Over the years that I’ve been doing this work, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the individual animals that are helping the individual people, and this is where we’ve focused throughout this book. But there is another aspect to this work that we haven’t yet acknowledged: in addition to individual animals assisting single or multiple humans, each animal species as a whole is also assisting human consciousness!
Each species embodies a common theme in how animals look to grab the attention of human so that they can start working consciously on their evolution. Here, I’ve laid out a few of those common themes, but please know that just because a behavior commonly means you’re working on a particular lesson, it doesn’t always means you’re working on a particular lesson. If you find, however, that you keep pulling up the same general lesson no matter what animal comes into your life, you can bet that you’re being given a direction!
If an animal that you’re wondering about isn’t listed here, you can still figure out what that animal is teaching you; you’ll just have to do it manually. Ask yourself what that animal means to you. What does that animal represent? How does that animal live? What characteristic stands out most to you about that animal? You may even choose to look up characteristics about that animal on the Internet.
Dogs, for example, thrive in the human world when they are attached to a human who protects them and has clear boundaries and rules. Many people who have dogs are learning how to step up and be that leader in their life without crossing over into becoming a forceful or aggressive leader. Yes, it’s that simple!
Don’t worry about what others say that animal is helping you learn—the most important discovery will come through you.
Negative Belief: I should put others before myself. My needs are less important than the needs of others.
Embodiment: Alligators are all about territory, and they teach people to hold strong boundaries to protect themselves.
Lesson: It’s okay to say no. I deserve to say no. I deserve to keep what is mine.
Negative Belief: I can’t think on my feet. I can’t handle change well. I don’t like change that happens fast.
Embodiment: Antelopes help us learn that being quick on our feet does not have to mean losing our balance within, whether that balance is emotional, mental, or energetic.
Lesson: I can be smart and clear. I can be clever and balanced. I can be successful without sacrificing my integrity.
Negative Belief: I have to do whatever I can to succeed, even if it means disregarding my integrity, not believing in myself, or losing my inner balance.
Embodiment: Apes survive through their integrity, their heart link to their family, and their intelligence. Survival of the fittest incorporates all these qualities.
Lesson: I do not have to sacrifice myself, others, or my integrity to be successful and the best person I can be.
Negative Belief: I don’t feel safe, supported, or protected.
Embodiment: Armadillos teach us about innate protection. They don’t worry about what is out to get them; instead, they move through their lives knowing they are totally and completely safe and protected.
Lesson: I am safe, supported, and protected by the universe and at the deepest levels possible.
Negative Belief: I must take care of others first.
Embodiment: Bacteria represent balance. Bacteria are not bad or negative, and, in fact, they exist everywhere within life. When they are in balance, things function well. When their numbers are out of balance, life will become clunky, negative, and off.
Lesson: I deserve to put myself first. I deserve to take care of myself. I love balance and can create it by loving myself and giving myself great self-care.
Negative Belief: I must remain invisible. It’s not safe to be noticed. I should try to be like everyone else.
Embodiment: Badgers don’t enjoy restrictions, and they’ll do whatever they can to break through them—without guilt, anger, or fear. They simply do what they must to live the life they want to live.
Lesson: I can march to the beat of my own drummer with love, honor, and respect. I do not have to rebel—I can just be me.
Negative Belief: I need to be rescued. I can’t handle my life by myself. I need protection from outside of myself. I’m not good enough.
Embodiment: Bats have the ability to sense what others miss. They trust their instinct and inner guidance to provide them with everything they need to live a safe life.
Lesson: I trust myself. I believe in my abilities. I am safe, supported, and protected by myself and by the universe.
Negative Belief: I need to be one of the majority. I should be like everyone else. I need to travel under the radar.
Embodiment: Bears model being strong and peaceful, aggressive while lazy, and forceful and complacent. True power comes from accepting yourself, even if that self doesn’t quite make sense. Bears model this perfectly because it is challenging to apply only one label to them.
Lesson: I am who I am, and who I am is love, awesome, powerful, peaceful, strong, dominant, and clear.
Negative Belief: I’m not creative. I’m not good enough. I give up when life gets tough. I don’t have the power to complete my goals.
Embodiment: Beavers often take on projects that seem to be impossible (a beaver built a damn here?), and yet they create unwaveringly.
Lesson: My creativity allows me to be successful. I know that I can create whatever I want. I believe in my power to create and succeed.
