As we were comparing self-love stories over text message the other night, my friend put my/our journey very eloquently, “Self-love is such a tricky bitch.” Today, while another friend and I we were swimming in the ocean and talking about self-love, she also had a pretty spot-on insight; “It’s definitely more than speaking nicely to yourself and taking rose-petal-filled baths.” She is right, there is more to it, but what is it? What is it about this tricky little bitch that can be so layered?
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Inner Animal Magic
My conditioned brain wants to feel a sense of completion. Good god, does it want to feel a sense of completion. My brain does not know a feeling more gratifying than, ahhh-mmmmhmmm, complete. It feels *good* to be done, to mark it off the lists of to-dos, and to catalog it away in that satisfied brain of mine. Well, brain, I have some dissatisfying news for you...our spiritual work is never complete.
Another eye-opener for me when working with my Throat Chakra was identifying a pattern of anxiety. I noticed that often times my anxiety was a direct link (like setting off an alarm) to moments of me not speaking my truth. While anxiety and depression can be very scary, they can also be tools to help us identify moments in our lives when we are out of alignment with our greatest potential. A lesson I am still learning is that the authentic me is far more powerful than the me who tries to control and manipulate and I will never reach my fullest potential until I show who *I am*. Which leads me to a couple other lessons from my sea star:
Is it time to try something different?
Are you following your own star? Are you flaunting your own colors?
The reason I had two parents who were from opposite ends of the country and were on opposite ends of the spectrum of personalities, my father being strong and powerful and my mother being gentle and kind, was so that I could know perfect balance. Past frustrations and identity crisis, remembering my parents scornfully relating me to the other, suddenly slipped away as I noticed the gift and perfect synchronicity of me being born from this duo so that I could achieve balance and comfortability around all types of people and so that I could become the person I was meant to become and reach a larger scope of people.
What I did not realize when my crane had me in meditation, looking for beauty, and celebrating the magic in my life, was that he was preparing me. My crane was building up this side of life like one builds up an immune system before the winter in order to prepare me for a huge forward push in my business and a time to overcome challenges. While I was working with my crane this January, I announced to all of my Walkers and clients that I was closing the business to follow my dreams of working with endangered marine animals in the realm of oceanic conservation and would be moving to Florida. It was time for me to claim my power and my crane had me built up and ready to take on the extra tasks of this announcement as well as managing all of the questions, responses, and general “freak out” that resulted after this announcement.
“What is working up your totem pole really about? Your Foot Chakras are just about getting you to take the journey, you find out your gifts at the root and then what really feeds your flames at the sacral but the solar plexus gives you the self-confidence to share these things...then it is time to check back in with your heart and make sure everything is in alignment but more importantly, that everything has been healed for you to move forward (remember the connection of the Foot and the Heart Chakras)? Then your Throat Chakra gives you a voice, perfectly you move to your third eye to make sure there’s wisdom and insight in your sharing, but also to allow you to see light in the dark because your sharing may not be well accepted and finally there is source, to make sure you realize this journey is about your connection to all.”
This is an example of creative thought patterns that come when you give yourself time to be in the moment and give recognition to your inner self.
Fast forward to when I was eighteen years old and living in Hawaii. I had left on my first solo adventure and was doing work-trade to spend a summer on an organic pineapple farm in the rainforest of Maui. A lot of magic occurred that summer but one pivotal day was when I found myself swimming among a group of 5-7 sea turtles. They glided by and around me in the middle of the ocean and my heart swelled so much, I fell deeply in love. The day before I flew home from my adventure, I went to a tattoo artist with the sketch he had created for me weeks prior and had him ink my right foot with the Polynesian turtle who solidified my admiration for these creatures on my physical body. Knowing what I know now, I would have simply told my father, “Monsieur Tortois made me do it!” when he threatened to disown me for breaking his number one rule: no tattoos.
What you learn through doing this work is that your animals come to you because they can show you what you a) already possess and b) what qualities they possess, that they're going to share with you to make you whole. These qualities in part b) already exist within you, the animals are there to help you reawaken what may have been sleeping a little too long for your highest good :) I mention this aspect of the program as it relates to joy because this is one of my biggest lessons: if you are happy and joyful, your light will shine so bright that you will be far more successful than if you work yourself 90 hours a week but you are unhappy. On some level, those around you, whether it be your family, friends, lover, clients, and so on, know when you are authentically happy and it's contagious and they will want to be around you or be doing whatever you are doing. Happiness is good for business. If you are without joy, you will be stuck... you have got to be happy to evolve.