In one of the first reiki courses I took, many years ago, in a class of about six of us, we were asked if we knew our spirit animal.
Several of my fellow students said ‘yes’ without missing a beat.
None of those voices were mine, I assure you.
How do they know? I thought. How could they answer so quickly and I have no clue? What am I missing?
Feeling like the odd-one-out was a familiar feeling in those early workshops. That hasn’t really changed, but my confidence has just grown such that now I suppose I relish being different in those settings, more than I fear it. 😉
I had never felt particularly spiritual for most of my life. In fact, even as I continue to do intuitive work at this point ‘the ego is strong with this one’ is what I have often come to say about myself – adjusting that Star Wars quote a little, and defining the ego as the thinking mind. My mind certainly likes to stay busy. 🤓
While I have come to see that we’re all divinely guided – when I reflect back I know I absolutely MUST have been spurred on by spirit to continue going down the intuitive path – because I just didn’t feel like I ‘got’ it, so much of the time as I was learning and discovering.
But, I’m getting a bit off track. Back to the spirit animal. 🙃
True to form, at the time of being asked about my spirit animal, I had never before experienced an spirit animal supporting me, or, come to think of it: What do spirit animals do, anyway? I had wondered, that afternoon. I’m sure an explanation was given to me at the time as a part of the exercise, but the part that stands out is what I’m sharing here.
My silence and blank look likely prompted us all to be given some additional direction: What is the animal that first comes into your awareness when I ask you about your spirit animal?
As each person shared ahead of me, they all described what I thought were strong, regal, perhaps stereotypical spirit animals – the type you’re ‘supposed‘ to have according to my limited understanding – which seemed to be being confirmed that afternoon, since one person had a wolf, another a bear, and an eagle, maybe a hawk, and so on.
It came around to me, and it was my turn to share.
OK…well … the animal that came to mind was a penguin – and a cartoon penguin, at that.
The Sesame Street jingle came to mind at the same time – ‘one of these does not fit with the other‘ – and I wondered why my brain had come up with an animal so wildly different from everyone else’s.
But that’s what appeared in my mind’s eye: a cartoon penguin.
Of course, no one chastised me for saying penguin (to be fair, I don’t think I added the cartoon part at that time).
It was only within myself that I longed to fall in line with everyone else and describe something similar. I was sure my oddball spirit animal was just another indication that I didn’t really get this stuff at all.
After the course I basically shelved the experience for awhile, doubting my spirit animal and, honestly – my own intuitive abilities, too. I’m hopeless, I thought. My brain is just making up far-fetched things and I don’t seem to ‘get’ any of what others seem to be getting.
But – I persevered, thanks to spirit’s guidance and nudges – and I continued to be opened up to ideas and possibilities.
I began to follow less the constraints I had imposed on myself based on what others had said, what I had heard or read. I tried less to find alignment with the descriptions given in books or by others – even teachers.
It took time. But, slowly, surely, I began to trust what was coming through to me – and looked less to others for confirmation.
Eventually, I also gained the acceptance and trust that my spirit animal absolutely was – and still is – a penguin. 🐧
~What we pick up intuitively for ourselves doesn’t have to make sense or feel right to anyone else. In fact it might be different than what anyone else ‘gets’ or can confirm for us – in every possible way. It may not even make sense to us on a conscious level. But if it feels right (before we start to question it), that’s what matters.
~What we pick up intuitively for someone else – doesn’t have to make sense to us, but it may have significant meaning for the other person.
~Confirmation from another person about a spiritual experience or message we have had can be helpful, at times, but ultimately trust what you feel and know. After all, when it comes to spirit, what makes the other person more right than you about what you’re seeing in your mind’s eye, experiencing, or the message you’re getting, and so on?
~Don’t be disheartened or discouraged if you feel like you’re struggling or don’t ‘get it’ with intuitive work or things of a spiritual nature. It’ll come. Try less, trust more. Remind yourself to keep trusting what is coming through.
~As for what a spirit animal does (as I had wondered that day) – I leave that to you to notice the answer that feels right for you: what does a spirit animal mean to YOU? It’s my view that there is not one right answer.
While I offer ideas and possibilities, support and encouragement – I’m not about ‘instruction’ per se, when it comes to affairs of spirit. I’m about inviting you to notice what comes up for you – and to TRUST that. You know the right answer for you.
When it comes to spirit, differing answers don’t mean one person is wrong. It means that each person has had their own experience and has their own interpretation that feels right to them.
Wishing you a wonderful day – one that is full of weird but wonderful intuitive messages that feel exactly right for you – without comparison, without doubt, and without fear of being wrong. ❤🐧