Negative Belief: I must force things to happen. Nothing will happen unless I, at all costs, make it happen. I cannot depend on others, only myself.
Embodiment: Inner power comes through flow, through light rather than through heaviness or force.
Lesson: I’m in the flow. My light creates my world.
Negative Belief: I am a failure. I am weak. I can’t do things myself.
Embodiment: Buffalo are strong—whether they are solo or part of the herd, they model physical and mental power.
Lesson: I am strong, powerful, and capable of achieving whatever I set my mind to.
Negative Belief: I’m not safe, supported, or protected. The faster it happens, the better I feel. I don’t trust others to get things done, so I’ll do it all myself—now.
Embodiment: People who struggle with patience are really struggling to feel safe in the world. Bobcats teach us to trust that the universe will take care of us through their patience and superior hunting skills. They don’t worry whether or not they can hunt. They don’t worry if their environment will feed them—they trust and attempt, and this allows them great patience and success.
Lesson: I trust that I am safe, supported, and protected. I am patient because I know I am completely taken care of.
Negative Belief: I am weak. I need rescue. I can’t do it myself. I can’t make it. I’m not good enough.
Embodiment: Camels demonstrate digging deep within to persevere. Camels rely fully and completely on their own reserves, trusting that they have everything they need to move forward.
Lesson: I can do it. I have exactly what I need to get through anything and everything that is presented to me.
Negative Belief: I’m less than everyone else. I need to prove I am the best. I must earn my worth.
Embodiment: Caribou have a simple majesty to them. It’s impossible to view a caribou in her natural habitat and not feel her royalty. Caribou model this for us, allowing us to embody our innate beauty and power—and feel free to let others experience this—without dumbing ourselves down.
Lesson: I am powerful. I am beautiful. I am. I allow this to be seen by others.
Negative Belief: I need the love and approval of others to make me feel good. I need rescue. I need someone else in my life to make me feel whole.
Embodiment: Cats embody independence. They decide when they want affection and when they don’t. They call the shots in their life with confidence.
Lesson: I am capable. I am awesome. I do things beautifully on my own.
Negative Belief: I don’t trust myself to decide. I always make bad decisions. I need more and more and more information before I can properly figure it out. I need someone to help me, so I can feel safe.
Embodiment: Cheetahs embody confidence within. They survive in the world by making swift decisions and standing by those decisions, unwaveringly.
Lesson: I trust my gut and the decisions that I make.
Negative Belief: I don’t want to be noticed. It’s not safe to be my own person. I want to fly under the radar.
Embodiment: It’s surprising to most people, but chickens embody courage to do what you want to do and courage to be who you are, no matter how different that may be.
Lesson: I am strong. It is safe to do my own thing. I trust in my community.
Negative Belief: I can’t make it. I’m not strong enough to get through. I’m tired. I’m always out of balance. I don’t manage my energy well. I’m always ungrounded.
Embodiment: Chipmunks appear to have an endless supply of energy. This is not because they have superpowers but instead because they know exactly what their body, mind, and energy need, and they work to keep this in balance at all times.
Lesson: I value my body, mind, and spirit, and I take the time to care for myself every day. I put my emotional and energetic needs first, with a deep knowing that this will allow me to be my best self.
Negative Belief: I need more data points to figure out the solution. I don’t trust my intuition. Logic is the only answer.
Embodiment: Cougars use their incredible observational skills combined with their gut instinct to survive in their world. They model a balance between the logical and the intuitive.
Lesson: I value and work with my logical analysis of my situation and with my intuition surrounding it.
Negative Belief: I’m not worthy. I’m not deserving. I need to prove I am worthy. I need to earn love and compassion. I’m not lovable.
Embodiment: Cows model living a life in which they must produce to prove their value. All beings deserve life, love, compassion, and family.
Lesson: I am valuable. I am valued. I am deserving regardless of my accomplishments.
Negative Belief: I can’t figure things out on my own. I always need help. I don’t trust that I’ll find the best answer myself.
Embodiment: Coyotes are smart and clever and often take unexpected routes to their success. They do this with stealth but also enjoyment. They live their lives joyfully.
Lesson: I am awesome. I am enjoying my life.
Negative Belief: I don’t trust myself. I’m not sure I can make it happen. I don’t believe others will come through for me.
