Today is the Summer Solstice and there has been one spirit animal, who not only has helped me transform my life recently, but who also feels as if it is the perfect animal for this time of year; the phoenix. I believe this is a great symbol for the time of year (Summer = fire). It also can transform the state we all as a species are in right now. Our planet is going through a transition; melting ice caps, climate change, extinction of bees, deforestation, lower fish population, extinction of polar bears and many more animals. It seems daunting, scary and ‘bad’, but our world has been through many changes and whether we, as a species brought it on or not, change will happen anyway. Counties all around the world are experiencing destruction, loss, and upheaval. Change is inevitable. When you try to stop change from happening, that change will find a way to happen anyway - usually not as gently. The wonderful thing about change is once we let go of our control and accept change, we can embrace the experience of wonderful new lessons, environments and ways of living. If we never changed, it would be as if you chose to live in a monotone existence, when you could live in technicolor instead. So much can be gained from change, why sell your soul short by cheating yourself out of life lessons….
That’s where phoenix comes in, she helps us recognize that in order to be reborn anew, we must die (not literally, but figuratively). Phoenix is an animal of immense emotional and mental strength. To let go and just trust everything will be alright in a moment of sheer terror is near impossible to do. Phoenix knows courage derives from fear and by harnessing her fear - by embracing it, she can face the unknown willingly. We should all strive to become stronger versions of ourselves by burning our fears and allowing that raging fire to fuel our courage and strength. Even in a day and age, as we live in now, we could all use that strength. Only we can make it for ourselves.
CONNECT TO PHOENIX
Here’s an exercise to help you embrace the lessons Phoenix teaches.
Light some incense, a candle or even sit under the sun to connect you to phoenix’s element - fire.
Sit in a quiet space with your ‘fire’ and just breathe. Watch the smoke curl and rise, the flame flicker or imagine breathing in the sun light (like a flower). Start taking deep slow breaths.
If you have any thoughts that keep distracting you, when you take a breath in, imagine the thought or worry turning to smoke. When you breathe out imagine blowing that smoke of thought or worry into the air. Each deep and slow breath will be more and more relaxing, at one point you might even find you and the incense, candle or sun are breathing together. That is ideally where you want to get, but if you can’t do it on the first try, don’t worry and move onto the next step, this will take practice.
Next with every inhale, imagine the top of your head is releasing smoke (your worries, fears, negative feelings, anger, sadness, confusion, uncertainty, etc). Like the incense smoke it will just gently rise back to the universe. When you exhale, imagine calling your power and strength back to you. This could be all the energy you've given to others over the years or creating a ball of light around your body for protection or even imagining a giant fire building in your core. You can imagine becoming the phoenix, inhaling is letting go, turning to ash and exhaling is being reborn becoming stronger and brighter with that internal fire.
Do this for 5 to 30 minutes. When you are done you will feel more centered, focused and calm.