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Remember the Lotus

Whenever you should doubt your self-worth, remember the lotus flower.  Even though it plunges to life from beneath the mud, it does not allow the dirt that surrounds it to affect its growth or beauty.  Suzy Kassem. The lotus flower is considered a sacred symbol.  The Lotus symbolizes purity, beauty, majesty, grace, fertility, knowledge and serenity.  The lotus will fluorish in murky waters, pushing through mud and mire.  The petals break through and reach toward the sun, while the leaves stay afloat as they shine in the light.

Symbolically, lotus petals can be found in the chakra symbols.  Each chakra has a specific number of petals, representing ascending vibrational frequencies.  The state of enlightenment is represented by the thousand-petal lotus.

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You Are Behaving Like an ANIMAL!

An EMU Actually . . .

Of course he was! That's one of the many gifts given by a Power Animal! In Shamanic tradition, it is common for an individual walking the shamanic way to be guided by the "spirit" of an animal. Through direct interaction with a species, dreams of a particular animal or synchronistic clues, a power animal repeatedly draws attention to him- or herself. If an animal comes to your attention, take notice. There are lessons to be learned.

I didn't quite understand this concept right away. Now that I have the understanding, I can look back over the years and see not only the animals who have been guiding me, but I have also seen their presence in the lives of those closest to me.
Imagine if birds were tickled byteathers.  You’d see a flock of birds come by, laughing historically.  Steven Wright.
He wasn't a practicing shaman, but when my father was alive, he seemed to attract farm animals. We lived in the country so it wasn't uncommon for an occasional cow to get out, or even a pig. But the type of attraction I am referring to is the unusual occurrence of traveling animals who sometimes even walk for miles to interact.

It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.  Aesop.

One day in particular that stands out was when we were sitting in the living room and Dad had the sliding glass door open to the back yard. In walked an Emu. He strutted his fluffy grey feathers over to my father and started eating jelly beans out of the bowl he held in his hands.

My father tried to make him leave, and he stubbornly refused! It was actually quite amusing to watch my (stubborn) father try to make a stubborn bird leave! Turns out, the critter belonged on a farm, and had traveled several miles to share my father's jelly beans!

What message did Emu have for my father?

Be a Good Parent and Work Hard.

Emus don't fly, but run quite quickly. Well, this guy in all his lanky long-leggedness wasn't interested in running either! The males also sit on nests and also raise their young. They often lose a lot of weight in the child-rearing process . . . hard workers indeed! The Emu is a symbol of fatherhood, paternity and male sacrifice.

My father was a hard worker, and the sole breadwinner in my family during the child-rearing years. With five little mouths to feed, he spent his days working as an auto-body repairman and often in the evenings he worked in the shop at home doing work on the side.

Go Where You Must to Find What You Need

Emus are nomadic . . . traveling to find plants and insects. Apparently they will also travel a great distance in search of jelly beans! The Emu is a symbol of journeying to find nourishment, both literal and spiritual.

In the early years, if work became scarce, my father would pick up his family and move if necessary to find work. He finally settled with his family in Tennessee when I was six. He always seemed unsettled here though. Times would get hard and he'd discuss selling the home place and relocating to somewhere better. We traveled back to his childhood roots in Virginia a few times a year.

Survival Takes Sacrifice

When we were small, we had a large garden, and in the evenings Dad spent his time teaching us how to sow potatoes and grow corn. He worked hard to provide for his family. We didn't have much, but we always had enough. His hard work eventually cost him his life.

Other Lessons from Emu:

  • Emus have difficulty finding a mate for life . . . they typically don't worry about "fidelity"
  • They believe in stern "discipline"
  • They communicate in a loud/bold and primal manner, where others stand up and take notice
  • Swift movement and hard work is often key to survival

In the physical realm, Emu teaches us that if we want to survive, we've got to work hard, communicate well and be swift in our actions. Not all things in life are positive and we've got to know when it's time to move on to a better place.

Spiritually, Emu teaches us that some activities in life just "are", that spiritual growth often takes strong discipline and reprimand is called for in activities that are detrimental. Also, direct communication in the world of Spirit is essential. Move quickly and accurately when taking action in spiritual matters. Watch out for your own and work hard to achieve your goals.

Emu (with whom he shared his jelly beans) was definitely an appropriate guide for my father!

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