"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Archive for August, 2012

A Black Rabbit on a Blue Moon

Today marks a Full Blue Moon. A Blue Moon is the name for the second full moon in a given calendar month. We will not experience another blue moon until July 2015.  Blue Moon symbolizes a “rare opportunity” or a “chance of a life time”. We often hear the term “once in a blue moon” to define something that happens very infrequently.

A black rabbit has chosen to make a home, or at least a temporary safe haven, under our backyard shed. Shortly after Easter we had a note taped to our door regarding our neighbors losing a baby black rabbit. Black Rabbit Eating CloverWe didn’t see the rabbit until about mid-July, so it must be about 6 months old by now. It’s often feeding on the clover in the middle of the yard, and sometimes, there’s a smaller gold-colored rabbit with it. We decided that she’d been out wild long enough that maybe it would be better to leave her wild. I’m not sure how old rabbits have to be to make babies but she may have already mated with a wild rabbit, hence the smaller, gold-colored rabbit who is too timid to come fully into the yard.

She seems to disappear for a few days at a time. While she’s gone I wonder if she’s fallen prey to neighborhood cats or perhaps the red tail hawks who have been preying on another neighbors birds at the feeders. Just when I think she must have completed her circle of life, she shows up again, hopping around the back yard, munching on clover.

She doesn’t seem to mind the presence of the dogs. Angel is getting on in her years and it takes her a while to spot the rabbit. Once she does, she’s off and running with the beagle bray that screams “I found it! It’s here!” Magnus sees it, watches for a while and often leaves it alone. Sometimes he gives chase and the rabbit always makes it to cover, either under the shed or in the stuff piled under the garage roof. This has been a great opportunity to practice the “Off!” and “Leave it!” commands with Magnus. He’s done pretty good with it, stopping mid-stride and turning back to me more than half the time. I’ve got to get a bit better at keeping my eye on him. He seems to wait until I’m distracted before making a play for the rabbit.

This morning as I was watching the rabbit hop around the yard I wondered … if everything is energy then what might the energy of a black rabbit mean to me? Perhaps there is a Universal message for me being delivered by the rabbit. I could dismiss the rabbit and its presence in my life as “one of those things” but what if I choose to honor the rabbit and whatever energetic message it might bring?

Blue Moon - Image Credit NASAWhat do I know about rabbits? I know they are a symbol of fertility. They breed frequently and can produce a new litter of 3 to 6 babies every 28 days. 28 days is connected to the lunar cycle, so perhaps there is a connection to the power 28 day creative cycles in my own life.

Rabbits are generally associated with spring time, a time of renewal and new birth. There is a pagan goddess, Eostre, who symbolizes renewal and fertility and who was celebrated with a festival at the spring equinox. Her name is translated as “radiant dawn” which was probably exactly what spring felt like to those who had just been through a long, hard winter.

Fertility, at this point in my life, is probably not going to be about babies yet it could be about other seeds that I’ve planted. They are kind of like babies to me. Seeds of thought, seeds of intention, seeds of hope, seeds of inspiration, flower and vegetable seeds … It could also represent an abundance that comes in quick succession with little time to wait in between.

Rabbits hop and leap and may symbolize the ability to hop or jump over obstacles in life. They are fast runners over short distances. When running from dogs they will make a wide circle away from their starting point but will return back to it. Knowing the rabbit will return to where it started, the hunter waits there while the dogs chase the rabbit around it’s loop.

The rabbit visiting my yard is black, which symbolizes all color. All color could symbolize accepting all things, all people, all situations. We are all one. Black can also represent the shadow side of life or fears that are required to be worked through. Perhaps the rabbit is encouraging me to face my own fears with compassion and a gentle acceptance of my Self.

Rabbits eat greens and this one really seems to love the clover in our yard. I’ve been transitioning my diet into eating “rabbit food” as well as studying about how wild plants, such as clover, are also medicine. Perhaps the rabbit is encouraging and affirming my choices to “eat my greens” and to learn about wise woman medicine wisdom.

