December 9th – “Whether you’re asking for guidance on the biggest questions or the smallest, you need to let your spirit be your ultimate source.”

What is your spirit? Is it something that you are born with? Is it something you develop? Or is it something that grows inside you? I’m not sure where we get our sprit from and guess that it is a combination of nature and nurture.

I’ve heard about spirit animals from Native American tradition and thought that it would be interesting to see what mine would be. For a more critical understanding of spirit animal in our modern day world, check out this The Atlantic article.

I don’t have anyone to help me determine my spirit animal so I took a quiz on this website: http://www.spiritanimal.info/spirit-animal-quiz/

Here are my results:

You‘re The Lion

lion

What It Means To Be The Lion

In the realm of spirit animals, the lion wins the prize for most relentless fighter in the face of life challenges. The lion spirit animal represents courage, strength in overcoming difficulties.

The presence of this power animal could also mean that something “wild” or difficult to control is happening. As such, lions symbolizes emotions that are difficult to manage, such a anger or fear.

***

If you take the quiz, you’ll find that it’s a simple personality test. Nevertheless, this silly test is a good reminder of a part of me that I have almost forgotten. I may not feel like the lion lately, but it’s definitely my spirit.

Courage is something that I have much of. I’ve taken the less traveled path more than once, and I’m probably going to do it a few more times. It’s hard to see myself as courageous when I spend most of my time at home with others who I think are far braver than I am. My cats Mr. Ox and Little Rooks wander off into the night to hunt for moles, never knowing if they’ll meet a raccoon, fox, opossum, or rival cat along the way. I don’t even go outside at night!

Nowadays I have little interaction with the outside world. I commute to work in the luxury of my car, talk to the same co-workers I’ve known for 10+ years, and stay with my sister who has been with me my entire life. Sometimes I forgot what it’s like in the real world.

Looking back at the past year, I see that I have been brave despite not feeling it. Some actions are big, and others are smaller everyday things:

  1. I quit my job abruptly and without a back-up plan in order to stand by my principles.
  2. I went to a birthday party where I didn’t know anyone except for the birthday gal. I hadn’t realized that was brave until another guest pointed it out to me. I didn’t occur to me that many people would not dare go hang out with a room full of strangers for a few hours on a Friday night!
  3. I got my first tarot reading. After my reading, I told a few friends and family members about the experience. They were actually afraid of tarot readings because they didn’t want to hear bad news! Again, I didn’t think that it was a scary thing, but I can see why it can be. In my reading, I was told that I had much more difficulty and work ahead of me. Oh great! Lucky me!
  4. I started painting even though I didn’t know how.
  5. I hitchhiked for the first time.
  6. I talked to strangers and became friends with them.
  7. I’ve spoken up when no one else would.
  8. I made croissants which I think are super difficult.
  9. I see my shortcomings for what they are. I haven’t worked through all of them yet, but I’m trying!
  10. I’m sharing my stories with all of you!

The other side to courage of the lion is that the spirit is “wild” and “difficult to control.” I can see that in myself as well. In more courageous acts I’ve carried out, there were definitely a high emotions involved. Would I have quit my job if I wasn’t angry with my boss? It’s very unlikely. Would I have spoken up if I wasn’t angry about an injustice? Certainly not.

When there are strong emotions involved, we have a choice to make. We can face the thing that is causing these feelings or retreat from it. I’ve often chosen to be brave and confront my difficulties. My spirit is still the same, so there’s no reason for me to take the easy way out this time. I guess I better get to work!

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