One should never underestimate one’s power to receive guidance – no matter how unlikely it might seem in the moment. Take, for example, last night’s dream:
I’m looking on as a friend is up on a ladder working on my old barn. Suddenly, the ladder starts to slide to the right. I hold my breath thinking it’s going to crash and my friend get hurt, but instead, the ladder slows as it descends and stops before hitting the ground. My friend climbs off as if there never was a thing to fear.
A moment later, I pick up an old bucket and two creepy land crustaceans crawl toward me. They look like giant crawfish with long spindly legs. (I don’t remember seeing claws like with lobsters, but otherwise similar.) And these two weren’t the only similar creatures I saw.
This morning, after emailing my friend about the dream, I think to look up the meaning of crustaceans as totems. This is what I found (from here):
Not your everyday totem, but this crustacean’s lesson is an important one. His message is not to hide from your fears; but to face them and bravely come out of your shell. But always remember, like Shrimp and his relatives, if you do find yourself in a bad place, you can always move quickly backward. Just be sure not to stay there — when the danger has passed, come back out of your shell and move forward once more.
Well, damn, that hit the nail on the head.
In progressed Astrology, my Sun is in Cancer now (and has been). Mars and Venus are also there flanking my Sun. This year, my progressed Moon is directly opposite them in Capricorn and my progressed Pluto is on my Ascendant – adding tension and intensity. Unfortunately, I have another 12 years before my Sun progresses into Leo.
Cancer is the crab. The horseshoe crab carries its home on its back and can hide in its shell whenever it needs. But if a crab never leaves its shell, it’ll starve.
Last night I was out for the evening – a rare event. It certainly felt like it had been a long time.
So, what am I hiding from? What am I afraid of?
Crabs carry their shells around, but they also spend a lot of time in water. Water is a medium that conveys energy well: temperature, flavor, vibration, even electricity if there’s enough salt. So despite the shell, crabs feel a lot!
A few weeks ago, I felt fear like the heat and humidity in this southern, summer air. It was all around. The only way to escape it is to retreat into the house and run the A/C almost constantly. But just crack the door and its still out there.
Here’s an interesting phenomena. Have you ever been really stressed and played an electronic game to distract yourself from the anxiety? I’ve done this before, but then discovered that an interesting thing happens. Days later, in a relaxed state, I can pick up the game again, and find all of that stress energy sitting with it.
So the gist of at least that part of this post is that we often leave energy places. There is a difference between placing fear/stress/emotion somewhere and processing/transmuting it.
It’s all energy work.
Some days, I just can’t get that phrase out of my head. Everything we do is energy work. Every interaction with another person. We’re always putting or processing energy. Often, we dump fear/stress/emotion on another only to receive it back at a later date (from them or someone else). This has become increasingly obvious to me. That’s another reason I’ve hauled up into my shell. I don’t want to dump on others. And sometimes, it takes me a bit too long to process.
So what to do?
As I think out loud (with my fingers), and confess a bit too much of my own mental state, let me share some information that came through in a recent reading. I’m going to fictionalize it like so:
“So, what’s stopping you from moving forward with this idea?”
“I’m afraid of failing.”
“Actually, the cards seem to indicate you are more afraid of succeeding.”
“Well, I’m afraid of succeeding and then failing.”
“Ah, if you fail off the bat, not many will notice. But if you fail down the road, it becomes a bigger failure. But so what? Why is failing so scary?”
“I don’t want to disappoint people.”
“I TOTALLY relate.”
“I just don’t think I’m good enough.”
Now spirit steps in:
Ah, ‘good enough’. Do you realize that so many people don’t feel ‘good enough’? But what does that even mean: ‘good enough’? Do successful people feel ‘good enough’? Do they even feel successful? Many do not. Most don’t notice success until it’s past. They look back and say, “That’s when I was successful”. Others spend a lot of time looking forward, “When I’m successful, I’ll …”
The fact of the matter is that you’ll probably never feel good enough. You’ll probably never slay the beasts of your fears. You’ll probably never eradicate that nasty voice in your head that chides you and puts you down.
If you spend all of your energy fighting these beasts, you’ll wear yourself out and get no where.
It’s better to just go on despite them. Don’t fight them; just push them aside. Let them chide you from behind. If you keep moving forward, they won’t get in your way. If you sit for too long, they’ll get in front of you and block your path. So push them aside, and stay one step ahead as much as possible. Plug your ears now and again, distract yourself, and get busy.
Years ago, when I was successful, I was once referred to as “cocky”. Someone who had just recently joined the company watched the way I arrived into the San Francisco office from San Diego and “took control”. He saw me as confident and he saw the way everyone deferred to my direction.
It’s so interesting to think about his perspective. At that time, I never felt cocky (or ever for that matter). I guess I recognized my success, but I didn’t think about it much. I was simply focused. I wasn’t in the office much, and showed up with plans. There was a lot to do in little time, and I didn’t hesitate.
I long for that kind of flow now. Was I fearless then? Absolutely not! Was I insensitive? No. Was I cold, uncaring, and/or unemotional? Nope. I was merely moving quickly enough to stay ahead of the self-deprecating voices.
So back to my dream and the message I looked up:
…if you do find yourself in a bad place, you can always move quickly backward. Just be sure not to stay there — when the danger has passed, come back out of your shell and move forward once more.
I seem to have parked myself in a cul-de-sac and the fear voices have caught up to me. The good news is that my initial interpretation of the crustaceans in my dream was worse than this. Now, I just need to figure out how far to back track and which way to turn. I have been strengthening my legs (literally).
Learning from the crab, I don’t need to be brave enough to walk without my shell, just strong enough to carry it around.
I think I can handle that.