Are you living your Purpose? A spirit animal’s perspective

“The purpose of life is Life.” – Joseph Campbell

circle sm

I channeled this painting for a client recently. The image came first, but it felt like something was missing. So I took a break and started cleaning out a shelf in the studio. And as luck would have it a piece of paper fell out with these words printed on it:

The Sun is a Circle/The Moon is a Circle/The Earth is a Circle/We are a Circle

Everything that is, is alive/And everything has a place on the Circle.

I remembered someone handing that sheet of paper to me at an event I attended last fall, but I don’t know who the author is (or if it even has an author.) Regardless, it seemed to provide the missing element.

The message that comes through to me here is all about grounding, and balancing, and relaxing into the art of being.

Being, in terms of feeling oneself a part of all that is.

Knowing that simply being is enough.

We often spend such time and energy worrying about “Purpose.” And indeed some of us do have a burning mission in life. 

That’s beautiful when it happens, but what if your purpose isn’t clear to you? 

I think the bird in this painting has something to say about that.

You might think at first that it is a Crow. I did, when I first saw it in my mind’s eye. But once I got it down on paper it was quite clear that this spirit animal was not a Crow, but a Grackle.

A Common Grackle, to be precise.

Grackles are indeed common birds. If you live in the eastern half of North America you’ve probably seen these black birds gathering in noisy flocks in treetops, or strutting across your lawn. They are boisterous, opportunistic birds that eat nearly anything and are actually much more likely than crows to steal corn.

At first glance you might not think there was much about a Grackle to write home about, with its somber dress and creaky voice. But if you look more closely at the Common Grackle you will see that it is really quite a striking bird. Its head and neck are not actually black but are covered in iridescent feathers ranging from purple to green to bronze. It has a distinctive white eye that contrasts sharply with its body. And its elongated, v-shaped tail lends a graceful touch to its figure.

To me the Grackle’s message is to appreciate the beauty, magic and majesty of ordinary, everyday life. To honor one’s physical being and delight in the strength and power of the body as a divine vehicle for Spirit. 

It also connotes the night, a time of feminine power. In fact, the grackle
with its white eye resembles the feminine “yin” of the famous Chinese yin-yang symbol.

We are all a part of the body of Mother Earth. Our bodies, our blood: her soil and water sparked to life. Our breath and her air are one. Her fire burns in our souls.

Is it not enough to simply be? Were we not born into the world as sacred beings? Can not our most simple, everyday actions become so infused with love that they are in themselves a prayer that is felt, seen, heard and understood without need for words or explanation?

That is the power of the divine feminine – a power that is felt, wordless, in the body and expressed naturally when we share the joy of living with others.

Just as a gorgeous iridescent rainbow lies hidden in the Grackle’s “black” feathers, so there is hidden treasure in the commonness of our lives.  A treasure we often miss in our pursuit of Purpose.

But sometimes, when we allow ourselves to quiet down, to ground ourselves and simply be, Purpose has a way of revealing itself after all.


This artwork is available as an 11″ x 14″ fine art print.  Click here to purchase.  

 

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

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Is Wolf your Power Animal?

I’ve been working on a series of Power Animal paintings in preparation for showing at the Hiawatha Music Festival Artists in the Round art & craft show next month in Marquette, MI. Thought I’d try another Wolf! Read on below for insight into Wolf as Power Animal.
Watercolor Wolf

Wolves are one of those animals that humanity both loathes and reveres. I think it’s because they represent very intense energy, which can be extremely empowering to work with but also frightening, especially if you’re not prepared for it.

Like most animal totems, Wolf has multiple meanings. Today I want to focus on Wolf as Hunter and Pathfinder. Wolf represents following your intuition and inner guidance, and taking action on it. So if you are seeking your Purpose and Wolf appears to you, pay attention!

As you know, Wolves are predators, tracking their prey by scent as well as sight and sound. They are highly intelligent animals. A pack of wolves will work cooperatively to bring down prey much larger than they are. Deer (and anything in the deer family, including elk and even moose) are their favorite prey. Deer are excellent runners. Bringing down such large animals requires speed, stamina and strategy. Once they have selected an animal to chase, they pursue it relentlessly until it is exhausted.

Wolf as a power animal can help us discover our inner Purpose, and guide us on our path towards it. One of the keys to doing so is to tap into our intuition, or inner knowing. As a wild animal, Wolf has all its instincts intact. Wolf and Dog were originally one; dogs are simply domesticated wolves. (And there is good evidence that the process of domestication was likely initiated by wolves, not humans!) If you feel a strong bond with Dogs, but are struggling with some aspect of your life, you may want to invite Wolf to walk beside you as well. Its sharper, wild instinct may help you in ways that Dog energy isn’t equipped to.

Yes, that wild instinct can be scary. As we tap into our intuition, we may find that it leads us into unfamiliar territory. In fact, it may tell us to do things that feel positively terrifying! This can make you doubt your own instincts. And in some situations, it’s possible for instincts to work against you – especially fear. In the wild, anything new is potentially dangerous. So we have a built-in distrust of change.

Wolf represents the power of tempering instinct with intellect (and vice versa). When you make a decision based on instinct, check in with your intellect first. Ask, “what is the worst thing that can happen if I do this?” Then weigh the outcome against potential benefits. You can do the same thing with your logical decisions. Check in with your gut before jumping in. Learn to trust yourself. Like a wolf crossing a river in winter, you can tune in to those red-flag feelings that tell you to beware of thin ice.

 

In the painting above, I’ve tried to capture the Wolf’s intensity of focus. The Wolf’s direct stare can be frightening, but it is also compelling. Wolf can help us zero in on our Purpose, and pursue it without allowing ourselves to get distracted. As you work with Wolf energy expect your intuition to grow stronger. You will probably become more focused on your goals and more determined in your pursuit of them.  You may find that other people in your life resist this. Be sensitive to when they are being unreasonable, and when you might be getting a little ruthless or overstepping your role. If the latter, it might help to invite some Deer energy into your life.  Gentle Deer can activate your heart chakra to balance out an overabundance of Wolf hunting energy.  Or, focus on the nurturing side of Wolf for a while. Wolves are very family-focused. They spend a lot of time nurturing, playing with, and teaching their pups. If you’ve been working intensely for a while, try taking some time off to spend with your family, or seek out a teaching or mentoring role in your work.

Speaking of which, Wolf also tells us that we are stronger and more successful when we work together towards a common goal. Whatever your goal is, look around you. You are almost certain to find someone whose goals complement yours. Why not see how you can help each other out?

 

 

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the “follow” tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

The Songbird’s Message

I was dabbling about in the kitchen tonight, when I suddenly thought of a friend. The word “sing” came to me, as it did when we first met two weeks ago. Then, a few moments later, the impression of a song bird.

Nightingale singing
“Nightingale,” watercolor on paper. Collection Anne Michelsen.  

It reminded me of this lovely poem by Victor Hugo:

Be like the bird that, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her — and sings — knowing she hath wings.

​I got the feeling that the ‘singing’ is metaphorical – whatever makes your heart sing, do it and don’t hold back, even if it seems foolish or impossible. (Although if you want to sing while doing it, so much the better!)

This time of year some of the birds are already starting to stake out their territories in the woods – and singing to attract a mate.

If this resonates with you at any level, think about what you would like to manifest in your life…

…and sing your heart out. If your wings aren’t fully developed yet, your song will help them grow!

Did you enjoy this post? Anne