This past Monday we returned from a ten day trip to South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. I’ll write more about that adventure soon which we did in our Vamper – our Chevy Cargo Van converted to a camper. It was quite the whirlwind!
While I took along my journal and oracle cards on the trip and planned to meditate, I never did get around to doing my daily ritual while away. Though honestly, I really did miss it. But with adjusting to being in a van for ten days it just never presented itself in feeling right to take time to do this inner work. And that’s okay, really.
But I was thrilled to return to it Tuesday morning. You know how they say when away from someone you love it makes the heart grow fonder? Well, that’s what I realized about this practice I have in place, and how much I value this time to center and ground myself.
Adapting to getting in and out of the Vamper often I also found that when I returned to my first yoga practice since being gone, along with my journaling and consulting with my oracle cards, how thirsty my body was for the stretching and my mind for the expansion. Just visualize both drinking it all in with gusto!
It felt incredibly good to get back to starting my day in this way. I enjoyed vacation, don’t get me wrong, but it was confirmation for me that being away from these practices is something I truly do value as part of my self-care routine. And this is a good thing. It made it all the sweeter to return.
P.S. While our beds in the vamper are pretty comfy, oh, how I welcomed sinking into my bed at home too. Everyday since, morning and night, I’ve been telling it how much I love it! 🙂
I want to publicly apologize to the slug. I’ve come to realize I was associating my idea of slug negatively yesterday, when in fact, embodying slug was exactly what I needed to be doing.
For many of us, I think we truly don’t appreciate the slug and what they can teach us and now the gem of a teaching surfaced from slug that I felt called to the page to share.
As many of you know, since 2006 I’ve been caring for dachshunds with IVDD and on my third now with Gidget. It hasn’t always been easy, but a path I was called to, and then chose to travel for various reasons. Though it has come with many rewards too and which I’m very grateful for the growth I’ve experienced. And not to be left out, the depth of love I’ve received from them!
So perhaps you are wondering how the teaching of a slug plays into this? Well, hopefully it will make sense, but bear with me as this is how my mind works. 🙂
Recently Gidget had another Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), which can be common with dogs with disc disease. After treating it with antibiotics, unfortunately it came back. So a sample of her urine was sent in for a culture to see what type of bacteria we are dealing with to be able to treat it accordingly in hopes it will completely clear up. It’s a road I’ve been down often with all of my doxie’s. On top of the extra daily care required with dogs with disc disease, along with other health challenges with Gidget along the way, well, I was left feeling exhausted.
A part of me is also realizing that my time will eventually come to an end one day where I will no longer care for a special needs dachshund. While I thought at one time I’d always want to care for a special needs dog, in being honest with myself the last few years, I’m looking forward to a day where I won’t have these constraints. While honestly, I feel some joy with this awareness, I also feel sadness too. It’s been so much a part of who I am.
While I’ve never had children, and I wouldn’t compare a dog with that of a child, I feel like I can somewhat relate to thinking about that empty nest concept that will eventually come for me. Of course, I have no idea when that will be. But Gidget will be twelve in April and with the recent loss of Kylie, perhaps it is why it looms larger on my mind than usual.
And yesterday, I just felt exhausted from all these years of caring for a special needs dachshund, plus what is going on with Gidget right now, and with my own psyche of understanding all of this as part of preparing myself for that someday. While also recognizing I don’t want to lose site of living in the present moment and enjoy each precious moment with Gidget. But I also do think about what my life will look like after I’ve been so used to being in the mode of caring for a special needs dog.
A part of me feels ready for this step when it comes, but a part of me does not. And then I fight internally with myself when I feel exhausted as I did yesterday. It can all be quite the emotional roller coaster. And I didn’t go willingly at first, but decided I would just be a slug for the rest of the day after running some errands yesterday morning.
So I slept on and off all afternoon trying to honor that is what I needed. Though I kept negatively referring to myself as a slug. As the afternoon sunshine gave way to dusk and then dark, I began to feel lighter in spirit once again and that I could handle whatever comes my way.
It then occurred to me that I was back, being in my body once again as I felt more grounded. And I thought about how it is like that of a snail who carries a shell on their back that is their home. But I first had to be a slug and not carry the weight of the world on my back and instead surrender to what was, and honor a s-l-o-w-e-r pace to find my balance once again.
