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:

Here are my results:

You‘re The 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!

October 24th – “Forces around you are pushing you off track…What bravery do you need now?”

I like it when my zodiac and horoscope predictions coincide, but I’m not always sure how to interpret it! I have been thinking about work a lot lately and have been feeling a sense of urgency in this aspect of my life. There are many external influences beyond my control and I think I need to assess my situation and make decisions on what to do next.

Over the past year, I started quite a few creative projects (including this blog) while working part-time. I quit The Worst Job Ever (TWJE), so it was a good opportunity to try out new ideas and do work I wanted to do for a change. Now that I’m ready to create a different lifestyle for myself, it’s time for me to complete these projects.

I certainly could have finished these projects earlier, but had a number of reasons for not doing so. One excuse for procrastinating was that I simply wasn’t ready for a new job. The logic in my head was:

finish projects —> more free time —> do more paid work —>  find a full-time job  —-> get a new job that might really suck —> feel trapped!

Since TWJE, I have been afraid to commit to a new job because I don’t want to feel stuck in a bad situation. I know that I’m being dramatic and overly cautious, but I’m sure someone out there can relate.

In reality, my side projects and new job opportunities are totally unrelated. It’s silly that I’ve linked these two things together in a causal chain. It’s more likely that this will happen:

finish projects —> feel fulfilled —> new ideas —> start projects —>   finish projects —> feel fulfilled

It’s clear that I’ve been exhibiting self-sabotaging behavior lately, so I better stop! If I can’t be brave today, when will I be?  I know I get tremendous satisfaction from completing my own projects, so I will commit to getting my mini-books and paintings done by the end of the year.

To help me with this process, I’m going to go back to “piling” organization and keep all my projects in sight. I did this in graduate school and it was very effective in keeping me on track.

For those of you who don’t do this, it can work well for creative types who get distracted by lots of ideas. Click here for a more detailed explanation. Here’s a summary:

  1. Forget conventional filing and organize your projects into piles on your desk or any other surface you have.
  2. Write down project deadlines on a calendar where you can see all 12 months.

I also signed up for a free course for training creative professionals. I’ll let you know if I recommend the course when I’m done with it in 8 months. I don’t know if this will be my cup of tea, but I’m sure I’ll learn something from it!