Messages From Our Animal Guides

Messages From Our Animal Guides

We have many allies along our spiritual path, both seen and unseen, but among my favorites are our animal guides. It could be a giant blue heron that swoops overhead or a mouse that lies in plain sight and does not move until acknowledged. These animal guides or spirits animals are our guides in animal form. Some of them have walked with us since birth and some of them show up at the perfect time to bring a much-needed message. Learning to pay attention and decipher the message can be a magical and life-changing experience.

Message From My Animal Guide

I have had some powerful encounters with animal guides in my life. Some showing up in deep meditative states or in journeys. And some showing up in real life. Mouse has been a good ally over the years appearing at just the perfect time. You might be thinking that a mouse is a pretty common animal, how could you know it was there to convey an important message? It isn’t just the appearance of any animal, it is its presence in an unexpected and/or meaningful way.

In one instance, Mouse was sitting wide open in the middle of our deck construction. It sat there unmoved until I made the connection of its presence and its message. Another time, Mouse had made its way up to the top right-hand corner of my patio door between the sliding glass and the screen. In both cases, once I took a moment and re-read the Mouse message in my animal medicine cards, the mouse disappeared. Mouse shows up for me anytime I am missing the details of something. She asks me to pay close attention and scrutinize carefully.

How do Spirit Animals Work?

When these beautiful spirit animals show up for us, it isn’t the consciousness of the single animal that is guided to help you. If you think about Plato’s theory of forms, he said that two realities exist. The material realm in which we live our day to lives and the non-material realm where the essence of all things exist in their perfect form. For example, there is the essence of Deer, a blueprint from which all deer are made. And an individual deer that has its own unique features, expression, and consciousness.

It is in the non-material realm that Mouse or the essence of Mouse exists. Some teachers like to call this the Oversoul. This oversoul then works with the consciousness of a single animal residing in the material plane to pass on the message that you need to hear. These messages if heeded, can be an important piece of our conscious evolution.

Noticing the Animal Guide

Sometimes an animal guide will show up once in a meaningful way like in the example above. Sometimes they will show up over and over, in real life or in meditative states. And other times they will come to you in your dream time. Recently, as we were creating the Chaos & Light Community, Mountain Lion showed up in my dream. She didn’t just show up, she was stalking me. She pounced on the hood of my car at one point and in another instance was surrounding the house. Mountain Lion is about leadership. She could sense my reluctance and was calling on me to step up and lead. Dreams that are meaningful have a different feel than those that are just the unwinding of our daytime consciousness. They will stick with us even after waking.

So pay attention when an animal shows up in an unusual way. If you always see crows by your house so it is usual for them to be there, that is probably not an animal guide. Now if you were on a hike and a crow follows you from tree to tree cawing loudly along the way, there is probably a message for you there.

Messages Through Metaphor

If you think that an animal is trying to send you a message, take a moment, and consider the characteristics of the animal. For example, if a lion is showing up repeatedly in your healing work, think about what a lion means to you. They are expert energy managers. They won’t chase after something unless they know it is going to nourish them. They protect their pride etc. So after thinking about a lion as a metaphor, feel into the information and see what comes up for you. Does it apply to the circumstances in your life? Are you being called to manage your energy more wisely?

There are also some great animal medicine cards that can assist you and some pretty good websites too. My favorite is Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals. You might also just sit in meditation with the intention of receiving the message they are trying to convey.

Developing a Relationship With Animal Guides

As with all relationships, it is important to respect and honor their presence in our lives. You can do this by having an animal totem, i.e a figurine that you keep on your altar. You can donate money to charities that support the well-being of a particular species. You can call them into your rituals and ceremonies and develop a working relationship with them. Remembering to always be grateful and reverent for their service. These animals are connected to the Oversoul and as you honor them, you also honor the essence of all of them. Sitting in meditation with your messenger and connecting with them on a regular basis is another way to nurture the collaboration.

Animal guides are magical messengers. Learning to work with them can enrich your life and assist you in your conscious evolution. As humans, we sometimes forget that we are part of the natural world. We too, are animals. As we learn to tune into the subtleties of nature there are many beautiful energies to explore that can expand your idea of what is possible. So pay attention to the animals that show up and then learn to listen to the guidance they have for you. Then take action, it may just change your life.