This also made me think about the spiral design on the shell of a snail which is wonderful symbolism for life and how we must allow ourselves to spiral in and then out again. We can’t always be living in an outward spiral motion! In other words, we can’t always be in a state of going or doing!
After this realization, I did some research and appreciate the symbolism I found regarding slug and snail that makes perfect sense:
A Slug embodies both the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine. Because of this, the slug is more a spiritual being than an earthly being. Great balance and strength is also a message that the slug can bring to its beholder.
Snails symbolize many deep and powerful things that most of us might not realize. These little crawlers are more in-depth than ever imagined. Keep in mind that not only are there land snails, but there are also sea snails so in this regard this species bridges the gap between elements. And any animal that bridges the gap between two elements bridges the gap between the mundane and the spiritual worlds.
A snail symbolizes:
bridging the gap between the element of Earth and Water
the spiral or cycle of life, death, and rebirth
the earth’s rotation around the sun
carrying one’s home with them
taking one’s time and enjoying life at a slower pace
It all brought it home when I thought about the importance of finding sanctuary and bringing myself back into balance again – just like slug symbolizes and with snail who carries their home on their back.
And I came to realize all the symbolism that was playing out the last two days that was showing me I needed to rest. Not only with slug and snail as my guides, but also what was said by one of the gal’s in my women’s mastermind group when we met in my home Wednesday morning.
She shared with me the positive energy she could feel being in my home and how she feels that is so much a part of who I am and what I exude in the world. Then Thursday morning doing my daily ritual of pulling an oracle card and journaling with it, what should I pull, but a card about home?!
Home in the literal sense, being my home, is my sanctuary. It’s where I can completely be me. It’s where I can find respite from my whirling thoughts and let go and surrender so I can eventually come back home to the heart of who I am and what matters.
Today I can see with utmost clarity how slug, along with the symbolism of snail and messages I was receiving about home were reflecting what it was I truly needed to honor for myself in order to move forward again.
And this my friends, is what I call magical, when we can open to life in this way and see it as all part of the process.
P.S. To appreciate Slug and Snail even more, I share this sweet video!
It feels incredibly good to get back to a structured day. I do love the holiday season, but as Christmas Day drew to a close yesterday I found myself anticipating with excitement getting back to a routine – to rituals, to projects, and back to being among my tribe.
While I completed the personal mastery level of Oracle School in November, I kept up my daily practice of meditation, asking a daily question, and choosing an oracle card to journal with. And I’m super excited to go on to the next level, Shared Wisdom, which begins in February.
The days leading up to Christmas I didn’t have this ritual in place thinking I needed a break. Perhaps I did in some ways as coming back to it this morning has me even more appreciative of how much it means to me. And how much it helps me feel like me.
While in the past, it would have taken me quite a few days to find my center again after the holidays, this year felt different. I was eager to get back to my daily practice. And ready to dive into new projects and intentions I have for the New Year.
It felt like I was getting together with a loved and trusted friend early this morning after doing a 10-minute meditation and then getting out my oracle cards and my journal, and asking Spirit what it is I need to think about as I move into the New Year.
I kid you not…as I was shuffling the deck, thinking about this question and mulling over the last few days I heard in my mind, my tribe. The card that presented itself? Yup! The Tribe.
And this is the at heart of things for me. Connecting with my tribe because it’s truly what feeds my soul and it’s a value that I have in making a difference in the lives that I can. Like all of you, and so many of you I heard from lately with my blog posts, and my newsletter and how you look forward to what I share.
My Tribe, is also my connection I have with how I define Spirit and how I am a part of Spirit. As I understand that more and more, the more deeply I am connected to my definition of Spirit, which is a part of me, the more I truly am living the life I’m meant to live, because this is how I see a meaningful life.
So I’m feeling my heart full with being back to what matters to me – here in my special space – my zen writing cottage – thinking about ways in which I’ll stay connected with you in the New Year and what this year will bring.
In early January I’ll be doing a free webinar, and you are invited! I’m still working out a title for it, but it will be all about opening to the gift of transitional periods in our lives, sharing ways in which you can tune into your intuition, and how you can begin to live a life that is meaningful to you. I hope you can join me. Stay tuned for date and time coming soon.
And lastly…I’ve been tweaking many pages of my website for quite a few weeks now and invite you to take a peek and my new home page, which I think is more simplified and inviting. I hope you think so, too!
Hoping this day after Christmas has you coming back home to the center of what matters most to you…