Well I am back from one of the most transformative weekends of the year; Michigan Yoga Fest at Song of the Morning Ranch in Vanderbelt MI. Four days in the woods, blessed for over 70 years, with some of the most amazing people. Of course I had to share some of my journey; so I am going to tell you about my friend Andrew.
The day I arrived and found my cozy little camping spot, I started by offering prayers, and a small amount of food to thank this land for allowing me to be there, as well as to ask it for its blessing of a good weekend. I then set up my camp, met my neighbors; and went to explore. Before bed that night I drank some rather strong coffee, that caused my brain to do crazy amount of tricks in the pitch black of the night, and got little sleep.
The next day I came back to my sight to take a nap, and noticed a slug sitting outside of my tent. I said hi, and then went to take my nap. Later that day, I left to participate in more workshops and the like; only to come back and again find my slug friend closer to my tent door. It was at this point I named my slug, Andrew – it just seemed right.
On Saturday I had stuffed my hoodie into by backpack. Towards the evening hours, I decided to put it on as it was getting chilly and head back to drop off some stuff at my camp site before heading to a gong emersion. I met up with my neighbor and we walked down together. After sticking my hand in my pocket I noticed something cool and slightly wet. Sure enough some how Andrew has hitched a ride to the gong emersion in my pocket. (I still am 100% unclear how Andrew was able to do so, I had seen Andrew outside my tent before I first left that day).
It became clear at that point that there was something to this relationship that this little creature was trying to create with me. We got back to the campsite, I put Andrew outside and said goodnight. Andrew left, and then came back the next morning, and even hung out to say good bye before I left Sunday afternoon.
I knew that after that first night of coffee fueled fear, the land had sent me a protector to keep my mind at ease – I slept like a baby every night afterwards. I also knew that Andrew the slug was sending me a very powerful message.
Slugs are very interesting totems, and for some accounts, some of the most powerful. Slugs are both male and female in their sex, leading many cultures to conclude that they are more spirit then they are of this world. Further they represent the balance of female and male energy, both within the cosmos and within ourselves.
Slugs are stronger than there doppelgangers snails. Unlike snails they do not have a shell on their back, because they are not in need of carrying their home around with them. I knew from this I no longer had to carry my ‘home’ with me everywhere I went, because I would always have a home to go back to. Furthermore they are unburdened with the idea of material gains.
Finally, and most likely the strongest message I took from Andrew, is that slugs are steady in their path; and they always leave behind a trail. Slugs are fearless in perusing their path, they are not worried that they might have nothing or have to ‘sleep outside’; they just keep going with deep faith that the universe will provide whatever they might need. They also leave something behind, both as a memento as well as in energetic balance of giving back and gratitude. You will always remember a slug that runs over something because that trail has a bit of color to it; reminding you too to be fearless, trusting, and grateful.
Andrew also reminded me that my next step upon my path is to step into the role and training of a Shaman. Due to the fact that slugs have both sex organs, they can mate with any slug that they fall in love with, and produce life. However they sometimes will loose part of their anatomy in the process. This has connected them with the path of the Shaman, and the part of themselves that the Shaman must loose in order to fully become the healer.
Over this past weekend I have learned a lot; but my greatest teacher, was the smallest creature I encountered. Andrew reminded me what my path was, and gave me the strength to continue on it. Andrew showed me that it was okay to be vulnerable, without a shell, because the universe will always have my back. Finally Andrew showed me that balance was everything in making this life work.
Sadly I did not take Andrew home. I did not feel that I could provide a home equally as stunning as Song of the Morning Ranch. However Andrew did not forget to leave a mark to always remember out time together. By crawling all over the rug outside my tent I now have little Andrew foot prints to remind me how strong I am and how even the smallest creatures can have the greatest impacts.
Practice in Peace and Love ❤