“I’ve never met an animal I didn’t like, and I can’t say the same thing about people.” ~ Doris Day
“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” ~ Martin Buber
Last month we examined how nature speaks to you. We discussed how nature is a subtle communicator and that when looking for nature signs it’s best to be fully present to your experience and then reflect later to discern your message. See my last blog post for the full text of that article.
This month we are going to delve into how animals speak to you. Animals have a more direct symbolic representation in our life. Our lives are permeated with animal references and images. We talk about out foxing someone, getting one’s goat, or being as busy as a beaver.
Animals in the wild are great sources of practical wisdom. By observing what shows up you can be directed toward all kinds of ideas and answers. The way to access these signs in your life is to ask for a sign and then pay attention to what shows up for you.
Two Stories of How Animals Spoke to Me
Here are two examples how animals spoke to me when I asked important life questions.
One day early in my life-coaching career I was contemplating whether this would be enough to support my kids and myself. As I was walking I considered posing this question to the universe and this was my response. Not a few minutes later a mother robin and a young robin landed in the middle of the street right in front of me. The mother robin had a worm that she placed in her young’s mouth and then they both flew away!
Wow – I was blown away with the quick, clear message. I’ve had a deep level of trust from that day on that my career was on the right track and that all would be well.
Another instance, many years later, I was concerned about my youngest son’s transition into high school. I wanted to be sure that as he grew in independence I was appropriately guiding him without over managing him, as he chafes with that sort of structure.
So as I was walking, I asked for a sign on how I could best interact with my son at this time. I live in a very wooded area so there are a few hawks in my neighborhood, although I only really see them in the distance. But on this walk a hawk swooped down in front of me, not three feet away. That was nice but my mind, of course, thought well maybe that wasn’t a sign but just unusual timing.
So after I was home about five minutes I looked out my back door and that hawk was sitting on my deck railing. I have never had a hawk come into my yard before or since so I know that I was being clearly told to keep a watchful eye but from a distance, as hawks symbolize not getting caught up in the details but taking a wide view.
How Animals Might be Speaking to You
You too might be receiving messages from the animal world, but just not noticing them. You just need to tune in and start paying attention, especially to repetitive patterns.
For example, perhaps you are in an office environment that has a few people who are bossy or aggressive and they make the place not so nice for you. Because of them you are considering leaving a job you like and finding something new to get away from these toxic people. But you are unsure and want some guidance so you go for a walk in the woods.
As you walk you notice that there are some Blue Jays that are squawking and squawking, make a great racket. So you head into a different direction because you are looking for some peace and quiet on your walk. But it seems like wherever you go they follow! Soon you realize that the symbolism of this is there are always going to be people who act how they act. After all the Blue Jays are just being true to their nature. So instead of leaving this job, perhaps you open up to some new ways of interacting with these folks that shifts your workspace.
You can gain guidance from interacting with the animals directly or just by noticing that certain animals are showing up in your field of vision.
You may not run into a dolphin, but perhaps you see someone’s dolphin keychain, then you get a card with a dolphin on it and an ad on TV shows a dolphin jumping out of the ocean. If you get this sign multiple times then maybe you are being called to put more playfulness and cooperation into your life.
Some Common Animal Themes
During my session with clients, often an animal image will come up. I wanted to give you some of the most common ones. See if any of these resonate for you.
Lion – Hold your head up and keep your dignity, no matter the situation. Lion’s are all about acting deliberately instead of making rash decisions.
Raccoon – Be open to curiosity and exploration. Despite any doubts you have, the resources you need are there for you, just be guided by your intuition.
Skunk – Be open to your sensuality. Skunks are about respect and self-esteem.
Deer – Seek safe, nurturing situations and people. Trust your gut instincts. Be gentle with yourself and others.
Blue Heron – It’s time to go for it with gusto. Take time for reflection before starting to get clear on your goals, motivations, and actions.
Hummingbird – Be flexible with the twists and turns of life. Open your heart and draw in more emotional sweetness into your daily life.
Cardinal – Someone or something is looking for your love and attention. Observe your surroundings and life, paying attention to your inner guidance.
Owl – Meditate at night for clarity. Nighttime is going to be your most creative time right now so use it to tap into your inner wisdom and to focus on creative projects.
The world is full of signs, symbols and direction. Animals are one of the more direct ways to receive messages. So ask for clarity about an issue and then notice what things are repeating in your day.
I’d love to hear about your animal signs, so please share your thoughts below.
Next month we will discuss how our pets communicate with us. Until then, have fun with your animal adventures!