Animal Messengers on your Hero’s Journey

Originally Posted on January 30, 2012 by Dr. Gail Feldman

During times of stress on your life journey, recognize every resource as guidance- as the Universe bringing you strength on the road of resilience.  While we’re used to consulting experts and written materials during health, relationship, or financial crises, powerful messages can come from animals showing up in our inner or outer landscape. In Midlife Crash Course, I share my delight when a hummingbird flies into my bedroom one morning. An accident had left me with broken bones, a head injury, a possible heart problem… and panic attacks. After I helped the little bird back into the outside air, I read about the hummingbird – the smallest creature with a four-chambered heart, a heart the size of a baby’s fingernail, a heart that beats ten times a second and powers the tiny bird to fly more than five hundred miles without rest! I got the message that there was nothing wrong with my heart. It was fine- strong and healthy. The hummingbird represents “joy.” It brought me a happy, reassuring message that turned-out to be true.

Another time, when I doubted my ability to heal my body in time for a trip to Vietnam to give a talk, a very large hawk appeared on my front terrace looking right at me. Hawk asks us to look at things “from a higher perspective,” and doing that had me realize that I’d had my nose to the ground only aware of the current pain. From a broader perspective, I could see and believe that I would be well enough to travel. I took Hawk’s power with me to physical therapy from then on (and had a fabulous trip to Asia).

Shock and surprise is the only way I can describe my reaction to sitting up in bed one morning to see a snake stretched-out on the carpet staring at me. Snakes represent “transformation” and the ability to transmute life’s “poisons” into creative energy. This rebirthing is also exemplified by the Snake’s shedding of skin. I thanked Snake for giving me the message that I had the power, vitality and perseverance to leave my fears behind and become the “wise warrior” for love that I intended. But, you’ll have to read my book Midlife Crash Course to find out how I got the snake to leave the bedroom, and about a second snake visit. What animals show up in your life? And what messages do they bring?


About Dr.Gail Carr Feldman

Dr. Gail Feldman, longtime psychologist, former assistant psychiatry professor, and award-winning author, has published six books, appeared on radio and television programs across the country, including Larry King Live, and has spoken internationally on creativity, resilience and the heroine’s journey. Her current passion is facilitating transformation through the Midlife Crash Course.
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