​Those of you who know me, know that I am very much into Animal Wisdom. Many native cultures around the world (and I am talking modern day too!) believe that the animals have messages for us, if we are receptive and listen.

My main totem animal is the hawk. He has been with me for over 30 years now, guiding me whenever I falter or temporarily lose my way.

One of my favorite lessons from him is really pretty logical and simple:

“A hawk is a hawk and behaves like a hawkit behaves like a hawk and not like a duck!”

What the heck does that mean?! Well, do you have a dog? If you do, I am willing to bet that your dog has done this more than once…rolled in SH*T! Am I right? Disgusting, I know. And if you are not there to stop him, he’ll do it every time! Just try to train your dog not to roll in SHI*T. I dare you! My guess is that no matter how much you try, he is still going to need a bath!

And for those of you cat lovers…have you ever tried to train a cat not to chase a bird? I have always had cats. And I love birds. I can’t tell you how many birds I’ve saved over the years (and mice too!) But do you think I can convince any one of my cats not to hunt birds or mice? Have you ever tried to train a cat not to do anything that comes naturally to him? (like scratch the furniture?!)

OK, I think you get my point here. Animals do things that come naturally to them. It’s in their nature. And they cannot and do not behave in a way that is counter to their nature.

But what about us humans? We were all born with a certain nature too. A certain temperament, personality – a certain “being-ness” that is completely unique!

I like to say we were born wild…

but then we got trained…by our parents, our society, our religion, our elders. We got domesticated.

Don’t get me wrong here. All of them were doing it for the right reasons, “for our own good.” They did it to keep us safe, to help us integrate into society. They did it because they were domesticated by their parents too! They passed down the “list of rules”, so to speak.

And we accepted that list – unknowingly – how could we know any better? We were just children!

We accepted it because we wanted their love and approval. We wanted their attention – and we would do whatever it took to get that love and attention! Including stifle our true nature! 

Actually, that complete acceptance came about after we were two. If you are a parent, you know about the “Terrible Twos!”

I remember the story my parents told me about when I was two years old. I had done something wrong and they scolded me. They had done the same thing with my older sister, when she did something wrong. They said, “Shame on you! Go to your room and don’t come out until you can behave!” Well, apparently my sister burst into tears and ran into her room, slamming the door.

Hmmm…that worked pretty well…let’s try it with Lisa. And so, they said, “Shame on you! Go to your room and don’t come out until you can behave!” – and waited to see what I’d do.

Well, I could hardly stand on my own, so I grabbed a chair, stood up, stamped my foot, and stuck my tongue out at them! OOPS! Different animal, different nature! (They could hardly contain themselves they were laughing so hard!)

But needless to say, I learned pretty quickly that sticking your tongue out at your parents is not OK! And lots of other things that came naturally to me were not OK either! So, I learned to adapt, to change my behavior to earn my elders’ approval, attention and love.

I jumped through all the right hoops. Goodness knows, I tried to fit in. I wanted to fit in! I was a cheerleader in high school. I was first runner up and Miss Congeniality in the local Junior Miss Pageant. I was in a sorority at university. I decided to study nursing (not medicine, even though I had the grades!) because it would allow me to have children and be a mother. I was following all the “rules” of the status quo…

Thankfully, at some point, I woke up! Well, at least enough to realize that all of that wasn’t me.

But it took me years of searching and self-reflection (not to mention a good dose of self-doubt!) to rediscover my true nature and allow myself to live it!

And now, whenever I am unsure of what to do next, I simply have to remember:

“A hawk is a hawk and behaves like a hawk…it behaves like a hawk and not like a duck!”

How about you? Are you living your true nature?
Or have you lost it somewhere along the way?…

Are you ready to take the first step to rediscover your True Nature?

Are you ready to BE WILD again?!

Then it’s time for you to do,
 The Wild Thing Quest!

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