Friday, October 23, 2009

The Teepee Waiting Room: Someone will be with you shortly...

This morning on my bus ride downtown, I had the usual rigarmarole of thoughts dancing around in my head:  "It's supposed to be nice today, should I walk somewhere for lunch?"   "Will I get the Dubois assignment completed today?"  "Did I remember to record 'Criminal Minds' last night?"  "Why is that kid with the headphones looking at me?"   What was first & foremost however:  "It's been two weeks since my last blog, what am I going to write about next?"   It's like I'm in some waiting room... if I sit here long enough, someone or something will come to me.

Actually, it's not like I don't have anything; I just get second thoughts about some of the things I'm tempted to write about.  Here's a good example:  recently I decided it'd be fun to figure out what my spirit animal is.  I don't mean to be light about this, but it's sort of like the Native American version of a Fairy Godmother.  And I wanted one!

It's a common belief among Native American culture that everyone has a personal spirit animal;  Lucy Harmer's book is a gentle, sometimes humorous 'manual' on finding your own SA and how your 'animal' can help you understand who you are & help guide you on your life's journey  

I think that for a lot of people, this is a pretty "out there" concept, but it had me fairly intrigued.  I got a kick out of the plethora of internet sites & various online quizzes that promise to help; you answer a series of questions & you're now the proud owner of a spirit wolverine, bear or eagle.  (One woman expressed joy at being paired with a black panther.)  That’s how it works..

First of all, it doesn't matter if you're a man or woman, big or small, self assured or indecisive, etc.; you have no say in choosing your SA, it chooses YOU.  Secondly, it can be anything--a bear, a bird, a cat, even a salamander or a MOTH.   Third, you don't find out in a matter of minutes.  It can take days or weeks.  The theory goes that when you decide you're ready to know, you perform a form of silent meditation, and WAIT.  Your SA will let you know in an indirect fashion; you'll suddenly find yourself "coincidentally" running into any sort of references to a specific creature, until it dawns on you--"ah, my spirit animal is a (fill in the blank)..."   

So a couple weeks ago I began practicing some of the visualization  techniques outlined in the book, just in a casual "hey I'm in bed anyway" manner.   And on the fourth night I dreamt that I was driving to my sister's house & ran over a porcupine.

I didn't think anything of it (does running over your spirit-animal count as a vision!?) but as time went by, I begin seeing a lot of references to porcupines.   I know it sounds crazy (well, like this blog) but my whole life, I've never encountered anything porcupine-related.  And now, in a 2 week period I'm suddenly seeing references to porcupine grass on HGTV, porcupine fish on the Travel Channel--I even come across an old recipe for porcupine balls in a 1940s 'Vintage Recipes' cookbook!   Here’s the attibutes I share with my spirit animal:


Trust in Spirit

Renewed sense of wonder

Creating your own path

Protection of boundaries

Defense when threatened

Allowing others their path


Hmm...I admit I really began to warm up to that porcupine, and who wouldn't want to believe they share such great qualities?  (Besides, the darn thing is so cute...)   And then last night, I dreamt that I was talking on the phone & telling someone about my new pet spider.  (What the--I hate spiders!)  Why would I dream I owned one?  And who wants a spider as their spirit animal?  Was I wrong about my porcupine?  I'm going to do my best to avoid all references to spiders today.  

This afternoon I decide I want a soda, so I go to our office kitchen where the vending machines are located; but this pop machine only sells bottles, and for some reason I want a can.  I walk down the hall to the smaller kitchen (where I know another pop machine is located) and when I enter--there is a spider plant sitting in the sink.   No!

So I get home from work tonight, I'm sitting on the edge of my bed & removing my shoes... and God as my witness, on the floor by my nightstand is a spider.  A damn spider.  It's just sitting there!  I haven't seen a single insect in here in YEARS, so why now?!   I decided I'm not ready for a spirit animal.  I scooped it up in a glass & flung it off my patio. 
Well, at least this whole episode hasn't stopped my newfound affection for porcupines--and for the record, I MADE those porcupine balls last weekend.  (They're like meatballs, with rice.)  And they were delicious.

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