This was not something I came to lightly, but more something that attacked me with flailing arms, & steam coming out of its ears.
By the end of January, I was exhausted, short-tempered and emotionally drained. At first, I didn’t really understand where it was coming from, for my life did not feel or look any different than it normally did; my kids & grandkids were doing well, my home life & personal relationships were good, my businesses were running well. Despite the outer vestige of my life, I was finding it hard to keep my temper in keel, and felt a building desire to just say ‘fuck it, I don’t care what you do’, to most inquiries. Now, this does not mean I was showing my cards to the public, after all, I am a trained professional and I know how to put my stuff away while taking care of business. But, as time went on, I found it harder and harder to ignore the fact that I was short-circuiting. So I did what any good healer would do, I started to investigate the problem.
The answer came quickly; like a poke in the eye, and was not surprising at all…I was simply doing too much, running too fast for too long, and I needed to slow down. This realization brought to mind the old adage ‘Healer, heal thyself’; which speaks to the need for those who care for others to practice self-care. So I made an appointment with my apprentice Vanessa; who runs the Reiki clinic @ my wellness center and began to contemplate how I would cut back on the doing part of my life.
Now the problem with being me, is I invest in everything I take up. Everything I do is important to me. Which means selecting what to let go of, or pass on to others, were difficult questions for me. I generally do not spend much time on things I don’t believe in or value. I knew this was not going to be an easy switch, and that as much as I may want to put the squirrel in a cage it was going to take some time and planning to do so.
I began my transition while visiting family in Florida this last February. Normally when I take my winter jaunt south, I plan on working part-time while there; doing private Seances, and Readings or workshops at stores in the area, weaving my sacred work with my sacred travel together. But this year, I just kept hesitating to book any work, and the closer it came to my departure date the more I started limiting what my work would look like until it finally looked like “I am not working while in Florida this year.”
I have always seen travel as a time to initiate change, as we are away from our paterns, things, and the way others see us. So instead of working for others, I spent the time in the sun working on myself…simply being; taking deep breaths, walking in the green parks, soaking up the sun and enjoying the magic of the water that Tampa Bay had to offer.
We all have a dark-totem, an animal whose behaviors resemble ours, behaviors which we need to keep in check!
It may seem strange to say I needed to choose a power animal to work with, as in most cases our totem animals present themselves to us. But I have many animals I have worked with over the years, some of them staying with me a lifetime (Crow) while others are active for only a few years, long enough to share their lessons with me. It is from the latter variety that I was looking to choose.
From my slow-down time in Florida, I knew what qualities I was looking for, I wanted to keep moving forward, while focusing my intent, choosing to be more selective and purposeful in my movement. I needed to learn to stalk the prey/goal I am after and to rest when I had downtime. I needed the teachings of Cat. For me, these lessons come in the form of ‘Big Cat’…Lion, Lynx, and most of all Panther. This was not a new relationship so to speak, simply the re-emergence of an old alliance.
Creating a bond with a new Spirit Animal or rekindling an old relationship takes time. It helps to remember that the lessons are being offered, which means if we are sincere and open, the teachings will come. It is also beneficial to create space on your altar for honoring the ‘Spirit’ (animal, plant, ancestor, otherworldly being) relationship you are building. You can do this by placing items that remind you of the ‘Being’ on your altar and studying their ways through observation (if you’re so lucky), books and websites. One of my favorite books for Animal symbolism is ‘Animal Speak’ by Ted Andrews.
It is normal and perfectly alright to be working with more than one Animal Spirit Ally at a time. Personally, when asked the question “How many Spirit Allies should you have at once?”, my answer is “How many living friends and colleagues do you have?” If your a person who likes to have only a few good friends, your most likely going to be the same way in Spirit-work. But if you’re like me; a very social Gemini, your likely to have a whole slew of Spirit companions, teachers and guides.
At first, this reminder triggered me, but I quickly staunched that voice by reminding myself that making changes in our life is easier when you have