(c) Can Stock Photo / Donvanstaden

 

 

Re-visiting the Celestine Prophecy

Re-visiting the Celestine Prophecy

The Celestine Prophecy was written near the end of the last century but many of its teachings are more relevant than ever. Everywhere we look people are competing for power and deeply entrenched in control dramas. But, there is hope for humanity if we can learn to source power from Universal consciousness rather than from each other. This podcast re-visits the 9 Insights through the lens of our current experience.

In this episode:

  • We explore the question, what are you plugged into? If we are the sum of the five people we hang out with, is our online time spent around negativity and divisiveness?
  • We explore the first nine insights outlined in The Celestine Prophecy.
  • First Insight – Synchronicities – Becoming aware of the meaningful coincidences around us that are meant to wake us up to the energetic and magical workings of the universe. The more we become aware of them, the more they happen.
  • Second Insight – Taking the Long View – Putting our current awareness into a longer historical perspective. Over the last millennium, we moved from using faith alone to describe our world, into looking toward science to answer the BIG questions. When science was unable to answer all the questions, we moved toward making our lives comfortable. This led to the bi-products of progress – pollution, stress, disconnection. But we are waking up to the idea that there is something more meaningful intended for us that blends both science and spirituality.
  • Third Insight – Everything is Energy – The basic stuff of the universe is vibrating strings of energy. We can see this energy by first, seeing the beauty and then appreciating the uniqueness of things. Then expand our awareness outward from that place. Using this process we can learn to see and experience energy.
  • Fourth Insight – Competing for Energy – This describes our struggle for power. When we control another person, we steal their energy. You feel strong, they feel weak. This had led to every conflict, large and small, that humans face. We are trying to take the only energy we have available to us in an unconscious state – the energy that flows between humans.
  • Fifth Insight – Tapping into Source Energy. Humans need to learn and experience connecting to the mystical consciousness or Source energy through experiences rather than taking energy from one another.  This can be glimpsed through mystical experiences but the idea is to source this energy all the time. Love is the background emotion that exists when we are connected to the universe. 
  • Sixth Insight – Understanding our Control Dramas. In order to act consciously and source universal energy, we need to understand the ways we were taught to take energy from another person. These were developed in childhood in response to our parent’s control dramas. In the book, James outlines four types of control dramas.  Being Aloof: This is withdrawing from people and conversations in order to appear mysterious. This makes the person want to figure you out and try to pull you out of your shell. The Interrogator: This type uses criticism and judgment to take the energy from another person. The Poor Me: This drama is about getting people to feel sorry for you, it uses guilt and pity as the primary way to draw energy. The Intimidator: This person uses aggression and/or violence to take energy. This insight also asks you to look at these questions: Why were you born into your family? What would you change about your parents? What would help them heal their control dramas? These questions help you to understand your life’s purpose.
  • Seventh Insight – Intuition as a Guide –  When we have enough energy we are able to engage in conscious evolution. Truly become the co-creator of your experience – The next phase in human evolution. We do this by asking the right questions about what it is we are truly looking for at the moment. This gives us clarity about our true desires. Then we use our intuition, for example, what pops into your mind after asking the question? Do you have clear feelings or notions about what you are to do next? Then look for the synchronicities that occur around our inquiry. This is how we consciously evolve.
  • Eighth Insight – Our Interpersonal Ethic – This insight is all about how we relate to others. It talks about parenting and how we try to dominate children and live out our control dramas. Thus forcing them to create their own in order to take back some of the energy. It also warns us of becoming addicted to other people either through lusting after someone, like in the early phases of a relationship. Or longterm co-dependent situations. A healthy relationship won’t be able to form until each individual can source their own energy from Source instead of each other. We also need to be in touch with the Divine Feminine/Masculine energies within ourselves regardless of our sex. But once we do, we can actually lift each other up and help one another reach new heights that are greater than the sum of the individual. Learning to consciously evolve with other people and even in groups, if all members can receive energy from source instead of one another.
  • Conscious Evolution – Our Human Potential – We are going to see a massive shift in culture as more people move through and live by these insights. We will see a shift in our modes of production, utilizing automation so our time will be freed up to focus on more meaningful pursuits. And by moving into a state of giving by giving energy, giving time, giving resources, the natural consequence will be an abundant universe for all living beings and Mother Earth. 

