On becoming a Shaman step one, go for a walk

How does one become a Shaman?  It can be a long  journey and one should start by taking a walk.  Make a commitment to yourself that you will take a walk outside on a regular basis.  Even if you visit a gym and walk on a treadmill, I encourage you to walk outside on a regular basis.

Walking stimulates the body, and the mind, and the spirit. 

Making a commitment, focuses your intent.

When you walk, please look at your surroundings.

  • Take in the air temperature.  Smell things.  See the sky, the clouds, the sun or the moon and stars.
  • See the birds flying and the trees they land in.  Look at the leaves and buds and twigs of the trees.  Notice the different forms of trees.
  • Listen to the sounds — the birds, and other natural sounds.  Try to hear where they are coming from.
  • Touch the earth, touch the grass, the plants, the rocks and sand that covers and forms the earth.
  • If you are near a body of water, go visit it.  See what color it is, if it is tidal, what do the waves look like, and are there critters in it/on it that you can see?
  • What has changed since the last time you walked here?

In which my friend meets a Florida Panther

One evening earlier this week, my friend Brizos was driving home from work.  He wrote to me,

“As I drove home from Marco Island, Florida on the causeway (951/Collier Blvd) that connects Marco Island to Naples, I had to stop in the middle of the road for a perfectly healthy, very large Florida Panther.  There weren’t many cars on the road but this guy just STOPPED… in the middle of the road. Of course being the brave and mighty Brizos, I actually was considering getting out of the truck and going up to check on him… [my friend thought better of that idea] … Anyway, this guy (yes he was definitely a boy) just stood in the middle of the road – and stared at me for a moment or two before deciding to jaunt around and head back into the wood.”

So, Brizos asked me to address the Florida Panther, and how it fits in with the Florida Earthways Path.

I directed him to the Cougar/Mountain Lion/Puma page on the wonderful website, http://www.animalspirits.com/index1.html .  It has an awesome photo of a Cougar, and a story about the Cougar from the Zunis.  According to the website, the

Cougar/Mountain Lion/Puma’s Wisdom Includes:

  • Using leadership power wisely and without ego
  • Balancing power, intention, strength
  • Gaining self-confidence
  • Freedom from guilt
  • Cunning

  In the Florida Earthways Path, the Florida Panther represents the North, the Earth. My Friend was driving NORTH on 951, through-and-into this Panther’s Territory* and he sees this Cat, (a large wild animal yet a little smaller than my friend,) the Cat’s standing there, with the attitude like he is singing “I Won’t Back Down” by  Tom Petty and  Jeff Lynne. 

  So here are some additional questions: 

    1.    Which way did Panther go, when he went off into the woods?  East or West?  That will provide us with more information.

     2.    What were you thinking about, just before you saw him? We must practice Mindfulness at all times, which isn’t easy…

 * The Florida Panther Habitat intersects with the Florida Everglades. 

What a blessing this is to you, my friend!

Watch out for this Cat and his family as you travel through this vast wet land.

 A-Ho!  (It is so!)



11/14/2010:  I have edited this post. ~WM~