Rabbits are able to freeze as still as a statue while they assess perceived danger. I have noticed that after the threat of a braying beagle is removed the rabbit in my yard comes back out of hiding almost immediately and then ventures, pretty surprisingly, closer to me than she had been before. The message in that could be related to how I respond to fear. To not allow fear to keep me in hiding. That yes, if there is a reason to run, by all means run, however don’t stay hidden or frozen when the threat is gone, thereby missing opportunities for feasting on yummy green clover. And really, for me, how much is there to really fear? Really? When I think about it, most threats are more in my mind than they are in my everyday life.

Perhaps a black rabbit on a blue moon symbolizes that I am being given a rare opportunity at creation or rebirth. I’m being encouraged to recognize 28 day cycles of creation, to nurture myself with fresh, green food,  to face my fears with gentle compassion and to learn to leap over obstacles in my life.  Perhaps honoring the message of the rabbit can assist to attract the abundance of spring time energy into my life no matter what time of year it is.

Listen to your heart …

Each whisper from your heart is a potential boarding pass for the next leg of the journey that is your life. Where will you fly to next?

Happiness: Where does it come from?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about feeling good. It seems sometimes that much of my actual time is spent feeling bad about something when I  know what I really love is doing, saying, thinking and reflecting on things that make me feel good. As I give more conscious attention to watering those “feel good” seeds I have discovered a few “weeds” representing me giving myself permission, or allowing myself, to be happy or feel good.

Last night I watched The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer on DVD. One thing at the beginning that really resonated with me was his sharing of his voice mail message. It was something like “I’m not available to take your call right now. Before you leave a message please be aware that I want to feel good. If your message is designed to make me feel anything but good, please hang up and call Dr. Phil.”

Hearing him say this illuminated the unhappy, faceless voices in my head that are sarcastically saying, “What are YOU smiling about?” or “Why are YOU so happy?” In response to wanting to be happy, they deliver messages that it’s wrong to be happy. They are there to plant the seeds of doubt and guilt in my happiness garden. They say that there’s too much in the world and perhaps in my own life or with the people I love to be unhappy about. That things in my life are not perfect … that I am not perfect … so how can I even consider being happy?” And these seeds want me to water and nurture them.

Seeds of HappinessIn sitting with these voices I could see just how easy it is to allow these seeds of guilt to be planted in my happiness garden. Misery certainly does love company and there’s no shortage of misery out there. I could see how I have spent a great deal of time and energy giving these seeds of dissent water and assisting them to grow. That I have based my own happiness on external things like, I will be happy when I ‘have this thing’ or ‘do that thing’ or ‘achieve that goal.’

Going through life this way means that happiness will always be just out of reach and is always based on some thing or event outside of me. It also means that happiness is fleeting. For example, I can say that I will be happy when I get a particular car, but I know that after a few months driving the new car the feeling of happiness will wear off and I will once again be searching for a new source of future happiness

I began to ask what it would it take for me to know happiness right here and right now, in this moment, no matter what is going on outside of me. I began to wonder if and how I could be happy regardless of have’s or have not’s. I began to reflect and understand happiness through my own life experiences and have observed that the happiest moments in my life have been at times when it would appear on the outside that I had the least to be happy about.

In the book A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson wrote “The key to happiness is the decision to be happy.” This would mean that happiness is not about having the perfect things or the perfect care-free life, but that by deciding to be happy I would be fostering within myself a sense of peacefulness no matter what is going on on the outside.

I picture my happiness as a garden filled with various stages of seed growth with everything inside my garden fence having been selected and/or nurtured by me. I can choose to pull the weeds of sadness or guilt right out as soon as they appear. Pulling them doesn’t mean sadness and guilt do not exist at all in the world, as I can see that they are still growing in wild abundance just outside my garden fence.

Pulling them means that I acknowledge that they do not contribute to my happiness. Clearing the weeds on the inside means that no matter how wild, insistent and overgrown the weeds become on the outside, inside the borders of my fence, my happiness garden remains a peaceful sanctuary where I can go any time I want, to relax and luxuriate in what makes me feel good … right now.

Sometimes I let new weeds that I am unfamiliar with grow for a little while so that I can know what they are before choosing to either let them grow or yank them out. In doing this I have found that some things that I thought at first were weeds, later revealed themselves later as elements of happiness that I had not been aware of.

What do you feel is the key to happiness? Are you planting seeds in your own happiness garden? Do you find it easier to let weeds grow or do you pull them out as soon as they appear?

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