“Who is right?”

“Which side are you on?”

War divides us from one another; it stifles our joy,

fills us with fear, and makes us angry.

In the midst of all this pain, how often do we consider

the truth that we have the power to end these wars?

War does not begin or end with armies and leaders.

In truth, war begins and ends within each of us—

within our hearts.

When we choose to turn our hearts away

from another we blind ourselves to their light.

Thus blinded, our view of the world inevitably becomes

darker, distorted, and false, covering the light of truth.

We no longer see a human standing before us;

we see an enemy—a person lacking humanity.

To have a heart at war is to invite war into our life.

And to maintain a heart at war is to perpetuate war.

In the midst of all these wars—at home and abroad—

we often say we want peace.

But with our hearts at war, the peace we want is distorted.

We want peace on our terms, and we want it in

a way that first meets our own needs.

This is not the way to true peace.

If we truly want to achieve peace in the world,

we must first achieve peace within.

I know this because I once lived with a heart at war.

And my heart at war nearly destroyed our people.

Hearts Enter War

In the days of my youth, my brother and I lived with

warring hearts. We were the sons of the Wellspring—the

name for the leader of our people. I was the eldest, and my

brother, Strong Wolf, was the youngest. As children of the

Wellspring, we were to set good examples—but we did not.

We disagreed with each other. We argued with each other.

And we fought against each other.

At first our disagreements were small and petty, almost

harmless. But in time those disagreements grew and

became part of our identities. I lived one way and he

lived another. Our people saw our behavior, listened to

our words, and began to take sides. As time went on,

our people began to contend with one another.

These contentions grew like a fire—fierce and heated.

Images

We lived near the edge of the Great and Terrible Canyon—

“Great” because of its depth and beauty, “Terrible” because

of its dangers. Once I ventured down a path that led me

some distance down into the canyon. When I tried to hike

back up I lost my footing, fell, and broke my leg. Injured

and alone, I was trapped in the canyon.

After many hours of searching, my father found me.

At first he embraced me and wept. Then, placing his hands

on my shoulders, he scolded me for ignoring the warnings

of our Elders. Afterward he lifted me up and carried me

home. As he did so, I inwardly vowed to stay away

from the canyon and always obey my father.

Images

He was a very wise man, my father.

When he died my heart was filled with a mixture

of grief and anxiety. As the eldest son, I was to become

the next Wellspring. Great was this responsibility.

My brother, however, questioned my leadership.

On the day I was to become the Wellspring, he entered

our family’s dwelling and began mocking the ways

of our people. My heart raged against him.

I told him his disrespect was not welcome.

Strong Wolf, defiant as ever, challenged me to a fight. But I

would not stoop to his level. Instead, I straightened my back

and spoke to him as I thought a true leader would.

“I will not fight you, Strong Wolf,” I said, calmly. “You and I

are sons of the Wellspring. We must be better than that.”

Without the slightest warning, my younger brother

struck me across the jaw. Surprised, I staggered

backward and fell to the ground. He leapt upon me

and gripped my neck with his hands.

Just then our mother intervened and pulled him off of me.

She begged us—both of us—to forgive one another.

“I don’t need his forgiveness!” I said, forcing myself

to my feet. “I haven’t done anything wrong!”

Strong Wolf snorted in disgust.

“He doesn’t understand. And he never will.”

“Strong Wolf,” I said, trying to keep my emotions in check.

“This family has put up with your attitude—and your foul

doings—for years. And yet you refuse to change. Many of the

people look up to you and your example leads them astray.

And now, on the day I am to become the next

Wellspring, you attack me.” I pointed a finger at him.

“You are tearing our people apart.”

I paused, waiting for Strong Wolf to offer some sort of

apology. Instead, he folded his arms and glared at me. “You

can go through with that ridiculous ceremony,” he said, his

voice dripping with contempt. “But you will never be the

true Wellspring of our people. Your heart is deaf and blind.”

I slowly shook my head. “You must leave,” I said, firmly.

“You are no longer welcome among our people.”

My brother’s nostrils flared and his eyes burned like hot

coals. Then, without another word, he turned and left.

A sharp cry escaped my mother’s throat. Fighting tears, she

bent down, grabbed my brother’s blanket, and ran after him.

From the threshold of our home I watched her catch up to

Strong Wolf. She touched his arm and he turned to face her.

Anger was etched across his face. In a swift motion

she wrapped the blanket around his shoulders and gently

placed her hands on either side of his face.

