Friday I went on one of my favorite hikes. I love it because the half- way point is almost at the peak of Faggetto Mountain, at 1200 meters, or about 3500 ft. The view is spectacular!

I also love it because on Fridays there is no hunting allowed, so I feel safe and there are no gun shots, barking dogs and hunters ruining the silence of the forest. I’ve actually never been in any real danger, but it isn’t very pleasant with them around.

Yesterday was particularly quiet. Even the wind was still. I was curious to see what animals I might encounter because I am into animal totems. My longest standing totem and friend is the hawk. He has been with me for over 20 years now, and I have learned so much from his wisdom! I couldn’t wait to see what animals would be waiting to teach me my lesson of the day!

Well, about 1/3 into the walk, I saw a very clear wolf print, next to the prints of wild boar and deer…how I wish I could see a wolf in the wild! No such luck…only his prints and his droppings…thanks! Where were all the animals? Even the birds were oddly silent. No hawks. Not even the ever present crow showed himself!
I made it to the top of my climb and marveled yet again at the view. It’s almost like being in an airplane, it’s so high! I could see the new snow on the Appennines in the distance. Heaven!

I started my decent, still hoping to come across something alive (at this point, I would have been happy with a hunting dog! I’ve rescued a few lost ones on my walks.) Nope, not even a dog! Oh well, at least it was a gorgeous day!

The decent requires a lot of attention as to where I put my feet, since it is pretty treacherous in parts. As I was concentrating on the ground in front of me, I finally spotted something! What was that? A caterpillar! Are you kidding?! I’m looking for a totem here! Something significant! Something grand, like my hawk! A caterpillar?!

Well, I’ll take what I can get. My book on Animal Speak says that all animals have something to teach us. Something we need at this moment in our lives. So, when I got home I looked up the caterpillar.

Sure enough! It was better than a fortune cookie! Here’s what it said:

Caterpillar (good luck)
Good luck and new birth are at hand.  Take a gentle and quiet approach to endeavors. Be realistic and shed the old.

I’ve been building my coaching business for about 3 years now and have just recently decided to offer Destination Retreats. My first is a Women’s Soul Safari in Tanzania in November, 2018.

I realize that my 12 years of international guiding has prepared me for this decision – and that it is time to stop working for someone else (shedding the old) and do it for myself. At first, I was a little frantic at the idea of doing it all on my own, but this little caterpillar reminded me that, just like on my walk today, I simply have to put one foot in front of the other, and quietly, quietly, I will get there.

There are always messages available to us, if we listen.  

So, the next time you go outside (even if you live the city) I invite you to become aware of your surroundings and see what messenger (however small and seemingly insignificant) speaks to you! 

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