I was working with my crane at my solar plexus last month. The Solar Plexus Chakra helps with discipline, organization, motivation and inspiration; when my crane flew out for the golden dragon at my Heart Chakra to fly in, my productivity must have gone down because this reflection is weeks late! Just kidding, as I mentioned in earlier reflections, the animals/totems build on each other, all of your animals are always with you. However, in this program, we do focus on one at the time to *fully* understand their purpose in our lives and the areas they can best help us with.
I am briefly going to go over the 1st time I worked with the crane at my solar plexus before going into more detail about working with him this January. Last year when I worked with my crane, it was for a shorter amount of time which was spent researching the spiritual significance of the crane as well as watching YouTube videos of cranes dancing in nature :). I have danced throughout my life and loved having such a grace-filled animal, who likes to dance! This is an example of our reflection questions that ask how we feel about our animal and how we connect to them? I immediately *liked* having a crane once I learned they were dancing animals. However, we also need to look at the characteristics we do not feel good about; often times those characteristics are the ones we need the most help with. For instance, my crane has been with me (unknown to me until taking the Inner Animal Magic course) my entire life and we have connected through dance since I was a little girl. While this is true, it is also true that there are characteristics I need help with (i.e. areas of resistance in my life). I am on my journey to grow and open up to my full potential, just like you are, and part of that is accessing all of the assistance we can get from our animals. I mentioned in earlier reflections that some animals I connect more quickly to than others (like my panda). My crane/my Solar Plexus Chakra, is one I definitely connected quickly to because I tend to be very organized, driven, disciplined with my time, etc.. I also am almost addicted to learning, and concentration and learning are conveniently other characteristics of the Solar Plexus Chakra. Because I connect to these things so easily, it’s important to look at what characteristic of the crane I need help with, such as *balance*. I tend to be organized and driven, but sometimes it is to an *extreme* and being an “overachiever” is actually not a positive because it means you are out of balance, you want to be, simply, an achiever. The first time I worked with my crane, I soaked up the energy of concentration, drive, and motivation and soared in work that week but was arguably out of balance in other areas of my life. I did not see this until the second time I worked with my crane. It was important for me to connect to the energy of moving forward that we have at the solar plexus and I did this through working my tail off in my career because that was the best and most direct way for me to feel that energy but the second time I worked with my crane, I was able to recognize this pattern of imbalance. This is another illustration that this program is a tool for life, each time you work in a certain chakra, you are evolving to a different level and opening up to new lessons, there is no redundancy. If something is repeating, it is because you did not get the message the first time and spirit is, now, smacking you upside the head with the message so you cannot miss it. Other than learning about the crane in general terms and being a worker bee at Baltimore Dog, one project my crane assigned me was to collect photos of me dancing throughout my childhood and teenage years. This was a fun little project and allowed me to connect to the knowledge already within me (which is an area your solar plexus animal totem can help you) by reminding me of the grace and balance within me as a dancer. Another area your solar plexus animal can help you in is protection. When working with my crane, I was meant to focus on protection from those who try to manipulate me or cross my boundaries. Part of this time of imbalance at work was that many employees and clients were demanding too much of my energy and time--people pulling, pulling, pulling me in different directions. My crane was there to help me set some healthy boundaries and protect me from depletion.
My crane came in with ease this second time working with him. It was not the panicked, go-go-go, energy I had remembered from the last experience. In fact, it was completely different because, this time, my crane was encouraging me to be disciplined, not with work, but with my spiritual practices. He had me meditating every day and writing in my journals which had been collecting dust. I started to get excited, thinking it would be a light work month and I would be feeling pre-tty fine meditating every day and making that a priority in my day-to-day life.
We started working with our solar plexus inner animal totem right at the Winter Solstice so I also enjoyed seeing parallels between my animal, the chakra, and the solstice. late December-January is known for being a magical time of year and the solstice is a time to CELEBRATE the magic in your life. I was making wishes, and meditating and loving this spiritual time of the New Year. I went to a yoga class where the instructor focused the class on the solstice as well as the solar plexus and the sun (winter solstice shows that each day will bring more and more sun as we go through the winter months) and I felt as though the instructor was speaking directly to me and my magical January. I am a Leo, a sun sign so, as I mentioned before, a lot of these sunny solar plexus meanings are simple for me to tap into. The sense of the solar plexus is sight and one of our assignments was to be aware of all of the beauty around us, which was a great positive focus in what can be seen as a dreary time of year if you neglect the beauty all around and the idea that each day is getting sunnier.
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. After my announcement, I was required to spend hours on the phone with Walkers and clients, write lengthy replies to over 80 emails and text messages from clients and that’s before the news of Baltimore Dog closing hitting social media. Here’s how my crane helped me through this hectic, yet liberating, time:
My crane protected me from all of the nay-sayers telling me I was crazy to close such a successful enterprise. My crane protected me in conversations outside my realm of comfort with my business brokers, attorneys, insurance company, and vulture-like potential buyers.
-motivation and inspiration:
My crane allowed me to rip the band aid and follow through with what I had been trying to do for over a year-- move on and follow my heart’s desires.