Resources:

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

James’ Website Celestinevision.com

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Are You Awakening?

Are You Awakening?

The awakening process for some is gradual with spikes of growth followed by plateaus of processing and integration. For others, it can be an abrupt and disorienting experience. Usually brought on by a life change, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, or illness. Sometimes a person faces an unusual experience that cannot be explained by their current worldview, prompting them to explore others. In whatever way it presents itself, it is a journey towards more presence and meaning. Here are a few common signs that you are awakening.

“Spiritual awakening – is becoming awake to the aliveness of this moment.”
~Eckhart Tolle

Awakening Sign #1: Life Becomes Uncomfortable

There tends a be a general unraveling of the status quo right before a person accepts this conscious path. As mentioned, this can be brought on by an outward event or just a sense of decreasing satisfaction in the normal. Maybe the usual gossip or celebrity news that once was interesting has now become inane. Or perhaps a bad habit feels increasingly misaligned and is impossible to ignore. People, places or ideas become ill-fitting and we grow weary of trying to make them fit. This discomfort is just a signal of a readiness to grow and evolve beyond our current mode of being.

Awakening Sign #2: Exploring Purpose and Meaning

An awakening is really a destructive experience that is both spiritual and philosophical. We watch our illusions and identities fall away as we make space for new understandings. This dismantling leads us to explore some high-level questions about life. We ache for purpose and the meaning of existence and seek out tools and techniques that aid us in finding significance. This prompts us to begin a meditation or yoga practice or become voracious readers on all things spiritual. There is joy in the questioning itself not necessarily in finding all the answers.

“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”
~Ramana Maharshi

Awakening Sign #3: Witnessing Our Stories

An important piece in this process is learning the value of witnessing our stories and the stories of others. These are all the things we tell ourselves about who we are and how the world operates. We begin to understand through being present that our thoughts and emotions are not really who we are. They are data points, not our core essence or true nature. Sometimes this means we take a 30 000 foot view of the world and/or situation. Or do a deep inner excavation of our beliefs, expectations and ‘the shoulds’ that drive our behavior. Awakening is being able to witness the story without reacting from it. We do this, for example, by recognizing the way the Victim, Wounded Child or the Addict archetypes show up and dominate our thoughts. We understand that the stories we tell ourselves either empower us or keeps us stuck.

 Awakening Sign #4: Taking Responsibility

There is a certain re-framing of situations that happen as we move through this process. This is the movement from seeing life as happening to us, to being the co-creator of our lives. This doesn’t mean that unfortunate things won’t happen but how we respond to those circumstances is up to the individual. We also start to recognize our shadow side, the places where unresolved trauma and false beliefs rule our behavior. We learn not to see our shadow from a place of shame, guilt or fear but rather as an opportunity to be empowered. This means not putting other people in charge of our well-being or trying to control others through our wounds.

Awakening Signs #5 –  Having Mystical Experiences

When we first start to notice the patterns and synchronicities that surround us, it can be a magical thing. We begin to see the divinity in things that used to go unnoticed. It could start as simple as someone recommending a new book and then hearing about that book several times over the next week. These synchronicities are like the universe’s breadcrumbs assisting us and acknowledging our conscious efforts. 

Peak experiences are another example. They are moments of profound connection or unity to all that is. This could be the ‘aha’ moment where suddenly something makes total sense or the feeling of awe when looking over a valley from a mountain top. This can also be a feeling of bliss or ecstatic joy when we see or feel Truth. These experiences assist us in not only having an intellectual understanding but also move us into the experience of being alive in a dynamic, emergent universe.

“Your greatest awakening comes, when you are aware about your infinite nature.”
~ Amit Ray

Wherever you are on your awakening process, remember to be compassionate with yourself. This isn’t a race or a competition. It is an invitation to find passion, purpose, and meaning in our lives. A continuous and ever-unfolding journey connecting us to deeper truths. This path isn’t always easy or filled with joy. Some places are dark, messy and destructive, but it is a richer, fuller existence. For me, it is the stuff of life.

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We Are All Imperfect Messengers

We Are All Imperfect Messengers

I’ve thought a lot about the difference between the message and the messenger. I am grateful as someone who has taught various subjects to different populations in health and personal growth that people can understand the difference. I am not a perfect human. Even though I teach stress reduction, there are still times where I let stress get the best of me. Even though I teach mindfulness, there are still occasions when I spend too much time on my phone or eat while I’m watching TV. How do we talk about change when we are still part of the problem? Do we need to be removed from the culture to address the issues in it?

