It’s not uncommon for me to receive messages from our wild animal relatives that they’d like to share with other humans and in fact, this often occurs right before my weekly radio show. So far my listeners and I have heard from Elephant, Walrus, and Raven just to name a few. This last week it was Gazelle’s turn – and along with that, Impala.
I previously thought that the two names – Gazelle and Impala – were interchangeable as they were the same animal and that this animal lives in Africa. It turns out they’re different species of the family commonly known as antelope which includes other bovids such as cattle, sheep and goats – animals with long, slender limbs. A gazelle is a smaller type of antelope which is why I think it was used as an example for the information they were offering. It was nonetheless interesting that the two animals coming forward with the message wanted to ensure that I knew they were different from each other and yet still the same – just as humans are.
The discussion topic on the radio show was about the physical body and how important right relationship between the Self and the body is for sustained health. So often we as humans say “I am hungry” or “I am sleepy” which isn’t necessarily true because it is our bodies that are that way. The Self who inhabits the body is at the same time of the body and separate from it. The more we can listen to and respond to the information coming from the body ranging anywhere from whispers to shouts the better it will be for both. The body is such an amazing organic machine and there are still secrets which humans have yet to discover. Animals, however, know more than we do about how the body operates and how best to sync with that. From their point of view, the intersecting point between the body and Self is a sacred place that isn’t meant to belong solely to the body or to Self – and that in itself IS the whole point. That the body and Self are meant to be one together and share information back and forth so that both can make informed decisions about how to simply BE for the highest and best good. This is where Gazelle and Impala came in and they wanted to relay a message about emotions and the effect on the physical body that was startlingly comprehensive and relative to the topic at hand.
The vision they shared with me was Gazelle running on a savannah in Africa and the first thing I noticed was how the wind consciously worked with Gazelle in parting itself without effort as Gazelle ran. I became Gazelle and was aware that Cheetah was chasing me and getting close to having my haunches in its claws. Once or twice the claws were on me and with a twitch of my rump I eluded Cheetah and ran safely away. During this time Impala was narrating the scene by speaking about the emotion that was occurring as part of this truly life and death scenario. The surprising thing was that it wasn’t so much fear I was feeling as I think I might as a human being chased by Cheetah – it was fearlessness that was present as Gazelle and that what was happening was within the context of a perfect balance between the two animals, Gazelle and Cheetah. There was courage on the part of Gazelle in knowing that it was not without defenses such as speed or maneuvering to outwit Cheetah and present also was the possibility that Gazelle may survive this encounter. And that was the moment of revelation. It was pointed out that as humans we have too much fear consistently running through our bodies as we face what are arguably much less fearful situations than life or death. Gazelle was meeting this challenge head on and took full advantage of all of its skills and instincts to escape death at the paws of Cheetah. This animal had a choice – as all beings do – about how to respond to this situation and to the messages of outright survival that its body was giving. Gazelle chose to respond with full awareness in the moment without mentally processing the emotion – it was simply one with the emotion, a skill all animals have. There was no out-of-body floaty feeling, no distancing itself from the emotion being offered by its body – there was only presence of what was occurring between and with each heartbeat. Impala was inviting me to notice the difference in what I thought I should be feeling – FEAR – and what I was actually feeling as Gazelle. I was invited to relay that what appears as fearful to humans is more a product of our minds and what we THINK we should be feeling in our bodies vs. what our bodies may be actually communicating to us. Impala went on to say that the stress of fear on the body cannot be overstated and in our human way we often times do more damage ourselves by thinking a certain way about a situation vs. what is actually true of the situation. It’s apparent that the momentary awareness and connection with the physical body and its communication with us is paramount not only to our survival but also to our happiness. After all, Impala continued – “fear is most often False Evidence Appearing Real”. Photo credit – Thomson’s Gazelle by Stig Nygaard.