-reliability and responsibility:
My crane pushed me to be responsive with my Walkers and get them all of the information I had promised them to support them to continue walking dogs after the close of the business. Without the awareness of my crane helping me, I don’t know if I would have been able to stay up late at night carrying everything through to the end, answering all of the correspondence, and getting organized for our last date of service: January 31st, 2015.
My crane helped me stay in balance during this time in my life by encouraging me to get clear, grounded, and in a place of gratitude before I was meant to carry through my tasks of closing the business. Because I was in the flow of following my guidance from my crane, this time in my life of shift-transition-taking a LEAP of faith, was quite relaxed and clear.
I had this amazing breakthrough with balance but I know there is one area in my life where I am still out of balance because I have been receiving a repeating message: When I worked with my Sacral Chakra, there were many messages of creativity. Then, I moved on to my solar plexus where I have my crane and the crane signifies creativity. I am now working with my Heart Chakra and the card I pulled for guidance this month was creativity. Because I have received this message over and over, I know this is an area I still need to put more energy into. Because it is my *pattern* to work hard on my career and stay organized, I can push creative projects away and see them as unnecessary or non-essential to my life but this repeating message is reminding me that creativity has a huge place in my life and doing creative projects and expressing myself in artistic ways, contributes hugely to my self-esteem and confidence. When I have high self-esteem and confidence, that’s when I can truly shine and radiate warmth. I will be trying to carve out more time for creativity this month... and if I don’t, I will get the message again until I am forced to use my creative talents.
One creative project that I followed through with while working on my solar plexus is one I was assigned by my crane. I was to go through all of the emails, texts, handwritten letters, Facebook messages, and phone calls and extract all of the positive recollections of Baltimore Dog from clients, Walkers, and friends as well as all of the well wishes for my future I received from these individuals and create a list of their words in different colors. I have put this creation in my solar plexus binder because what’s better for self-esteem and confidence than reading 9 ½ pages of positive feedback :) ? My crane helped me stay clear in this time through showing me the epic nature of receiving so many wonderful messages and notes (hashtag, blessed).
I am going to digress for a minute just to talk about “assignments from your animals”. When I talk about Wave (that’s his name… to be continued) giving me assignments of creating these pages or collecting dance photos, these assignments were obvious to me, I did not struggle to come up with them or get the message from Wave. I mention this because when you are working with your animals and going through your Goals and Activities and working in your Worksheet and connecting to Concepts or doing How to Connect projects, you are going to have A LOT of options to choose from but that does not mean you need to do all of these activities. What it means is that you should go through them and do those activities that call out to you and sound like a lot of *fun*. Then, your animal may give you an assignment that is specifically for you right now, at this point in time, and no one else could have ever thought it up for you. Do not put pressure on yourself to do something that does not open you up. This is not to say some exercises won’t be uncomfortable or confront some dark inner spaces you’ve been neglecting for some time… these moments of honesty and self exploration are just as much a part of your process as joy. But! do not get into a pattern of overachieving and miss out on exploring certain, fewer, activities in more detail. Listen to your inner guidance system made up of all these amazing animals.
I am going to finish with two little snippets from working with Wave that don’t necessarily tie into large chakra meanings and concepts. First I am going to tell you how he gave me his name… When I was meditating I would get funny messages like images of Spicoli from Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Do you remember the quote? "I'll tell you, surfing's not a sport, it's a way of life, it's no hobby. It's a way of looking at that wave and saying, 'Hey bud, let's party!'" I got another roundabout hint for a couple of weeks; I kept hearing the song “Waves” by Mr. Probz.
Finally, I asked my crane and he told me. He also showed me what he looked like, he’s hugely tall. He has white feathers and some beautiful accents on his chest, head, and wings of light aqua blue and gold. It’s amazing when you get little hints and then clear images but these moments can not be forced, they come simply from working with and connecting to your animals. For instance, when I was meditating with Wave during the end of “our month together”, he put his head above mine during meditation (since he’s about 6 ½ feet tall, this works well) and his beak rested over my head, almost like the bill of a cap and white and gold light and rays came down from his beak. This was his way to show me a new clearing ritual. I now can call him in to stand over me and clear me with the wave of light that comes from his beak.
My last example of working with my Solar Plexus Chakra is one everyone can try because it’s a fire ritual, perfect for working with the fire element of this chakra. I was taught this ritual by a shaman, Liz Seidel. Here’s how to do it:
Take a candle, tiny pieces of paper, a pen or pencil, and tweezers to handle the paper near the fire...
Write on one piece of paper what you want to release in your life.
Write on a second piece of paper your feelings of gratitude for that which you want to release.
Write on a third piece of paper what it is that you want to invite into your life?
Blow all of your energy into each piece of paper-- feeling, seeing, and imagining the sentiment that you wrote (the paper is very small if you want to do this indoors so you could write down one word and then blow the rest of your sentiment over the word energetically).
Take the tweezers and burn each piece of paper and watch it disintegrate and release into the Universe.
Modern society has a lack of ritual and ceremony, especially when we go through life changes. This fire ritual was important for me to do to let go of Baltimore Dog and my life here in Baltimore but can be used for smaller releases and wishes in life. It is a great symbolic way to let of stressors/heaviness, offer gratitude to the universe, and transition to a state of peace and daydreaming about that which you want to create.
As always, please write me with any questions about my path or your path with Inner Animal Magic.