I find it disheartening what is happening to Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden. I’ve been watching people insult and make fun of her for having the courage to speak about something that is important for humanity to discuss. Whether you agree with her or not, to attack the person rather than the subject is a weak approach. Especially if you’re an adult and that person is 16-years-old.

The thing is, even if you find the topic of climate change debatable, a conversation can still be had about the sustainability of an economic model based on continuous perpetual growth and the burning of fossil fuels. Do we not owe it to future generations to take pause and examine where we want to be in 50,100, 200 years? The level of rapid expansion on all fronts is something we’ve never seen on this scale. If you owned a business with continued pressure to expand, would you do so without a plan, limits, or policies? The globalization of our economies requires us to figure out a path moving forward as a global community.

What happens when China and India continue to follow the industrialized Western model? 

The idea that anthropogenic climate change is debatable is a Western, mostly American mindset. Maybe because as the world’s largest consumers and users of fossil fuels per capita, we risk the most change to our daily life. But let’s pretend for a moment that it is debatable. What do we have to lose by acting more sustainably? What do we have to lose if we don’t? Would the world not be better off by using more clean energy or by protecting our air and water?

People worry about hurting the economy or relinquishing control, but really it is about power. Currently, our approach is exerting our dominion over nature, our power over it. Living in harmony with nature and honoring the earth and her inhabitants, flies in the face of corporate interests and American exceptionalism. That’s why the oil industry tries to quash any plans for light rail in cities like Phoenix and Nashville. Saying, it is un-American to take public transit. As the most intelligent species, we should look at ourselves as stewards rather than masters. Living in Japan, we don’t have the luxury of pretending that it does not exist. There is no debate; there is only mitigation and preparation for it’s worsening effects.

So I welcome the Gretas, the Leos, and the soccer moms to speak loud and let your voice carry. And please, don’t stop. This conversation needs to happen.

Are they perfect? Hell no, but here is the thing, we are all imperfect messengers. The vegan who wears leather shoes, the activist who flies on private jets, the environmentalist who drinks out of plastic. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t value in eating less meat, taking public transportation or using less plastic. None of us are flawless. If we wait to consider a message because the messenger is sometimes out of alignment between their vision, values, and actions, then we will not improve. When it comes down to it, it isn’t perfection that is required. It is about balance and harmony. Individually, globally, and spiritually.

Sustainability is just balance and harmony in action.

Sustainability is just balance and harmony in action. And this doesn’t require infallibility, only that we come together, conscious and honest about where we stand. We can debate about the timeline, but perpetual growth based on the exploitation of the earth’s resources is a lose/lose proposition. So while Greta’s pleas may have seen a bit heavy-handed, her worries are not unfounded. At our current pace of growth in all areas, to not include the environment in our discussions, is just insane. The silver lining is that we already have many innovations and emerging technologies; we just need the personal and political will to put them into action.

We aren’t going to solve our problems by longing for the past.

There is not a single person among us who hasn’t lived incongruent to their values. We all take part in the culture we live in, which has been continually formed and developed by present and past generations. It’s okay to discuss where it is failing and more importantly, make a conscious effort to look where were are going. We aren’t going to solve our problems by longing for the past. We are too many, too globalized and too technologically advanced for that to work. Industrialized thinking doesn’t cut it in an information age. So, this requires us to allow all fallible people to speak up because, without them, there would be no one — not a single person to champion this cause. If we focus on the message rather than the messenger, we might be able to get some real work done.

 


(c) Can Stock Photo / rfcansole

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Spirituality For The Rational Mind

Spirituality For The Rational Mind

Often the word spirituality becomes synonymous with a belief in God. However, spirituality is a broader term that is really about our search for meaning. Listen in as Angela Levesque argues that when conscious, everyone is inherently spiritual and why this matters in our current climate of divisiveness.

In This Episode:

  • Why people who are spiritual are often uncomfortable within the confines of religion
  • What spirituality is really about: meaning and connection
  • The problem with not divorcing spirituality from God
  • The experience of awe
  • Why we need more meaning in our policies and politics

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