Embodiment: Deer demonstrate the highest trust in their instincts and the instincts of their community. Every day they bet their lives on these things.
Lesson: I am supported. I am safe. I trust my instincts and the instincts of those around me.
Negative Belief: My life is always out of my control. I feel chaos all the time.
Embodiment: Dogs thrive when their community and home is in balance. This includes having a balanced, clear leader—whether that leader is human or animal.
Lesson: I am in control of my life. I am a leader in my life. I am strong and protective of myself.
Negative Belief: No pain, no gain. I must work hard to achieve what I want in life. Work is difficult and always unenjoyable. If I’m having a good time, I’m not working hard enough. I’m not loveable.
Embodiment: Dolphins teach us to have fun. They are happiest in their lives when they are free, able to play, and communicate. When their fun is taken away, they suffer.
Lesson: I deserve to have fun in my life, and through this fun, other successes, passions, and loves will effortlessly follow. I am in the flow of fun. I will stop turning down fun and enjoy it for what it is—a valuable part of being human. Fun does not take away from my pursuit of success, peace, happiness, or anything else—it adds to it.
Negative Belief: I can’t show who I really am. I don’t want anyone to know what I really think or feel. It isn’t safe to show my true colors.
Embodiment: Ducks are interesting animals because you always know exactly what you get with a duck. Their integrity in letting what is happening on the inside show on the outside is extraordinary. Simple honesty. The inside matches the outside.
Lesson: It’s safe for me to be who I am, to think how I think, and to let my innermost me show through.
Negative Belief: I can’t do it. I might fail. I don’t believe in myself at the deepest level.
Embodiment: Eagles embody confidence extremely well. They believe in their abilities to seek out and hunt down their prey, and they have a great trust in themselves that they can do what they set out to do.
Lesson: I can do it. I trust that I have everything I need to be able to meet my goals in life—both big and small.
Negative Belief: I must survive. I must do whatever I can to get through this and be the best. There are no real consequences—only survival.
Embodiment: Elephants are incredible animals that honor everything in their world. They honor their family, the land, the balance of life with the earth, the balance of life with other animals, and more. They are the epitome of balance, gratitude, and respect when allowed to be within their own existence.
Lesson: When I honor myself as well as the family, people, animals, and earth around me, my happiness within and my ability to give and receive love are in complete balance.
Negative Belief: My life is out of control. Bad things always happen to me. There is chaos wherever I look.
Embodiment: Elk teach us that we can be the leaders of our life, setting our pace, and that the ability to achieve this is all within us already.
Lesson: I am powerful within. I am awesome. I am an innate leader. I lead compassionately with my gut instinct and intuition.
Negative Belief: When I hit a roadblock, I stop.
Embodiment: Ferrets are clever, as everyone knows, but what they are really teaching us is about adaptability. They don’t let anything stop them from doing what they want to do and will figure out cool and exciting ways to clear any hurdle.
Lesson: I can overcome any obstacle. I believe I have the mind, body, and intuition to get through and find another way.
Negative Belief: I can’t trust others to come through for me. I must do everything myself.
Embodiment: Fish rely on their community to survive. They trust innately that everyone is doing their very best for the good of the whole.
Lesson: I wholly and fully trust in my community that I’m taken care of, just like we all are.
Negative Belief: I rely solely on my intuition to make all decisions. I rely solely on what others tell me to do to make my decisions. I like data and analysis, and things must all be calculated before I make a move.
Embodiment: Foxes are sensitive animals that survive based on their connection to the world around them. They integrate their intuition with their experience of their environment to stay on their toes and make quick decisions. They teach us that we must have awareness within as well as awareness of our external world to be truly balanced.
Lesson: I’m aware of my intuitive feelings as well as the world around me, and I integrate these so that I can have the best experience possible. I understand that just concentrating on what I want and ignoring the environment, or vice versa, will not produce the happiness and contentment I seek, and it will not benefit the universe either.
Negative Belief: I can overcome any challenge. I don’t need peace around me to be successful. I don’t need balance. I can and will power through anything and everything, no matter what.
Embodiment: Frogs are in tune with their environment, preferring to create soft, serene settings based on where they choose to live and how they behave within those environments.
Lesson: I am in the flow with the world around me.
Negative Belief: I don’t have enough. It’s not enough. It’s never enough.
Embodiment: Gazelles model grace for us by being fluid in all that they do. They teach us to hold gratitude for all that we are and all that we possess within us.
