31 May What Animals Can Teach Us…
I am blessed to live in a beautiful place called Bend, Oregon. Bend is plunked down just East of the Cascade Mountain Range in Central Oregon, surrounded by white-water rapids, ice-capped mountains, lush green forests and gorgeous wild animals. I am always excited to look out my window and see a deer grazing in the grass, or a squirrel ushering his nut up a tree, or even a raccoon washing his hands in a puddle, as he gets ready for dinner. There have been many times when seeing one of these woodland creatures has sparked an insight, a feeling, or an inspiration in me that I know was a gift from spirit. I realized these forest friends set the example for how humans can be more in tune with their own nature. They teach us about love, fear, being present and the connection we share with each other. So just what does an encounter with one of them mean? And how can we use it in our daily lives? Below are just a few of the animals that I love and the spiritual lessons they have to impart to each of us.
The Fox: The Fox is a bit of a trickster. He is able to get into and out of situations very quickly and at times blend into his surroundings. He is swift, cunning, and a great observer. He reminds us to be quiet, approach thoughtfully, pay attention, adapt quickly and successfully navigate any obstacles in our path.
The Squirrel: The Squirrel reminds us to save and prepare! Gathering and preparing for a time of scarcity is what squirrels excel at. Those bushy-tailed hoarders are always on the look out for something they can take to their nest, store in their cheek, or bury in their secret hiding space. They can also remind us to get rid of what we don’t need. Anything that is absolutely not necessary has to go, in order to make room for what is! Thanks squirrels!
The Raccoon: The Raccoon is a protector and provider to others. They will provide food for their family before they eat for themselves, reminding us to be generous to those that we love. Raccoons also wear a mask. They remind us that sometimes we too have to pretend to be something we are not in order to maneuver through life’s turbulent times.
The Deer: The Deer represents the gentler side of nature. She reminds us to lead with the heart, use compassion and tenderness when dealing with tough individuals, and see the world through innocent eyes. The Deer can handle any situation with grace and love and a little bit of trust. She suggests we soften our own hardened-hearts and ease into a situation with a bit of vulnerability.
The Bear: The Bear is a strong, fierce and powerful animal, but when looking at his spiritual message he actually represents introspection, withdrawal, rest and psychic connection. When bears retreat for hibernation they take some immense alone time, given them the ability to rest, recharge and connect to the subconscious dream realm. The Bear teaches us its ok to disengage from the world, to rest and to meditate. We need this time to refuel and find our connection to spirit.
The Salmon: The Salmon implies that no matter what, don’t give up, even if you have to constantly swim upstream. He knows that everything he encounters is a chance to learn and evolve, and if he continues to go up the current he will eventually make it home. Be the Salmon, don’t stop going after what you want and you will eventually make it to your destination.
So what animals inspire you? How can you develop your inner fox, deer or even bear? Perhaps it’s worth a walk in the woods to explore your “wild” side. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.