If words were spoken, I did not hear them.

But even at that distance, I saw Strong Wolf’s expression

soften. His posture became less rigid. He turned

his head to look at me, his eyes clearer than before.

I folded my arms. My mother was soft, but I couldn’t

afford to be soft. I would not be moved. I was the

Wellspring! Again I slowly shook my head. In that moment,

the light in Strong Wolf’s eyes flickered and died.

His anger returned. Pushing our mother’s hands away,

he tore the blanket off and flung it to the ground.

Then, without looking back, he walked away.

My mother buried her face in her hands,

fell to her knees, and finally wept.

Images

Meanwhile, on the other side of the village, Strong Wolf

gathered together his friends and anyone else who was angry

with our community, our traditions, and our ways.

“Follow me!” said he. “I will free you from this tyranny!”

Many of our people listened to his voice and were

persuaded to follow him. They soon left our community,

splitting our people in half. And I am ashamed to admit

that on that day, as I watched families leave or divide, and

for many years after, I wished my brother dead.

The People without Hearts

Not wanting to be near us, Strong Wolf and his people

walked for many, many days and settled on the north side

of the canyon—opposite our people. We knew this because,

even at that distance, we could see their fires.

Our community grieved their absence, and many hearts

were broken. Yet we learned to live with those feelings.

After all, we were not the ones who started the conflict.

It was my brother’s fault and those who chose to follow him.

They were the first to find fault. They mocked our traditions.

They were the ones who removed themselves from us.

“They are no longer like us,” I once told our people.

“They are cruel and dangerous. They have no hearts.

We are better than them.”

Images

From that time on we spoke of them as “The People

without Hearts.” For they had broken the hearts of many,

including the heart of my mother. We forbid our people

to speak with them, for fear that we would become

empty-hearted like they were.

Even so, they were ever present. Whenever something

went wrong in our lives we would blame it on them.

Failure, sickness, conflict, or even bad feelings—we blamed

it on them. In our eyes, our former brothers and sisters

became less like men and women and more like wild beasts.

In time, nearly everyone in our community both hated

and feared The People without Hearts.

Everyone except my mother.

At night she would wrap my brother’s blanket around

her and stand next to a tree near the edge of the Great

and Terrible Canyon. There she would gaze out at the

evening fires in the distance and whisper prayers for

her second-born son.

And with each prayer my hatred for him grew stronger.

A Mother’s Love

Many years later, after a harsh winter, my mother

became ill. She ate and drank very little. For weeks she

could do nothing but rest. I tended to her as best I could,

but when her condition did not improve I began to

fear for her life. Once she lay so still that I thought

her spirit had walked into the other world.

I gently placed my hand on her forehead.

I was surprised when she opened her eyes and spoke to me.

“Thunder Bear?” she whispered.

I knelt beside her. “Yes, Mother?”

“Will you do something for me?”

“Anything.”

She looked at me and the pain in her eyes pulled at

my heart. “Will you go to the other side of the canyon

and bring your brother home to me?”

My stomach tightened. “Bring him home?” I repeated.

“Thunder Bear,” she whispered. “I am dying. I wish to see

Strong Wolf—I wish to see my son—one last time.” She took

my hands in hers and squeezed them as hard as she could.

Tears streamed down her face. “Will you bring him home?

Will you find your brother?”

I looked into the face of my mother and saw

years of heartache and pain. In that moment,

I knew I could not say no.

“Yes,” I managed to say. “I will find him.

I will bring him home.”

My mother smiled softly, relaxed, and leaned back.

After a few moments, she was asleep once more.

I, however, could not sleep that night. For I knew

that in the morning I would begin a journey to the

other side of the canyon—a journey that would

take me into the lands of my enemy.

Man and Beast

The next morning, I made preparations for my

journey and chose a trusted elder to watch over the

people in my absence. Before leaving, I went to my wife,

the woman of my heart, and held her hands, promising

her I would return. Our two daughters interrupted our

moment. Tugging on my hands, they asked me when

I would come home. I wrapped them in my arms

and told them the only thing I could: “Soon.”

I left not long after, hoping they did not see

the tears welling up in my eyes.

Images

The path I took to the other side of the canyon

did not go through it, for we knew of no such path.

The canyon walls were steep but not sheer. Perhaps with

care and patience I could have walked down to the river,

but it would have been difficult to climb back up.

