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This edition’s theme is embracing our animal nature – which we symbolically see as the inner wolf.
What's Your Spirit Animal?
Our spirit animals are powerful teachers on our spiritual awakening journeys. They help to guide, inspire, and lead us toward our true purpose...
Here’s your dose of wondrous, wise, and wildly inspiring discoveries, curated by the two of us with love:
- Mysterious & beautiful word: “Fylgja” – This word means “to follow,” and in Nordic mythology, it refers to invisible beasts that follow us around in spirit form. These animals could be cats, dogs, foxes, bears, lynx, dragons, wolves, eagles, or any mythic or earthbound creature. In his book Visual Magick, author Jan Fries writes of the Fylgja: “In times of danger, they could be relied upon to give advice, be it through visions, dreams, omen, ritual possession or some sort of divination.” Fylgja were also seen as totems that reflected our deepest nature, helping us to embrace the primal animal power within. Take a moment to consider what animal most deeply reflects your needs, dreams, or intrinsic nature, and that will be your fylgja (or spirit animal).
- Poem that evokes the feeling of reconnecting with our animal nature and larger family, aka., our ecosystem: Take a moment to breathe, center, then read slowly …
“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
[Pause to enjoy and integrate :-) ]
Mindful Shadow Work Book:
"This book came along at the perfect time for me. I’ve struggled to get on my path and stick to it, and now I know why. I’m not ashamed to say I was one of the ones Aletheia advised to do Self-Love first if you aren’t strong in that area so I switched over. That said I would have no hesitation in recommending the Shadow Work book to any seeker who is ready to face their shadow." – Jennifer
- Howling to embrace your animal nature – One of the most therapeutic things I do sometimes is howl madly (yes, like a wolf!). It’s a unique way of stimulating the vagus nerve, that’s for sure! Have you ever tried doing this with your dog, if you have one? The results can be not just calming and energizing but also funny (our two dogs stare at us like we’re uncivilized lunatics). I love this haunting howl. You’ll feel it in your soul!
- Celebrating your senses and sensuality – We’re living in an increasingly touch-deprived society, which can lead to feelings of loneliness, according to one study. Biologically, we’re programmed to be tactile creatures – so why not find more ways of lovingly/consensually exchanging touch with those you care about via hugs, cuddles, high fives, handshakes, kisses, and so on. Also, explore your senses (touch, smell, taste, hearing, sight) and bring diversity into your environment. Smell for me is a big one, and I always have some essential oils nearby (kunzea and fragonia have been my favorites recently). Ask yourself: what sense would I like more vibrantly present in my life?
- Find ways to stay grounded in your body and understand that emotions carry wisdom, but don’t attach to them – Anger, joy, fear, boredom, desire, insecurity … all of these are normal human experiences. Accepting these feelings and staying grounded in the body through breath, mindfulness, touch, and a healthy mindset helps us to embrace our animal nature. As teacher Karla McLaren writes, “If we ignore and repress an emotion, we won’t erase its message—we’ll just shoot the messenger and interfere with an important natural process.” If you’d like to learn how to work with the wisdom of your emotions and stay grounded, you might like to check out her course “How to Stay Grounded in Troubled Times: Engaging with the Healing Genius in Your Intense Emotions.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed these musings and findings for motivation and meditation! If you’d like to read more of this short-form styled content, check out my post on Eudaimonia & Embracing the In-Between and 5 Simple Ways to Calm Your Frazzled Nervous System.
Any thoughts on how to embrace your animal nature? Share them below so we can all benefit!
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