Almost a year ago to this very day, I was away with a few girlfriends staying at a campground. It was early and I decided to venture off to spend a little by myself to reconnect. There is nothing like Nature to get me grounded, centered and realigned.
It was a season of uncertainty and I was searching for a little direction, not along the walking path I was following but in life. Things were good, but I felt disconnected and discontent. Both personally and professionally, I was hungry for more. Where was I going? What was I doing? What direction should I head? Was I on the right path? So I walked and I wandered.
Animals speak to me. (Not literally, in case you were worried, but emotionally and energetically.) I’m particularly fond of hawks and turtles. They are both fascinating creatures. What bonus points it would be to have an experience with either of these animals while on this venture!
I wandered further into the woods and soon enough my eye was drawn to a small creature nestled down on top of the crisp morning leaves. There he was… Mr. Turtle. Though excited to rendezvous with this little guy, I was not surprised. My draw to animals is strong and my interactions with them frequent. I took a few moments of laughter and joy with him and moved on to have, not one, but two more encounters with a few of Mr Turtle’s cousins. Amazing little guys!! Two thumbs up to Spirit for allowing me those interactions.
There is a lake I venture down to while at this camp. The trek is long but the view is worth it. It became even more worthwhile as I sat down at the edge of the water and witnessed two hawks dancing up in the sky. The two seemed to welcome me with their familiar energy. The questions of Life whirled in my head but I drank that experience in just feeling confirmed, grateful, and satisfied. I could’ve stayed there all day but I knew the others were probably beginning to stir so I decided to head back. I gathered my things and took another moment of awe and appreciation. I silently asked “If there’s more you have for me, please reveal it. I just need a little direction”. I walked on but couldn’t help but to look back at the amazing view as the early morning sun danced upon that lake. “Another encounter with a hawk sure would be nice” I thought.
Though I knew clearly the nature path I needed to follow, I still wasn’t certain about the Life Path I needed to take but the encounters with these familiar animals simply confirmed that there were things brewing out there and the rest would be revealed to me as it was time.
Up the steep hill I headed. It was quite a hall. My legs were tried but my soul was inspired. Suddenly, there was a loud rustling from the trees. I was startled and on high alert. After all, I was deep in the woods all by myself. Scary movies were not lost on me at that moment.
I was uncertain about what I was hearing or even where it was coming from. The noise grew louder and more powerful. My eyes were drawn upward to the top of an enormous tree and it was there that my jaw dropped and my soul was captured. It took me several moments to even comprehend what was happening but as it took flight, there was no mistaking. High above the trees the enormous wings began to spread and this amazing creature took flight right above my head to reveal itself as an eagle.
Soon he was out of sight. I was left dumbstruck and paralyzed by the experience. I was brought to tears as I tried to make sense of what had just happened. My thoughts began to whirl. Was this real? Do eagles even exist in Kentucky? Who’s going to believe that this even happened? What did all of this mean?
I sat for what seemed like hours just trying to take it all in. I knew that eagle had a message for me. I knew on a deep, soulful level, I was playing it small in all areas of life. Hawks and turtles are my safe, confirming symbols. I am familiar and comfortable with them because they are well within my realm of experience.
An eagle on the other hand… well… what power and awe it holds. Majestic. Mysterious. The eagle was sent to me as a sign. Stop Playing Small. Bigger and better things are available for you if you’ll open yourself up to them. I knew Spirit was challenging me. I also knew my life would require a major overhaul if I was going to raise my own bar.
Just as quickly as the eagle entered, so did the intrusive feelings of fear and doubt. “Who do I think I am to think I can do all of this? What will people think of me? I’m not cut out for that kind of life.” The whirl was interrupted when my eyes were drawn downward again and there he was… not a safe, familiar turtle, but a snail. I erupted into laughter.
I knew clearly that Spirit was telling me that I could continue along my path with snail energy and keep myself locked in the familiarity of my comfort zone or I could practice the courage and authenticity that I preach and begin to soar on eagle’s wings. The choice was up to me.