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Breaking down to have a breakthrough. This idea seemed nonsensical at the time when my metaphysical friend started to describe this scenario. Now? I believe breaking down and getting to the heart of the matter could be the very thing that can jump start your life for the better. Say you have a problem and your problem is anxiety. Why are you anxious? Stripping the layers away until you get to the actual problem. By getting to the actual root of the problem, you have a chance to fix it. Will it take work? Yes, think about working the fields in the Civil War era. That is the type of grit and work I am talking about.

Having a breakdown is always viewed through a negative lens, but what if(as described above) you put a rose colored lens on your breakdown. Having a breakdown gives you a chance to have a fresh start. The breakdown process feels uncomfortable and mildly painful, but on the other end of the spectrum is a rainbow glittering in the sky after the storm.

A breakdown could mean many things, but let's for all intensive purposes that a breakdown is any event in your life that feels devastating to you. Say you are getting a divorce. No one gets married to then turnaround and get a divorce some time later. Again, if you are that miserable together than a divorce is a chance for release and freedom. It is a chance to start again and make better relationship decisions. The divorce is a chance to step forward and have a breakthrough regarding what you brought to your previous marriage: the good, the bad, and events leading up to your eventual divorce.

Also, having a breakdown does not always mean losing your mind. It can, but if you lose your mind can you not find it again? Find those rose colored lens and look through them! If you tumble down the rabbit hole into madness, you can do so and come out with a new profound awareness. Think about deep meditation. You are going in and hopefully coming back with more knowledge about yourself then you went in with.

The point of explaining all of this? Going through turmoil does destroy you. Darkness, sadness, and distress gives you time for reflection and rebuilding for your life. It is a chance to start with fresh eyes, a clear mind, and a humble heart. Do not let anyone tell you that you are tainted because of your troubles! From now on I am calling my troubles "rose-colored lens" experiences! So, the next time you are in a dark place shine something positive on your situation and grab your rose colored lens. You will be grateful you did.
It Was Never Random
On the way home from dropping off my eldest son at school, my youngest son and I spotted three crows having an aviary battle. Back and forth they went diving after one another. Playfully or not it was difficult to tell, but they were definitely "fighting". While my son and I continued walking a rather treacherous portion of King St. I felt danger. Like a car backing out of a hidden driveway, unexpected danger.

I had my guard up for several driveways as I stopped cautiously to look several times before proceeding to the next driveway. Suddenly, a loud screeching and high pitched chirping sounds came from a tree to our left. I turned sharply to my left and saw a hawk going after some sparrows in a tree. They were directly beside us. I could practically reach out and touch the hawk.

A sense of danger is what I felt. Trusting your intuition is incredibly important. You feel, sense, and hear something before you can see it...always. Today, breaking news or perhaps un-breaking news has surfaced that anticholinergic medications can possibly and definitively(in some cases) lead to memory loss, brain damage, and eventually dementia. That includes many OTC medication that folks take daily like Benadryl and certain psychiatric medications. Like the one I take, abilify, is on that list.

I am bipolar as of last month. For 30+ years of my life I have been fine, now repressed memories that I have held deep down inside our surfacing. Back in November 2015, I felt some increased anxiety, so I sought the help of a Childhood Trauma Therapist specializing in EMDR(eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). It triggered my first ever manic episode where I needed to be hospitalized for over a week. They put me first on latuda, which gave me terrible side effects to include restlessness. I just could not sit still even if I was incredibly exhausted. Next on the list, abilify.

Abilify is an incredible improvement and has stabilized my mood to the point where I am ready to tackle these repressed memories. I am hopeful with my good intuition and the help of a good therapist that I will be able to stop abilify in the coming months. Now, it is a sense of hope that is my focus. With the support of my family, my dedication to my health, and God, I know all things are possible. Everything happens for a reason.




