Emotional Enlightenment

What Are You Here for?

It’s the age-old question, the source of our existential angst….

Ultimately, it’s a much bigger question than can really be answered in a blog post, or even two or three.

But I’ll give it a try…

So why are you here?  What are you doing here in this body?  Why are you here, in this spacesuit of skin and bones, looking through your eyes?

It’s clear that the identities and meaning we create through social media aren’t always the authentic version of ourselves, and the freedoms we have sought through the mobile worlds at our fingertips sometimes only serve to keep us more bound up in one version of reality.  We have created a vast world for ourselves through technology in the name of broader horizons, yet have somehow managed to stuff our true selves deeper down into hidden places, far beyond the online profiles and photo collages.

Engaging with technology requires us to constantly engage with stimulation outside of ourselves, to seek answers outside of ourselves.  We think perhaps we can fill the many voids and spaces within us with the knowledge gained through this continuous engagement with information and content.  But what if all the answers we seek already lie within?

Continue reading “What Are You Here for?”

Spirituality

Animal Totems and Synchronicities

When I thought to myself about how to write a post on indigenous wisdom in our everyday lives and how it applies in my life, I didn’t quite know how to start.  After all, my background is not of native, indigenous culture to the land that I now occupy.  I am Irish American, yet I have found myself drawn to the deep wisdom of Native American cultures and shamanic traditions, particularly in their relationship to nature and animal symbols.

A commonality across most native cultures and shamanic healing traditions is a deep reverence for the Earth and the wildlife that inhabits it.  Animal totems in Native American culture are looked at as spiritual guides or symbols representing a tribe, family or individual.  Often, Native American hunters would ask permission of the spirit of the animal before the hunt and send prayers of gratitude to its spirit after taking its life.  Peruvian shamanism in turn also has great reverence for nature and invokes animal allies, such as the jaquar, the hummingbird, or the eagle, in spiritual ritual to provide healing and guidance to the initiates who call upon them.

Ted Andrews writes, in his book Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small:

There was a time when humanity recognized itself as part of nature, and nature as part of itself.  Dreaming and waking were inseparable realities; the natural and the supernatural merged and blended.  People used images of nature to express this unity and to instill a transpersonal kind of experience.

Continue reading “Animal Totems and Synchronicities”