A few weeks back, on multiple days, no matter where I went or what I did, a grasshopper would appear – out of nowhere. I was walking on the beach and a little grasshopper came along with me. Then out to dinner with extended family and a grasshopper hopped right onto my plate. Next, in the outside shower while shampooing my hair, yup, you guessed it, a grasshopper appeared on the top of my head.
Early one morning during this time, I opened the door to let the dog out, and there, on my sliding door was a ginormous grasshopper. Chit-chatting on the phone with my bestie, Love Expert Tamara Green, I mentioned to her about the serial visits from grasshoppers and the ‘grasshopper-on-steroids’ on my door! After texting Tamara a photo she stated, “Uh honey, that’s not a grasshopper, that’s a Praying Mantis.” She managed to say this without laughing, at least at first.
All the while, in my mind I thought there was some freakish thing happening around me with these bugs. Then, the strangest thing, the Praying Mantis started constantly showing up – on me, around me and then on my window staring at me while I worked.
I finally went to the web and Googled these animal totems. Animal totems aid in self-discovery, giving us incredible avenues of self-expression and awareness. I searched for “Grasshopper totem” and “Praying Mantis totem” and you know what? The messages seemed to be contradicting each other.
The grasshopper totem’s message was, You are being asked to take a leap of faith. Just go ahead and do it without knowing the outcome! resonated with this one on so many levels. But then the Praying Mantis totem’s message was, The Praying Mantis always comes to us when we need peace, quiet and calm in our lives.
Okey dokey then! Is it taking the leap or is it a need for peace?
After wrestling with these meanings, I was able to gain some clarity. The messages of the grasshopper and Praying Mantis weren’t contradicting each other at all. In fact, these bugs (guides) were mindfully telling me, “You need peace. What leap of faith will you take to create your longing for peace and for what you desire?”
Thank goodness for those persistent insects (that helped me make some important decisions), for good friends who listen and for my own self-awareness.
Now how does this correlate with you? Perhaps Stress and the Holiday Season?
We all know that November is the month of family and gratitude when we all ‘eat, drink and be merry!’ But for some, me included, November also starts the hastiness of ‘being’ for the next few months.
Being a study of stress and it’s effect on the body, I find that within the choice of focusing on gratitude, which I feel should be a daily practice not just for November 26th, the next three months somehow manage to be the most stressful time of the year as we all try to live up to the commercialized “most wonderful time of year” song.
Not feeling peace is stressful and creates havoc on the body. I recently read a great article in Huff Post Healthy Living, This Is Your Body On Stress (INFOGRAPHIC) by Laura Shocker, and wanted to share it with you because it breaks down how each part of the brain and body respond to external stress and explains how it affects your innards. This article reports,
“The stress response starts with amygdala, which acts as a sensor at the base of the brain by vetting every input for possible threats. When it senses danger, it shuts down the entire brain operation (now is not the time for, say, creative thinking) and prepares the body to pool all of its resources for survival, allowing you to react before you even have time to think about what is happening. When constantly, severely stressed, the amygdala can become overly sensitive and hyper-vigilant, making even relatively harmless events (such as a whiny child or a snoring spouse) seem like a threat. That explains those instinctively snappy over-reactions we can all have when feeling strung out.”
Here’s the section on FERTILITY: “When you’re under pressure, the body is diverting all of its resources toward immediate survival, not future goals like reproduction. “Fertility is a long-term evolutionary privilege we have to transmit our genes,” Sod says. “We don’t want to have babies if I don’t know if I’m going to live through the next two minutes.” Not to mention: “Stress can really zap sex drive.”
The combination of the messages from my animal totems and this article gave me much clarity and serenity. Here’s some tips to help you do the same:
3 Tips To Self-Discovery & Calm
- Be aware of your animal totem by noticing what creatures keep showing around you. Then, Google that animal/insect plus the word “totem” to find out what message is meant for you. Isn’t it great to know that we’re being guided 24/7?
- Notice the stress symptoms that you are having and refer back to the Huff Post article to see what your body is telling you about how you respond to stress. Having clarity is one way to instantly create a sense of calm.
- Without knowing the outcome, ask yourself what can you do (or not do) that will foster peace, quiet and calm in your life right now. Once you’ve figured it out, take action to make sure that you are honoring your own insights.
Go ahead, act like the grasshopper and Praying Mantis by leaping into mindfulness, peace and calm. Instead of being ‘hopping mad’, you’ll be hopping with happiness.
Have a blessed and relaxing Thanksgiving Day!