“Theme? Theme for what, Shane? Huh, Shane, tell me. Tell me. TELL ME!!! *cough* Sorry. You were saying…”
For those of you new to Dare To Evolve, about once a year or so, I share my new “annual” theme that has presented itself to me and guides the energy behind all I do moving forward.
It has become a powerful practice that helps me tap into what I need most at this time, so I can make the most of my life and what I am to contribute to the world. With each passing year it digs deeper, drawing out more of what is and what is to be. I highly encourage and invite you to explore this simple, yet life enhancing, practice.
*Note: Yes, it may feel awkward to begin with, but stick with it and it will assist in unlocking what resides at the heart of you. It requires the strength of vulnerability. And if you feel at all unsure or self-conscious getting started, you have a safe place to do so, right here.
On to the newest theme…
The theme this round is: Embrace the Might
The fuelling Quality/Virtue is: Nobility
When I moved to the Canadian Arctic (from suburban southern Canada) with my family at the age of 5 years old, I was introduced to what became a central, and singularly the most influential, totem for me in my life: the Bear.
We moved to a small, isolated Dene community of the Sahtu, on Great Bear Lake. I was going into Grade 1, which we were taught in the local language of North Slavey. And very early on, I was to make a connection that rooted me to this place, this experience. But more so it gave me much strength to draw from as I proceeded to live through what proved to be the most intense, harsh and defining experience of my young life. My initials, S.A.H. (or Sah), in North Slavey mean… the Bear.
Now over the years, I have had example after example of that symbol and spirit making itself manifest in my life, both figuratively and literally. And it continues to do so. But there was one instance in particular that is directly connected to the Theme which has recently hit me, as my theme for the coming year.
In my early 20’s I had a dream.
In this dream I was making a long journey. Along the way, the environment went from lush and green to rocky and barren. The weather went from sunny and warm to a cold, snowy blizzard. I was on a narrow road with a frozen lake on one side and a rock wall on the other. It was difficult to see much further than 30 feet ahead. As I rounded a long bend, I all of a sudden saw a massive Polar Bear walking straight towards me. I stopped dead in my tracks. One side of me SCREAMED at me to run! The other side BELLOWED at me to not move a muscle, if I wanted any chance at surviving this encounter. My heart was racing a million beats per minute as HE got closer. When he was about 20 feet away, my heart then stopped. Because out of the windswept white behind him came… another massive Polar Bear, walking straight towards me.
Two of them. Fifteen feet away. My mind raced with options to escape, to hide, to fight. Ten feet away. All of a sudden, with the greatest of clarity, my mind went as empty as the barren landscape around me. The only thing occupying it was the visage of these two powerful, mighty beings coming to me. Five feet. In that moment, I knew this was some sort of gift, that I must give myself over to if I was to receive whatever was being offered. Make no mistake, I didn’t foresee some fairytale ending. I knew more likely than not, that I was going to get a great paw across my face, snapping my neck instantly. Or one of the Polar Bears would take my head in his mouth and the other my torso in his and they would tear me in half with one heaving pull.
I went down on one knee, bowed my head and closed my eyes. As I knelt there, the first Polar Bear paused above my head looking down at me, his breath hot on my hair. My heart at peace, my body relaxed, detached and open to what was to come next, I was suddenly taken by surprise. He started to sniff me. The other Polar Bear did the same as he came up beside me. And after a moment of taking stock and nudging me, the first Polar Bear lay down, wrapping himself around me. The other did the same on the opposite side, embracing me between the two of them so only my face showed through their fur. I closed my eyes again, breathing deeply, feeling myself safe, secure and at rest.
A while later, they got up, looked at me and then nudged me to start moving once again in the direction I had been walking. They continued on in the opposite direction. Standing there, I felt this incredible surge of energy pulsing through me. I also noticed I no longer felt the cold or biting wind of the blizzard raging on around me. One look back at the departing bears as they disappeared and I carried on my long journey…
I recognized the Polar Bears to be brothers, whom I have come to affectionately refer to as “The Twins”. They’ve since “visited” me a couple more times. I was recently feeling a powerful surge of energy, an awakening of their strength within me, when I was struck by a realization:
I never embraced them back.
Probably because I was not yet strong enough to do so. But now, whether I am strong enough or not, I’m being given an unmistakable push to embrace them back. Embrace their strength. Embrace their resilience. Embrace their endurance. Embrace their power. Embrace their wisdom. Embrace their Might.
Embrace that those very qualities are mine as well.
The Quality/Virtue that Stands Out…
… is Nobility. When I think of the Twins (and most bears in general), I see Nobility. There is no need to show or forcefully assert the power which they hold. They quietly live their lives in what can only be perceived by us as honest. No skulking about, hiding or need to deceive. “I am here and this is who I am.” But there is absolutely no mistaking the strength, ferocity and assertiveness just below the surface.
On reflection of that quality, and why it stood out as the one to fuel this years theme, it is because I feel I am moving into a year of even greater connection (with all of you and many more whose paths I have yet to cross). Whenever I meet people, I always do so seeing the best in each person. I automatically assume you are a good person, are doing your best to live “right” and that what you are giving in return is honestly reflecting you. Some may see that as naivety. It’s not. It’s a choice. I will continue to stand behind my choice with certitude, strength and ferocity if need be.
I believe in the Nobility of every soul. Your Nobility. And I Embrace the Might to continue serving, in ever greater degrees, all of our abilities to connect to it.
Dare To Evolve,