Sunday, December 19, 2010
Avoiding the Elephants:“I think I’ll go down and – no, I won’t go down just yet.”
I want to add in a little personal note here before I start the card reading. I am offering this card now, at this time, because it seems really clear that there are many of us who are walking through some deep wounding. Either we have old core wounding that has been triggered, or we are being faced with powerful transformational challenges that are taking us to our edges. Either way, now is the time to let go of accomplishing and doing, and to allow ourselves to be quiet and cozy. Ride the waves of the storm by staying warm and dry and nourishing yourself. Relax and create as much joy as possible right now.
For the holidays, create a web of connection, next to the fire, and enjoy the dark time of the season.
Now, on with the card . . .
Do you recall the honey-making elephants in the looking glass world? They are there. Hard to imagine forgetting something so large and unusual (even for this strange tale), yet few people recall that Alice spies, what at first she believes to be large honey bees, yet turn out to be elephants.: “. . . why what are those creatures making honey down there? They can’t be bees . . .” Alice is drawn to this breathtaking sight, yet decides to turn around and go a different way, offering “It’ll never do to go down among them without a good long branch to brush them away . . . “
Maybe Alice is heeding good, solid wisdom, or maybe she is just avoiding facing something fascinating and wonderful, out of fear. Either way, Alice seems to recognize that she might come back to this scene later on: “. . . and perhaps I may visit the elephants later on.”
The elephants have probed their way into your reading to ask you if you are truly heeding wise caution in avoiding a particular circumstance, or whether you are letting fear dictate your moves, leading you away from opportunities for growth and deeper appreciation of your internal land of wonder. There is an old story about a family that has an elephant in their living room, but no one wants to upset things by mentioning this, so everyone sits around with this enormous, ridiculous beast in the way, and no one does anything about it. This is a story used to describe denial, and apparently, it is a river that runs through Wonderland as well.
If you are heeding wisdom, it is good to take all of Alice’s advice . . . get those tools you’ll need when coming face to face with your elephants the next time (sometimes a long stick works, sometimes a really great handshake and eye contact does the trick). Most of the challenges we are given are opportunities for growth, and whether we are in the mood to deal with them or not, we usually end up having to meet our elephants head-on. Sometimes avoiding an encounter so we have time to truly prepare is perfectly reasonable. Sometimes it’s time to quit making excuses and see what honey-making elephants are really all about. One thing to think about is that, no matter how strange and hostile the circumstances, Alice seems to be able to get by unscathed. You too, I suspect, have all you need to face what’s in your corner. You just need to decide whether you face the elephants now, or later. If it’s now, allow yourself to explore with the eyes of a child in a fairy tale. Allow yourself to feel wonder and awe.
If it is later that you will face this crazy scene, make sure you take advantage of this time to prepare yourself for the time you do come back for this adventure.
If there is genuine wisdom and growth being offered to us, the elephants will circle around again and again until we are ready to face the music, so quit putting it off, and get to work on the skills you need to meet this challenge.
Distinguishing between genuine intuition that guides us away from needless or harmful contention, and fear that controls our moves and keeps us limited can be tricky at first. With practice, you will learn to decipher between that which should be left alone, and that which you can safely explore.
Meditation: Allow yourself to relax and just focus on your breathing. When you are feeling as relaxed as possible, allow your personal elephants or challenges to emerge. Notice how your body feels. Is there any contraction? If so, where do you feel it? Is it possible to send your breath and awareness to these contracted places? As you focus your breath and awareness on opening up these contractions, notice your thoughts. What comes to you as you breathe? Ask yourself if this is your time to be present with these elephants, and see what your body says. Maybe see yourself looking at the elephants in the distance, and notice if you are drawn to understand and explore them more, or if you are being repelled. Ask for your being to let you know what serves your highest good, and then just take a moment to listen. Sometimes it takes practice to be able to hear this particular voice. Allow yourself as much practice as it takes until you start to feel the difference between communication of intuition and the tantrums of fear. Usually, fear is accompanied by a sense of tension that has a hard time letting go. Fear usually doesn’t offer a point of wisdom. Wise intuition creates understanding and a way to connect with that which we are challenged by. Intuition can frequently be felt as a strong balanced point in one’s “center.” Fear gets in the way of feeling compassion for that which we are challenged by. Intuition helps us to feel closer to it. So, take time feeling in your body, and noticing in your mind, what comes up. Let yourself notice the subtle differences. When the time is right, you will know how to greet those huge pachyderms without any worries.
Journaling about your progress and where you feel fear versus where and how you feel intuition will deepen your experience.