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For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
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“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

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This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
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Rabbits, Patterns, and Facing the Fear of Being Overshadowed

black and white rabbit

As I ran on the trails behind my house the other morning, I saw at least five rabbits. One little brown bunny even ran out in front of me for a minute, like he was leading me somewhere. He eventually veered off into the brush and left me to travel down my own mental rabbit hole.

As an intuitive person, I pay attention to coincidences and patterns. I’m always searching for meaning in all experiences. I’ve found this kind of pattern watching often leads to self-discovery.

I’ve seen rabbits everywhere lately. I know it’s spring and rabbits are known for their reproductive abilities but that doesn’t change that my mind has chosen to notice them wherever I go. I have a positive confirmation bias set up around seeing rabbits. The other night as I sat and watched TV, I looked on the shelf to the left of the screen and noticed the framed picture of a rabbit I bought last year while in England. I was on a rabbit kick last year at this time too! Weird.

Spirit animals lead to self-discovery

xAnimalTotemMeaningAnimalSymbolism.jpg.pagespeed.ic.Mj32WDsuVsA few months ago, I purchased a book called, The Secret Power of Spirit Animals. My sister told me about it a long time ago and I’d always wanted my own copy. Over the years, I’ve noticed that certain animals appear in my life repeatedly for a period of time. According to the spirit animal book, these animals could be my totem animal or they could be harbingers of change and important messages. For some of you, this kind of thinking falls under the same category as horoscopes and palm reading, but I’ve decided that even if I subconsciously shift some things to fit my expectations, I still gain insight along the way, even if the insight is that I’m open to learning from and exploring anything.

Rabbits are guides into the shadow world, where our personal fears lie. When the rabbit shows up it is time to examine those deep reflexive fears that hold you back from growing. Do you keep bounding for the safety of your old patterns every time something new or challenging presents itself? If the answer is yes, the rabbit asks you to face your fears with compassion for yourself. — Ina Woolcott, Rabbit Power Animal Symbol of Creativity, Intuition, Paradox and Fear

I also did a Google search on rabbit symbolism and found the above quote on shamanicjourney.com. I know I’m getting a little Mad Hatter and new age-y, but stay with me. After reading the excerpt, I thought about what fears I return to again and again. I considered which ones hold me back. I thought about how I typically react to them.

Sensitive to every nuance, especially scary ones

Rabbits are prey animals. Almost every predator eats them. They are vulnerable out in the open. They are sensitive to the slightest movement or sounds. They vigilantly scan their surroundings. Their species’ continuance depends on large populations.

Toward the end of my relationship with my man, I feared having my feelings hurt. I believe he was stressed, for several reasons including possibly my behavior, and as a result his words and actions were terse and negative. I had to tread lightly. I wasn’t myself because I feared I would upset him and he would get angry. I sensed a simmering frustration in him most the time. The relationship didn’t work because my instincts are on high alert for people who make me feel small or inhibited. I’m aware of this fear and have found a supportive and kind tribe to be one good solution. I also strive to improve my own resiliency and ability to calm myself. I learn better in the company of kind individuals. I am working on multiplying the number of positive people in my life. They are out there just like all those rabbits. I found some in the new church I started attending. Which brings me to another reflexive fear I have.

Excuse me while I frolic in the safety of a kind herd

We can learn from the rabbit that if we are always afraid of something then we may draw/create the very experience we are afraid of in to our lives. — Ina WoolcottRabbit Power Animal Symbol of Creativity, Intuition, Paradox and Fear

In my backyard where the bunnies frolic, there is also a large hawk that sits in treetops and casts menacing in the shadows
shadows over the yard as it soars and searches for food. Rabbits dart for cover when the hawk glides above. I wrote last week about how my heart sank when I saw my ex-husband’s new wife at the special church I had only recently found as my own safe refuge. I did some digging into why that bothered me so much. I believe it touched on the tender spot I have about being overshadowed. My former husband’s wife is a bubbly and vivacious extrovert. She’s sweet and outgoing. She’s hard to overlook. I have a long history of retreating into the background when surrounded by more dominant personalities. I wanted to step out front, just a little, in this new space.

The solution I worked out is to trust my abilities and shine softly in my way. I can find fulfillment and quality relationships by being sensitive and soft like the rabbit. I can be open to new possibilities and not let past fear hold me back.

Rabbit medicine is also very positive, showing us how to attract love, abundance, health, and a warm, dry burrow. We are guided to move through fear, living by our own wits, receiving hidden teachings and intuitive messages, quick thinking, strengthening intuition, and paradox. Rabbit represents humility, being quiet and soft and not self-asserting… Rabbit always indicates a need to re-evaluate the process you are undergoing, to rid yourself of any negative feelings or barriers, and to be more humble. — Ina WoolcottRabbit Power Animal Symbol of Creativity, Intuition, Paradox and Fear

Lastly, The Secret Power of Spirit Animals book says that rabbits (or rabbit-type people) can serve as inspiration and guides in creative endeavors. Well, they inspired this post and I’ve noticed an increase in progress on my book lately. Perhaps I’m being led down the right rabbit hole. I’m open to it.

When have symbols or coincidences taught you something? Are you willing to follow patterns down the rabbit hole? What insight have you gained recently from self-analysis? 

If you’re interested in working with me to overcome hindering fears, please contact me here. I’d love to guide you beyond the fears you return to again and again. 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Stephanie June 8, 2016 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    You do serve as an inspiration and guide thank you Brenda X

  2. Fernanda June 8, 2016 at 5:02 am - Reply

    Hello Brenda, thank you for all your posts they have really helped me to understand myself. I was hoping you could write more about how to deal with situations where you are surrounded by dominant personalities. I also tend to retreat and don’t like it, feel I am not allowing myself be part of that specific moment.

  3. Michael Buley June 3, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    I like how said you are trusting in your abilities, and shining in your own way.

    I know the feeling of being with someone who makes you feel small, and thus inhibited. I shut down so quickly when I feel criticized, and it takes days for me to come back sometime, at least with that person.

    I think the goal of a relationship — any relationship — is to lift the other person up. To encourage, support, believe in, compliment (sincerely of course), see his or her beauty and talent and genius, and speak it, often, and freely.

    In being with anyone, we should feel better about who we are, and about life. And we should offer that same gift to whoever we are with.

    Where that does not happen, it’s not a healthy thing.

    Our perhaps extreme sensitivity needs to be honored — not doubted, not fixed, not compromised. That sensitivity is a tremendous gift that we need to protect and cherish as best as we can.

    Thank you for your posts, Brenda. I look forward to what you share. I look forward to knowing there is a safe place to share these things. That matters a great deal to me, and I am very grateful for you.

    Michael

    • Brenda Knowles June 5, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      Michael I find it difficult to have a relationship with someone who is negative even when they aren’t being negative about me. I think I have this fear that some day it will turn around and be directed at me, which I’ve had happen. I know I am very sensitive and I know the gifts and pitfalls of that. I’m working to create healthy boundaries and a sense of inner calm so I can be more resilient. I’m also removing myself from as many energy draining relationships as possible. It’s a constant practice to maintain emotional balance.
      I agree that the goal of a relationship is to lift the other person up and ideally, you’d receive the same kind of treatment from them.
      Space2live is all about being that safe place you mentioned. I’m so glad you feel safe and at home here. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words Michael. I appreciate your perspective.

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