Indeed, such a feat seemed nearly impossible.

No, my route would take me all the way around the canyon.

For three days I walked westward until I came to a place

where the canyon was no more. From there I went north,

then turned and traveled eastward.

Images

After another three days of traveling, I found myself

entering the strange land of The People without Hearts.

I did not venture inland; instead, I walked near the edge of

the canyon. Every now and then, memories of being lost in

the canyon in my youth flashed through my mind.

Then I would look down at the snaking river

far, far below and feel my body tremble.

Somewhere in the distance I heard a rustling. I turned my

face toward the sound and crept closer until I could peer

through the line of trees. In the meadow beyond, I saw a

herd of buffalo peacefully grazing. The mere sight of

them took my breath away. Buffalo are majestic animals

and a rare sight in my land. Then something behind the

buffalo caught my eye. In the distance I could make out

a small group of men and women—a hunting party.

Not wanting them to see me, I crouched down even

lower. As they moved closer to the herd, I suddenly

realized who they were: The People without Hearts!

I heard voices to my left. Startled, I turned my head

and saw two men standing close by. They wore the

same clothing as the hunters in the distance.

Instinctively I reached for the knife at my side.

Were they scouts? Had they seen me? I gripped the handle

of my blade, ready to defend myself if necessary.

But there was no attack. The two men had not seen me.

Their eyes were focused on the buffalo.

One of the men was older than the other, with longer hair.

In his hands the elder man held a bow, which he extended

to the younger man. In that moment I was reminded

of my first hunt, when my father extended a bow to me

and showed me the ways of our people. It dawned on

me that these two men were not scouts or warriors—

they were a father teaching his son how to hunt.

This was a rite of passage.

The boy set his arrow and moved toward the buffalo

while his father lingered behind. There was a tenderness

in the man’s eyes—a kindness that took me by surprise.

Are these not The People without Hearts? I wondered.

How can any of them be kind?

Just then, the man turned his head and saw me.

Surprise flashed across his eyes. He reached for his knife

and I did the same—but then I stopped.

“Strong Wolf?” I said, my voice barely above a whisper.

The man cocked his head to one side. “Do I know you?”

My heart nearly stopped beating. It was Strong Wolf!

I could hardly believe it. It had been so long that I had

almost forgotten what he looked like. My eyes darted

from him to the boy in the clearing and I suddenly realized

that Strong Wolf was a father—his father! That boy—

perhaps thirteen years old—was my nephew. Something

about that fact startled me as much as anything.

How long had it been? I wondered.

I took a deep breath and stood up straight.

This would be my best chance to speak with him alone.

“Strong Wolf, it’s me—Thunder Bear.”

At the mention of my name, Strong Wolf went rigid.

He held his ground, his blade outstretched.

“Why are you here?” he spat. “What do you want?”

“You need to come back,” I said.

“Back?” he said, his lips curling into an all-too-familiar

sneer. “Back to The People of Stone? No, Thunder Bear.

We chose freedom, long ago.”

“Strong Wolf!” I hissed. I was already growing impatient

with him. After all this time he was still the same person.

“I need to bring you home!”

Strong Wolf’s face grew dark. “I am home!” he shouted.

This got the attention of the others. Thinking their

leader was in danger, several hunters ran toward him.

Their sudden movement made several buffalo glance up,

the muscles in their legs visibly tensed.

“It’s mother,” I said. “She’s sick.”

“Sick?” repeated Strong Wolf. He shook his head.

“You’re lying.”

“No, Strong Wolf,” I said, speaking quickly.

“She’s dying. And she wants to see you.”

Strong Wolf lowered his knife. He was about to say

something when an arrow whistled over his shoulder,

barely missed me, and landed in the trunk of a tree.

With a loud cry, a hunter leapt out from behind

Strong Wolf and tried to attack me, but I was too quick.

I grabbed him by the arm and flung him beyond the line

of trees. He landed on the ground and yelled in pain.

His cry echoed throughout the clearing—

and that is what caused the stampede.

I felt as if the ground beneath my feet would split in two.

I looked toward the buffalo and realized—to my horror—

that they were heading in our direction.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Strong Wolf grabbed his

son and lifted him into the safety of a nearby tree. His son

reached down to him but it was too late. The buffalo were

thundering through the woods, barreling toward us.

Strong Wolf ran toward the slope of the canyon and began a

hasty descent. I ran after him, the buffalo close on my heels.

