Have you noticed that the second you say, “I want,” and your heart beats faster and your chin lifts higher, and a smile bursts onto your face as you think, “Oh my, oh my, oh my, won’t it be divine when all this happens,” suddenly everything that stands in the way pops into your mind chanting, “Oh, yeah? Who do you think you are? What makes you think you deserve all that?” And then, when you go to bed, when you close your eyes, when you slip into the dream world, all those doubts come crawling out of their secret recesses to poison your dreams. Have you noticed that?
It happened to me the very first night. On December 1st I got excited about calling in my magical year and that night dreamt of a house filled with vermin. There were bugs and when the bugs crawled out of the bedroom door, they were eaten by rats, and the rats were chased by giant rabbits. I woke in a sweat. Fear had come calling in a big way, a way I could not ignore, a way I could not mistake. I had to do something about my fears.
As I said my Covenant the next morning, I had an impulse to check the meaning of bugs and rats and rabbits on Dream Moods, a dream interpretation site I particularly like. Would you like to guess? Bugs = fear. Rats = fear. And rabbits? Yes, they can represent love, but in the Animal Medicine Cards…ten guesses, fear. While I was there I looked up boats, too because boats keep creeping into my dreams. Boats? They represent a fear of going deep into your emotions. OK, lord, I get it. There’s a little fear here.
So off to the page I went. You’ve got to help me, I cried. What do I need to know right now about my fears so I can heal them, release them, understand them, befriend them, better still, transmute them? Because as long as I’ve got the bugs and rats of fear crawling around inside my psyche, I’m pretty sure I can’t call in a magical year. I need to perform a little “magic” trick on my fears and I need to do it now.
I prayerfully shuffled and cut three times (once for God, once for me and once for the question), whispering, “What do I need to know right now to transmute my fears?” With a deep deep sigh, I lifted the top three cards.
First card: Despair/Nature Spirits. That card told me what my fears are. “A feeling of desolation and despair has you in its grip…your fears are blowing things out of proportion.” I didn’t like getting that card but I understood it. My old life-long bugaboo about earning enough money had blow up to three times the size of my joys of teaching and sharing Writing Down Your Soul. The Nature Spirits part of the card told me a solution. Go outside, it said. And I did. I went for a long refreshing walk on the Pinellas Trail.
Second card: Epiphany/Higher Self. This card showed me how to shift my resistance. “Be gently led rather than the old way of figuring things out…trust your vibes at all times.” I understood this one perfectly, too. In the past, when I’ve simply followed my guidance, I’ve been safe, protected, and yes financially secure.
Third card: Community/Spiritual Ancestors. This card showed me that I’m not alone. I don’t have to do this alone. I am surrounded and supported by everyone who has passed. I have a big spiritual village in heaven loving me and supporting me to find my spiritual community here on earth.
I felt deep peace after my card reading. I had received exactly the information I asked for and needed. I had received practical simple solutions and a loving pat on my back from my many spiritual guides.
My interpretation of my fears and my card-reading process for transmuting them may not be right for you. But the fear piece is universal. It happens to everyone. Say “I want” and everything that is the opposite immediately shows up.
So, if on Day 1 of your December Plan, you signed up in your heart and your mind and your soul to call in a magical, beautiful, prosperous, holy year, I bet your fears — whatever they are — showed up too, chanting, “Who do you think you are? What makes you think you deserve that? You’re not good enough, smart enough, capable enough… That’ll never happen to you.”
Has fear crept into your thoughts? Your dreams? Do you know what’s between you and your magical year? Well, what are you going to do about that? Where can you go for help? Guidance? Comfort? How are you going to transmute your fears so you are fresh, open, receptive and ready for the delight of your magical new year?
In Follow Up, the fourth step in Writing Down Your Soul, I talk about several ways to confirm or clarify your guidance. One of my favorites is to pay attention to the messages that come through animals. (p 183-185)
I was raised strict Catholic. Trust me, no nun or priest ever mentioned animals as vehicles for divine guidance. But in 1992, I took a Women’s Spiritual Empowerment class from Charlotte Starfire and my eyes were forever opened to the constant stream of messages in the air and on the land coming to me (and to everyone) in the form of animals.
Charlotte learned about the medicine, or healing messages, of animals from Sun Bear, the great Native American shaman and teacher. Since Charlotte’s class, I’ve kept my Medicine Cards close at hand and turned to them often to understand why a snake crossed my path or an osprey died a few feet from my door. I love my beautiful animal messengers and I welcome their messages.
But last night at 5:00 AM I got a new messenger and I didn’t love it at all. I was awakened by a cockroach crawling across my forehead. Instinctively, I threw it across the room and sat up in horror. I turned on the lights and pursued that thing for thirty minutes. I simply could not fall back asleep with a cockroach somewhere in my bedroom. This is Florida, and I know roaches are everywhere, but thanks to my pest control company, there’s never been a moving one in my bedroom before.
Well, this morning, when I did my deep soul writing, I asked, “What’s with the bug? If I perceive your divine messages in other more delightful animals, don’t I have to recognize the message this creature delivered, too?” It took me a few pages of writing to get the message. The bug had been on my forehead, my third eye, the seat of my knowing. So it was letting me know that I had bugs in my thinking, bugs in my programming.
And of course, it was right. I’ve been wracked with fear lately, fear about finances and fear about my son’s well-being. I desparately need to debug my programming.
“How do I do that?” I wrote. And the answer instantly appeared: “Ask the cards.” But this time, instead of going to the Medicine Cards, I went to a new deck my publicist, Jennifer Hill Robenalt, gave me when I met her in Austin: The Answer is Simple by Sonia Choquette. I love these cards. And they are, as the name implies, incredibly easy to use.
So I took a deep breath and prayerfully asked my question: “How do I debug my programming? How do I get the fear out?”
I drew three cards and laughed at the answer — and yes, it’s simple, clear and simple:
1. Say Thank You.
Suspend your fears long enough to recognize and appreciate those who are helping you. I recognized immediately that I’d been taking the small army of people who love me and my book for granted.
2. Reclaim Your Art
I didn’t even have to read this to know the answer: get back to my creativity, my writing, my love, my joy.
3. Say Yes
“The ego gets fearful…it waits until it’s absolutely sure that it will be safe before it acts. The trouble with this approach to life is the ego never feels safe, so it never acts, it reacts…. Don’t allow the ego to hold you back from the gorgeous opportunities in front of you. Take a chance and trust life as it unfolds.”
The cards perfectly diagnosed the fear “bugs” in my programming and showed me three simple steps to take to get de-bugged. I’m on it right now: I am grateful, I am writing, and I joyfully say YES! to my life’s purpose.
And so, I have to say once more to all my messengers, from the majestic birds to the creepy bugs, thank you for your words and your wisdom, your guidance and your grace. I see you. I hear you. And I learn from you. I am so blessed. And thank you to Sonia Choquette for her fabulous cards.
I am not special or unique. The animals are talking to all of us all the time. Consider this: What animal is delivering a message to you right now? What’s the animal? What’s the message? And what are you going to do with your message?