Fine Art by Adam S. Doyle


Beowulf
A line from this ancient poem reads, “...but the black raven, eager for the doomed ones, as he shall say much to the eagle of what success he had at feeding, when he, with the wolf, plundered the corpses.” Excerpt from Truth and Symbolism: Mythological Perspective of the Crow and Wolf by Karen Bukowick


Crows and ravens will be used interchangeably throughout this post, but please note they are two different birds. Also, the crow and raven symbolism is quite similar from the past through the present, which is why you see them talked about as if they were the same bird. 

Ravens, crows, and wolves depend on one another for survival (also known as a symbiotic relationship). Ravens and Crows need the wolves to rip open the carrion for feeding, whereas, wolves will look to the sky for circling ravens that may indicate a future meal. The raven, crow, and wolf also share many present day and past symbolism's. The death, doom, and gloom of the "ye old tyme" past associated with these animals has slowly been replaced by focusing on their unique skill sets rather than their gruesome killing abilities or sometimes trickster demeanors.  

What about symbolism and can animals communicate messages to humans?

Cause it's all in your head. Animals cannot possibly deliver messages or interact with human beings on a deeper level, right? That's what my analytical mind thinks, but my Native American heart knows there is a deeper connection beyond most human comprehension that allows lessons to be learned and messages received from animals. If a dog has its fur standing up on his back, growling, and barring his teeth then that tells you to back off! Message received.

This week, I had a single crow fly over my head as I was crossing a parking lot. In my mind, I saw it circle back and land on a light post. Moments later, it did just that! The caw this crow cawed put me on edge...it was like a warning. Little did I know, this crow was indeed giving me a warning. I have been struggling with my new diagnosis of bipolar disorder. My medications are intense with terrible side effects. That night after the meeting with this crow, I developed rare side effects from my new medication regimen including: a facial mask, involuntary tongue movements, and severe anxiety as a result. These undesired effects led to a complete medication change with my psychiatrist. Crow also signifies change.

This interaction with my crow friend led me to search for more information regarding the crow as a spirit animal guide. I came across a photo and video displaying the deep symbiotic relationship the wolf has with the raven. It was a moment of connection. I no longer wondered why the crow was so familiar and fascinating to me. The crow and I are already friends. The wolf is my power animal spirit guide and the first animal I ever become aware of during deep meditations. My shaman also pointed out the wolf during a guided journey last year. All I know, is that I have a Native American significance in my heritage or elsewhere. Crows and wolves tend to follow each other for food, but it also appears they simply enjoy being in each others company.

Crows and ravens are different, but when it comes to symbolism their similarities are many. I have more interactions with crows, because I live in an urban area where crows like to inhabit. Ravens prefer the wilderness where it can find more carrion and other similar eats. Black symbolizes the void. Their color is nothing and everything at the same moment. Out of the darkness comes the light, and with it the dawning of a new day. Crows are the keeper of sacred law and are thought to walk between our world and the world of spirit, thus delivering important messages from the other side. The crow is a representation of creation and spiritual strength. To the Natives, the crow represent the Great Spirit, which should be treated with the utmost respect.

Ravens are highly intelligent birds that even have facial recognition for humans. Also, they have the ability(like the wolf) to form deep bonds with other animals. This ability to form deep bonds is rare for the predator. Like the tiger or a shark, most predators prefer to take the solo route. Wolf power leads to developing a deep perception and inner knowing about oneself coupled with intuition. Wolves are great hunters with impeccable social skills. They are also great teachers for their offspring and are well known throughout history for their teaching abilities. I feel the wolf with me always and believe that it is my primary power animal along with the crow. With their symbiotic relationship, it makes complete sense that I am utterly fascinated and drawn to them both!

The crow has also been ever present in my life. I have learned to pay attention to their caws. Can you receive messages from animals? I believe you can. Not the conversational kind, of course, but the intuitive feeling you receive from their presence. Look, listen, and feel....AND you may indeed learn something new about you.
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