“You’re Doin’ Alright!”: A message from your animal friends

Post by Allie Sheetz for the Love for Love series.

image courtesy of pixadaus.com

I’ve shared a lot of personal stories here in the past – tales of my own experience with animals and the morals they have bestowed upon me. I have no doubt that I could easily write volumes on the lessons I’ve learned in my 25 short years from my animal friends. My guess is that you, too, have your own personal storybook of the same genre; heart-warming childhood memories, loyal friendships, tales of heroism and courage, maybe even a tearjerker or two about the pets who have wandered in and out of your life and home over the years.

But what about the not so common encounters: the recurring snake dream, the hummingbird who flew in through your window (more than once), the delicate butterfly landing on your book as you lay reading on the hammock, the recurring horse dream, the pair of Canadian geese who seem to be stalking you. What do those chance encounters mean? Anything?

Just with any other experience in life, everything happens for a reason. Everything. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, but chances are, if some animal makes its presence known to you in one form or another, they’re traveling with valuable information. These “creature teachers”, as I so affectionately refer to them as (some also call them Animal Totems), can carry messages and wisdom specific to a certain event or situation in your life, a particular relationship, or help with a major decision on your plate. And they can come in to you from any and all outlets – a dream, your backyard, your Facebook feed… anywhere! But once you acknowledge their presence, once you catch on, how do you know what it is they’re trying to tell you?

The potentially frustrating, but definitely special thing about those animal gurus is they don’t speak your language to you – well, at least not usually (though people often report an animal talking to them in their dreams or in meditation). Unlike the Dalai Lama or your therapist or your best friend, all of whom can give you very clear, precise and definitive guidance in a language you understand (usually)… a ladybug? Or a polar bear? Not so much.
But as frustrating as this may seem, it’s actually incredibly empowering and freeing, because you – YOU – get to decide what the meaning is. And if you don’t know – if you have absolutely no clue what this ladybug (for example) is supposed to be telling you, there’s even better news… you can ask! In a moment of silent prayer and introspection, go inside and ask the question: What do you have to share with me? And that’s it! Let it go, and the answer will come to you. Maybe not immediately, maybe not directly, but eventually everything will become clear. Probably.
“Probably” because there is also the chance that it never becomes clear. And (ready for more good news?) that’s okay too!

Recently a friend of mine noticed that every time she looked at the clock, the time was always (some hour):47. She’d wake up in the middle of the night: 12:47, 4:47, 2:47. She’d get a text from her boyfriend: 9:47. She’d get into the car: 6:47. Everywhere she went! And it drove her nuts for the first couple weeks, trying to figure out what that 47 meant. Until… she let it go. And then the number disappeared too. She never did figure out what it meant – or at least she hasn’t yet – but I don’t think that was ever the point. The Universe/God/Spirit/Grandfather Time only ever wanted to get her attention, to make her notice, and she did! It worked! She was pulled into the present moment, if only for that moment, and the mission was accomplished.

So you see, the same can be true for you. Maybe a brilliant red fox prances across your backyard every morning as you sit with your cup of coffee. He could be there to remind you to be more cunning and stealth in your approach, or he could simply be there as a way of saying “Check out how stunning I am and how brilliantly the sun beams across my silky red coat” and draw you into a deeper appreciation of your environment. It’s all subjective and it’s all dependent on your own power of discernment.

Of course, there are also countless interpretations of each animal’s symbolism all over the Internet, but as always, be wary when diving into the world wide web. Again, it all comes down to YOU being the ultimate authority on your own life. Read all the different explanations you want and then check in to see which one resonates most accurately with you. My favorite resource is a site called Animal Sprits (I know. Subtle, right?). They have a pretty lengthy catalog of species and what they represent universally (including dinosaurs and mythical creatures!) It’s almost always spot on for me, I love it so much. But again, you’re the expert.

If nothing else, smile and have fun with the idea that there are those creatures out there who see you, acknowledge you, and are cheering you on as you walk this earth. For instance the monkey who greeted you at the top of the page – just might have something to tell you 🙂

 

Allie is the heart & creator behind Allie’s Grandola, specializing in the fine art of oats & nuts. She sells her handmade, gluten-free and vegan granola at www.aintlifegrand.squarespace.com.
In her free time, she blogs over at her tumblr, Detached and Connected, where she shares her journey of dreaming big and letting go… along with a tasty recipe or two. Her deep love and compassion for animals are evident in her cruelty-free recipes and vegan lifestyle.

 

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