A few life times ago I made a vow. I vowed to dedicate my self to help animals. To alleviate their suffering and help them to be heard. I have tried a few things over the years. I waged a war against the world, but I realised that the war I was fighting against the outside world was also happening inside me…
I dedicated my life to grass-roots activism for a while. A lot of shouting. A lot of arguing. A lot of tension.
Campaigning. Media stunts outside restaurants, embassies, shops, fashion events, catwalk takeovers. Writing letters. Organising petitions. Telling people what to eat, what to buy, what to think… All in the name of speaking out for the animals. All these attempts to grab people’s attention. Raising awareness. Getting ‘the’ message across. A life of soundbites and media training. A lot of self-neglect. Self-care was self indulgent, I thought.
After exhausting myself I realised it was a path of anger and frustration. Stress. Tension…
I wondered: Do animals really want me to do all of that?
Do they really want humans to put themselves in such a state on their behalf?
I knew the answer. But I had to go and investigate. To look deeper.
So instead of calling yet another meeting with very confident human beings or coming up with a new campaign strategy. I went out.
I mean, I went outside. To meet with Nature.
I humbly asked if the animal kingdom would have the time and the inclination to meet me, a clueless, arrogant human being.
In a moment of grace, they answered and accepted my live friend request. They patiently spent time with me. And to this day, everytime I ask them for advice, they always show up…
They answer my questions, from the dumbest to the most intricate. They kindly taught me how to communicate with the animal kingdom and with the natural world. It’s a mostly silent world. Not many words are uttered aloud. Although chanting, praying, storytelling and singing are most welcome.
To my surprise, humans are invited. They have been invited all along. Some got the call. But most of them are not looking for the right signal. That type of communication is not about the amount of bars you have on your device. It’s about how you can extand your outbreath. Breath deeper. Slow down your thoughts. Relax and ease all the tension in your mind.
It’s about saying yes. Yes to the fact that you are a part of nature. Trust that you can do it and are in fact already doing it, but you are not aware of it.
It’s about noticing and listening.
We have so much to learn from Nature and the animal kingdom relay so many important messages for us. All of us.
You may be worrying that other people will think you are crazy if you give it a try. But the human world as it is, is completely un-sane. Animals are actually amongst the sanest beings I know. Their messages are simple. Loving. Forgiving and joyful.
Animals want us to join in. They want us to listen, so we can understand. For what we dont understand, we destroy…
I would like to share with you this story, that I sometimes tell at the end of a class when I teach yoga… it does illustrate what I just wrote, about having a war going on inside yourself when you go to war with the world…
The Two Wolves
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This is an excertp from my latest newsletter. Subscribe to my mailing list if you’d like to receive such emails in your inbox :)