Messages from Lizards and Giraffes

modern mindfulness

On Friday afternoon, I dramatically screamed while on the phone after seeing a baby lizard run across my kitchen floor. Once I realized it was a baby lizard, I was excited. I would rather have an anaconda in my apartment than most bugs. A half hour later, I was on the phone with my good friend, CiCi, and same thing happened. I looked up the symbolic meaning of lizards and most sites listed it as a symbol of untapped potential. Quickly distracted by my need to leave to teach, I did not give much thought to my lizard research. 

That evening, I went to bed rather early and slept deeply until 6:30AM. As I awoke, I felt as if I was lethargically crawling through layers of deep consciousness. Once I was completely awake, I instantly remembered my dream:

Lucidly, I “woke up” and walked into my kitchen in the middle of the night. I quizzically realized the window was open and screen-less. In my dream, I remembered Ida and Emily told me to leave the window open for the lizard to set itself free (I closed that window before bed that evening). It begins to snow and someone starts to violently knock on my front door. I walk over and a Rastafarian man riding a giraffe appears in a window next to my bed (in reality that window is not there). I yell and ask him what he wants from me as I attempt to text 911 but I am unable to press the numbers. I think to call Dani, I am unable to use my phone, it’s bright and glowing but I cannot get it to work. 

I wake up. 

Immediately, I grabbed my journal and wrote down everything I remembered. Then, I looked up the symbolic meanings of snow and giraffes, the two most lifelike aspects of my dream. Snow has a plethora of interpretations. However, similar to lizards, giraffes imply the need to stick your neck out or to see a bigger picture. 

Like many young Americans, I am persistently passionate about a handful vaguely related pursuits. For the last few years, yoga has always been my mainstay; but, I’ve weaved quite a few things in along the way. Up until now, I have not wholeheartedly ran after my destiny. I always keep one-foot in the safe-zone. I have gotten good at warping jobs into kind of looking like I was pursuing my destiny, but in my heart-of-hearts, I knew it was not my dharma; therefore, something I should not pursue. This week is my first week of doing entirely what I want to do (and it’s incredibly gratifying and equally terrifying).  

At the end of my dharma talk on Sunday, I shared an adaptive version of one of my favorite Marianne Williamson quotes:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?  Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

I know I am playing small right now and I know it does not only effect me, it effects everyone else. Therefore, this week, on and off the mat, I am focusing on opening myself to my fullest potential. Incredible things typically follow uncomfortable moments when I believe in myself and reach for something not quite available from where I currently stand.