By Steve Clayton
My second blog has been much slower in developing than I had originally expected. I could cite the usual reasons: busy work schedule, house maintenance, and my Chios studies. All seem valid enough at first glance until I found myself literally sweating over my laptop trying to compose a second blog. I realized, with both dismay and annoyance, my ego was interfering once again.
Part of becoming a Chios Healer is overcoming the ego. I had thought I had taken some major steps in that direction; I knew I still had far to go but I was confident I was heading in the right direction. Not so, apparently. I wanted my second blog to be simple and elegant, yet profound enough to be life changing for those who read it. Talk about setting the bar high. Nothing I attempted to write even came close and I became discouraged. Shamanism has been around for millennia while I have only just taken the first few steps in becoming a Shaman Practitioner; a far distance from an actual Shaman. When I realized how early I was in my journey, I knew how foolish it was of me to start offering ‘life changing advice and opinions’. With that revelation, I awoke to the fact that my egoic self was alive, well, and still wielding great influence over me.
What to do, what to do? I was reminded of the cat beneath the full bird’s nest in a Gary Larsen cartoon. My choice did not seem as obvious to me as it was to the cat but in pausing to remember various Larsen cartoons that involved animals, my eyes fell upon the deck of Power Animal Oracle Cards my wife had given me. Growing up I had heard of the notion that people had animal totems or guides that helped them throughout their lives. On one hand, I thought this idea to be ‘cool’; as I grew older, I thought the idea ‘quaint’. Then, a little later, I had been exposed to Tarot Cards; the negativity that always seemed to surround these cards in both their proponents and naysayers I found off-putting.
When I first saw the Animal Totem cards I was leery, to say the least. In a bid to be opened minded I gave the cards a try and then a second and third try. Their messages were basic, straightforward and honest. Positive and guileless is how I would describe them. I was hooked. I began to familiarize myself with the cards and their meanings and in this accepting frame of mind, I picked up and began to shuffle the cards to see if they had a message for me. The card that presented itself to me was that of the Fox. The main message or meaning of the Fox is ‘Adaptability – adapt to the changes that are happening.’ Coincidence? Does it matter? If you are a person who does not believe in coincidence then the card came up for a reason. If you do believe in coincidence or chance the message is not negated; it can still be applied to the situation.
When one consults the Power Animal Guide book, which comes with the cards, the message from the Fox states, “not to get stuck in any rigid thinking, patterns of behaviour, or familiar emotional traps… Adapt to the circumstances rather than trying to make the circumstances adapt to you…’ There is more to the message from the Fox but that can be for another time. The message is simple and straightforward: Adapt. Common sense, if you think about it but thinking and doing are two different things. The fact I am writing this now is proof the cards motivated me in the right direction and that is something we all need from time to time. Positive motivation.
As an addendum, what also makes the Fox card so appropriate for me at this time is an incident that happened recently at work. I was having trouble with a much younger colleague for whom things were not going well. The trouble stemmed from his attitude and losing patience. (Not a commendable thing to do on my part) I told him ‘Adapt or Die – it is a simple law of nature’. The phrase snapped him out of his funk and work proceeded more smoothly. Now, at the time, if I had listened to my own advice I might not have found myself in a losing battle with both time and ego. Instead, like the Fox, I would have adapted.