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Do you want more resilience?

Do you want more resilience?

Posted by Susan Dix in Resilience 09 Nov 2016

There are lessons that nature shows us every day. Lessons born from the innate knowing, biology and instincts of animals. If we pay attention, these animal “guides” or totems will show us through metaphor what needs focus in our lives. What could help to overcome an obstacle or block to progress and forward momentum.  Providing much needed inspiration, wisdom and beauty for a challenging time. The shamanic traditions recognize the wisdom and magic that can be found in the messages of animals, and they are just as present and applicable to our modern day culture when we pay attention.

I am writing in the days right after our Presidential election. I am thinking about resilience and renewed buoyancy. The ability to rise again from a setback, failure or disappointment. Resilience is a trait necessary for success and strong leadership. A quality that can be learned and practiced, so take heart.

I know these are qualities I need to remember and bring up within myself now, as I sit here with a heavy heart contemplating an uncertain future for the planet, my son and future generations.

I Love Pelicans.

I remember watching pelicans as a very young girl when my family lived in Mexico.  They were big, beautiful birds that were amazing in flight and acrobats when diving for fish. I now see them frequently when I walk down to the beach near my home, especially in winter.

Squadrons of them flying in formation along the coast.   Low above the water. Wingtips just barely grazing the crest of an incoming wave. Solo, flying up and then plummeting straight down into the water to snag a fish. I could watch them for hours and sometimes do.

What does the Pelican represent?

Pelicans represent buoyancy – a lightness or resilience of spirit. Despite their large size, pelicans are actually quite light. Have you ever watched one dive into the ocean hoping to get a fish? Did you know they have air sacs under their skin that makes it impossible for them to sink? They dive deep under the water to fish and are made to pop up to the surface. So cool.

Water represents emotions and those things subconscious that are unknown or pushed away as unacceptable by our egos. The oceans where the pelican lives are deep and often rough. Yet, pelicans effortlessly float back up to the top of the waves. Symbolically, this teaches how you can come back to the surface, no matter how heavy or deep the emotions in your life become. You can and will resurface. You can cultivate resilience in your life.

Pelicans are also masterful at flight. They are creatures of the air as well as water. Flight symbolizes freedom, movement and action. It takes a great deal of effort to get those big bodies up off the water and airborne. These are not sleek, graceful fliers fliting along on the breeze. They look more like big bodied bombers to me.

The important lesson though, for our purposes here, is that they do become airborne after some effort. This demonstrates that you can leave the weight of emotions behind and be free from that which weighs you down. Emotions can keep us down, but if you consider the pelican – you will see how not to be overcome by your emotions and instead be inspired to move into flight and action.

Action after all is where change can be made. Action is the catalyst for moving forward after a loss or failure and embracing the future with renewed resolve.  A renewed resolve that I, for one, require.

Pelicans are a beautiful metaphor. The pelican represents an ability to see what you want and to go after it, into the depths when necessary. Demonstrating an ability to rise to the surface and, with some effort, leave the emotions and “stuff” that no longer serves you behind. To move on to the open sky and the freedom of flight.

All of these qualities are healing and powerful. If you are interested in developing your resilience and leading a more empowered successful life, contact me and let’s talk to see how I can best support your efforts.

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  • Joan Bergman November 15, 2016 at 11:59 pm / Reply

    Thank you, Michele, you have reminded me how much I can learn from the natural world. Much appreciated.

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