Resources - Article: The Power of Life
By Lynn Marks - The Messenger
Coach, Speaker, Author
"Get out. Get out. Get out now."
Thats my inner voice speaking to me.
This same guidance has been nudging me to come to the beach since Friday. Ive been procrastinating or is it resisting. Its Sunday, late afternoon, and Im finally here.
The lukewarm waves are amazingly gentle today as they caress my body. I intend to walk out as far as I can stand and just bathe in these healing waters of the Atlantic. More than a fun day at the beach, I know that Im here for a spiritual cleansing.
With each step I feel Gods radiant light penetrate each cell and atom of my being and release all that is not of my highest good under grace now. With each wave, all that is not of my highest good is washed away from my being and returned to the nothingness from where it came, the divine ocean of the Universe, to be transmuted under grace.
This is my prayer. This is my vision. I bless and thank my angels, my dear Collective, as they asked me many years ago to call them, for their assistance.
"Get out. Get out. Get out now."
Just minutes in the water and now Im being guided to turn back, to get out of the water. Where I am standing the waves are barely thigh high. I look out to a distant wave and wonder if sharks are near by. I quickly catch, cancel and clear these thoughts. I stop questioning and surmising and start following the inner guidance.
So I back up slowly. As I approach the shore something hard rolls over my right foot. Spiritually the right foot is often associated with manifestation and moving forward. I stop immediately and pick up the reddish stone.
Out of the water and in the sunshine it looks more white than red and the stone is really a shell. Barnacles cover its worn salmon-color, scalloped exterior. Turning it over, I momentary gasp; inside the hard white lining is a snake.
I look closer. No more than an inch and a half long, Im looking at the fossilized remains of a snake. I cant really distinguish whether the brown and white stripes on its body are it vertebrae or coloring. As if frozen in time, its raised serpentine body, from its head to its tail, is perfectly preserved.
Spiritual lessons come in many ways, through many teachers and keep coming until we get the lesson.
In Messages from God it says: "Increase your consciousness. See the symbolic messages of your life, not the literal illusions, that the Universe is sending you."
Perhaps my gasp when I turned over the shell isnt so much from seeing this snake, but recalling my experience with an uninvited snake in my bedroom just four weeks before. Only that snake was very much alive, completely brown and some 10 times larger.
This is the third time Ive experienced this snake symbolism in the past year. The synchronicity isnt lost on me.
So what is the Universe telling me that I appear to be resisting?
I ask God what I am experiencing. "Growth" is the reply.
Still holding the shell, Im both amazed and perplexed as I reflect on the week leading up to this moment. As I walk the beach I recall how life feels like its slowed down to a crawl and I havent been very comfortable in my own skin, in my own life.
For weeks I joyfully moved forward experiencing one synchronicity after another. And, then one day a week ago it took all my concentration to stay focused, calm and present. My body, mind and spirit seemed constricted as if they were tied up in one huge knot. I felt physically dizzy, every joint ached and my vision was blurry. Then one day a sty appeared in the middle of my upper right eye lid. Then it went away as quickly as it came without any physical treatment and the next day another appeared in the same place on my left eye lid. As the week continued I felt mentally confused, emotionally agitated and despondent, and spiritually lost. And, the worst part was I didnt even know who or what was causing this manifestation.
And, yet on another level, I knew the source, because everything we experience in our outer world has knowingly or unknowing been initiated by us - our thoughts, words, choices and feelings. So although I didnt know the literal cause I was conscious of the need to release whatever was depleting my energy. In fact, my meditation prayer and release vision at the beach has been my prayer this past week.
Perhaps youve been here once or twice yourself in your personal or business life. This feeling, this state, seems to come out of no where and it takes all your energy to keep going to break through to the next level. It takes all your self-confidence to not take things personal and stay positive. And knowing this state isnt what it appears to be (the illusion as it is often called) doesnt seem to make you feel any better.
It is often at times like this, when our world seems to be turned upside-down or inside-out or doesnt make much sense that we need to remember that things are rarely what they appear to be.
Intuitively I know that this latest snake experience, this shell, holds the key to understanding what I havent been able to see. Discerning the mystery of pain, growth and life is all here.
"And the day came that the risk it took to remain a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin
As I walk along the shore I see many shells and rocks and yet none seem to call out to me today. Then on the way back another reddish shell gifts itself to me. Smaller than the first, its a little bigger than the size of a quarter. Its coral-colored, scalloped top shell is beginning to erode and is doted with numerous pin holes. I turn it over and inside Im amazed to see the same type of snake fossil, only this ones less than half the size of the other.
Spiritual lessons often come in twos. Its the divines sign for confirmation. The question is: "confirmation of what?" Im told that Im in the right place, doing the right things, and I will be told.
Ive always had an aversion to snakes, even the thought of snakes. As a young child I was afraid to get off my bed at night sensing that snakes were on the floor.
A year ago when I came face to face with a snake we were about a foot apart with only my bedroom window between us. This 15 foot black snake brought me the message of spiritual will - the power to act from faith rather than fear. For it is only when we face the unknown, unexpected and uncomfortable from the knowingness that everything is happening for our good (rather than happening to us) that we can truly access the divine; make choices that lead to true peace, harmony and prosperity; and rise to a higher level.
For being of more than average intelligence, there are more times than I like to admit to that I seem to be a slow learner. This seems to be a reoccurring lesson. And, yet intuitively I know that facing this latest snake, this snake totem, is my crisis of meaning. To get its lesson is to free my spirit and fly again.