Seeing the canyon, the herd made a sharp right turn.

One of the animals tripped and rolled, hitting me square

in the back. The force of the impact threw me forward

and down the slope of the canyon.

I slid down the dirt and loose shale. Strong Wolf,

who was clinging to a rock, reached out and grabbed

me by the wrist. I looked up at him in surprise.

At the same time, the rock to which he clung buckled.

Under our combined weight, it began to give way.

“Let me go!” I called. “Or we’ll both fall!”

Strong Wolf gritted his teeth and shook his head. He could

not hold me for much longer, yet he refused to let me go.

I tossed my head from side to side. Desperate for anything

I could hold on to, I saw only dirt and loose rocks. The

thundering of the buffalo grew stronger, shaking the very

canyon wall. Strong Wolf cried out and, as my stomach

suddenly lurched, I felt a knowing dread ripple through

my body. His rock—our anchor—had given way.

Together we fell down the slope of the canyon,

rolling into rocks and tumbling at great speed

until everything went dark.

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Endorsements

“Although The Five Legends is not a book from or about the Indigenous Peoples, it IS a book which will nourish the heart.” —Pauline Martin Sanchez, Gentle White Dove and Cofounder Mother of ANASAZI Foundation

“As the ANASAZI program grew, I put my efforts into developing a companion program to include parents and families in the powerful principles their children were learning on the trail. ANASAZI is not just our vision—it is the Creator's work.
The Five Legends is based on our work to help heal divided hearts." —Sherrel Olsen, Co-Founder Mother of ANASAZI Foundation

The Five Legends is a heartwarming book about peace and the power of family. I highly recommend it." —Steve Young, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and ESPN commentator

“This simple, yet profound book is filled with wisdom and insight. Living the principle of 'We' will put you on the path to success in any endeavor you pursue.”
—Sterling Tanner, President of the Forever Young Foundation

"ANASAZI has been such a blessing in our lives and in the lives of countless other families.
The Five Legends takes the life-changing philosophy of ANASAZI and presents it in an easy-to-read fable." —Howard and Shari Lyon, artists, Lyon Arts Studios

“Having taught youth for over twenty years (some of whom were labeled ‘at-risk'), I can definitively say most youth are in need of a book like The Five Legends. This book is perfect for teenagers as it doesn't come across as preachy but instead allows them to arrive at the principle on their own.” —Mark Rice, High School English Teacher

“A touching story of reconciliation, new beginnings, and shared humanity. Written from the heart for the heart.”
—The Jenkins Family (Bruce, Shari and Aly), Friends of ANASAZI Foundation

“This book inspired me to be more understanding of others. It can be easy to find fault with our ‘brothers.' The Creator is the path to love, harmony and forgiveness, and following that path allows us to live in the ‘WE' world.”
—Mike Tetmeyer, Retired Sr. Vice President of Marketing of Hy-Vee Food Stores

The Five Legends takes us on a inner journey to free ourselves from the plagues of modern society of isolation, fear, and hatred by asking us to turn our hearts away from ME and towards WE—wherein the medicines of love, connection, and peace live and heal.” —Briana Johnson, Host of The LifeBeats Project Podcast

“If I want sales advice, I turn to Mandino's
The Greatest Salesman in the World. If I want financial advice, I turn to Clason's The Richest Man in Babylon. If I want personal growth and development in the most important aspects of my life, I turn to ANASAZI Foundation's The Five Legends.” —John Dye, Director of Social Media and Influencer Outreach for BonCom.com

The Five Legends is a life-changing fable about a mother's unconditional love and how seeing people truthfully can change everything.” —Ganel-Lyn Condie, Speaker and Bestselling Author

“In a world starving for real connection
The Five Legends helps us see how we can refocus on what will bring us together. With lessons on leadership, forgiveness, and personal legacy, this book rekindles a hope for real connections with those we love.” —Jesika Harmon and Hillary Whalen, Founders of The New Norm

“Like
The Alchemist, The Five Legends takes you on a powerful journey through deep wisdom.” —Andy Proctor, Co-Founder of the 1,000 Words Speaker Series and Host of the More Happy Life Podcast

The Five Legends teaches us that we can choose to unite by committing to our connection to the Creator and each other. As a podcaster who preaches progress, I know that the only way to move forward is to foster healthy and honest connections with each other.” —Monica Packer, Creator and Host of the About Progress Podcast and Community

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