I am filled with both peace and curiosity.
As I continue to walk the coast line, my eyes are drawn to a certain piece of coral. I pick it up and its a perfectly shaped heart. Instantly I know this is the divine reaching out to reassure me that I correctly heard the message. "You are exactly in the right place, doing the right thing. All is well. Be at peace."
And, even though it has definitely not felt so this past week, I know that spirit only speaks TRUTH. I trust the heart symbol. Its one of the key signs that spirit uses to communicate with me to believe what I can not see or understand. The heart signs remind me that I am not alone, that we are traveling this life together. (Spirit uses many signs and symbols to communicate their presence and messages, like feathers and coins.)
For many of us when we first think of the symbolic meaning of a snake, it reminds us of The Bible, and the story of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis. From a traditional Judaic-Christian view, the snake represents temptation, evil, poison; the snake is the servant of Satan.
Although in most cultures and times the snake has had a more positive significance. It is revered for its amazing powers of survival as a sacred symbol of eternal life: birth-growth-maturation-decay-death-rebirth, and the cycle repeats. It is often represented in a circle, biting its own tail.
For these societies the whole life cycle was accepted; there was no world of opposing dualities, good and evil in our sense. Snake was a symbol of the life process, the cycles of a never-ending spiral of life and death and life. For the snake was a symbol of life, wisdom and healing: shedding its skin, immortality, rebirth.
And, in this awareness is the connection between the snake in the shell, the unexpected "pain" that Ive been experiencing and the growth that God promises. This fossilized snake is in fact the remnants of what the snake left behind, its skin.
The actual process of a snake shedding its skin is a metaphor of life: growth, pain, death and rebirth. If a snake doesnt shed its skin it will become ill.
As Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth said, "The power of life causes the snake to shed its skin, just as the moon sheds its shadow to be born again."
A snake sheds its skin when its inside becomes bigger than its skin outside, which doesnt grow but only stretches to the point of having to be shed. This is a process that continues throughout its lifetime.
The shedding releases the old dull, scarred and torn self, so that the new, larger, shiny self can come forward.
According to people who know snakes, the actual shedding isnt always comfortable and not until the process is complete does the snake feel free free from its former self alive and rejuvenated once again.
And, like the phases of the moon, there are four phases through this transformation. See if you recognize any of them, figuratively speaking of course.
First, before the old skin is shed, there is a period of time when the snake is almost completely blind. A blue film forms over its eyes. During this transition time between worlds the snake is more vulnerable and defensive, agitated, strikes out and cannot eat.
When the blue film goes away the snake still has not shed. Be the snake and feel what it may feel. Perhaps this whole process is a false alarm; I must have misunderstood something; maybe Im just sick or crazy!
Then the magic happens and shell of the old skin (self) starts to come off. Sometimes the snake just wriggles out of it easily and quickly. Sometimes it takes more effort, even requires soaking in water to loosen where the old skin is so tightly attached it resists all efforts to release( i.e., whirlpools and baths, exercise and vacations). And, sometimes the snake has to rub repeatedly over rough rocks to scrape off the torn piece (perhaps massage, other body work, counseling or therapy).
Eventually the shedding is complete. The snake, no longer blind or feeling stress, is ravenously hungry and extremely active. The new skin comes in all shiny and beautiful making the snake feel soft and smooth.
If we could be as wise as a snake. It doesnt carry around the old skin as a reminder or a personal cross to bear of its hard times and previous existence. It leaves that old skin, that old self right where it came off. No remorse. No longing. No looking back. It just goes forward.
In his book Animal Speak, Ted Andrews says: "Anytime a snake shows up as a totem, you can expect death and rebirth to occur in some area of your life."
You dont have to have a snake literally show up in your life or even come as a token, like the shells I received at the beach, to recognize the energy of snake in your life. Each time you feel overwhelming stress, agitated, vulnerable and cant seem to see things clearly, know its the power of life awakening your consciousness to rise to your next highest good. Like the Hindu concept of Kundalini, or serpent fire, the energy rises from the base of the spine igniting emotional, mental, and spiritual energy centers (chakras) as you mature emotionally and spiritually. Remember the wisdom lessons of the animal guide snake.
In the midst of your stress, stay centered in faith. Ask your higher self "What must I shed in my current condition to be reborn to fulfill my souls destiny?" Said another way, "What beliefs and habits have I outgrown." And, still another way, "What must I shed for the health of my body, heart, mind, spirit and even the greater society?"
Catherine Ponder in Open Your Mind to Receive writes of the essential need to decide to let go that which has completed its course in our life: "Many of our human ills are caused by our unwise binding of people and things to us, or our letting people and things unwisely bind us to them."
She goes on to remind us of the ultimate benefit of releasing that or who impedes our progress, inner growth. "As soon as we do so, nothing can take from us that which still belongs to us by divine right."
In time you will recognize the signs and cycles of the power of life calling you to shed your outer skin so you may be reborn. As you do, these transition times will become less stressful. You will face the illusions of fear with faith, shed with grace and experience greater levels of joy, peace and prosperity.
Surely Bob Dylan got it right when he said, "Artist have to understand they are always in a state of becoming" for we are all artists of our own life. And, as you continue to grow from the inside out - to shed the old self, ways, habits, life - you will more fully express and realize you.