Lesson: I am grateful for who I am. I am grateful for my experiences. I can handle all my experiences gratefully and skillfully.
Negative Belief: I avoid change. I can’t handle change. I am weak. I’m not strong enough. I’m not good enough.
Embodiment: Geckos have bodies that adapt to change extremely well. From drought to a lack of food, they teach us that we have everything within to handle anything the universe throws at us.
Lesson: I am strong and powerful. My inner power allows me to handle all the challenges coming my way. I love and embrace change.
Negative Belief: I’m ugly. I’m not good enough. I’m not like others. I can’t handle change.
Embodiment: It’s almost impossible for an adult giraffe to be anything but graceful. Even while handling the toughest challenges, a giraffe remains full of grace and beauty, never losing her cool.
Lesson: I can handle the complications and challenges in my life. I am strong, beautiful, and powerful within, and I will remain so even when managing things that may get ugly. Having challenges does not take away from my grace or make me less perfect. I am lovable no matter what.
Negative Belief: I’m not good enough.
Embodiment: Goats embody being kind, caring, and considerate of those around them without sacrificing their own well-being.
Lesson: I can give to others while also taking care of myself.
Negative Belief: I must do everything myself. I don’t trust others to come through for me. I don’t have intuition. I need to figure things out through logic.
Embodiment: Geese work harmoniously within their flocks, knowing when to take charge and when to fall in with the pack. There is no push-pull here—they model support and being supported.
Lesson: I am fully supported by my environment, my experiences, and those around me.
Negative Belief: I can’t take care of myself. I need others to help me. I need rescue.
Embodiment: Groundhogs thrive on their own but continue to protect others of their species. They model living a solitary—yet not lonely—life, feeling their power through their ability to take care of themselves.
Lesson: I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I love others but do not need others to survive. I can protect myself, and I will be supported if I am ever in need of protection.
Negative Belief: I don’t try new things. I’m afraid of the new.
Embodiment: Guinea pigs teach us to be inquisitive. Their natural curiosity and lack of fear of checking out new experiences helps teach us to explore without reserve.
Lesson: I am safe to explore anything and everything that strikes my fancy.
Negative Belief: Other people annoy me, so I always stay away from them. I don’t trust other people. I don’t want other people around me. This is the only thing that makes me feel safe. I’m not lovable.
Embodiment: Some hamsters are very social, while others are loners. This depends on what each hamster prefers in the moment. There is no judgment in this, rather only a desire for the hamster to meet his present needs. Hamsters model for us the belief that it’s okay to enjoy our support network one day and move away from it another without guilt. Hamsters take care of their social needs perfectly.
Lesson: I make my own choices, free of pressure from others, knowing that these are truly the best options for my greatest and highest good.
Negative Belief: Others are always walking over me. I have a hard time saying no. I avoid conflict to the degree that I end up suffering. I’m not lovable.
Embodiment: Hippos know when to keep to themselves and when to stand up for themselves. This balance comes innately within them and is never questioned. They teach us that sometimes it is appropriate to aggressively defend ourselves without apology.
Lesson: I am strong and capable. When I choose to defend myself, it is because it is truly the right time. I believe in my ability to decide when it is the right time to step forward versus the right time to allow things to take place around me.
Negative Belief: I have too much to do to create balance in my life. I have too many commitments to be able to do the things I really want to do.
Embodiment: Horses are happiest when free, free of restrictions to do what feels best. They teach us that when we rid ourselves of the things that don’t matter and focus only on the present moment, we can feel free as well.
Lesson: I have flow in my life. I am powerful. I don’t have to worry about what other people think. I can move freely when I listen to my innermost desires.
Negative Belief: People are idiots. No one knows what they are talking about. No one seems educated/attractive/fast/etc., enough for my liking.
Embodiment: Humans often misunderstand hyenas. Hyenas are very clever animals, capable of figuring out interesting and surprising solutions. Instead, people get caught up in their seeming “laughter” and fail to notice their intelligence. Hyenas model the idea that you can’t judge a book by its cover, and they teach us to give time and space to our experiences and to those in our lives so that we can truly understand what is going on.
Lesson: I’m open to what is happening around me and I no longer rush to judgment. I enjoy understanding the deeper meaning in my world of experiences.
Negative Belief: I want it now. I don’t want to wait. I have a hard time with patience. If things aren’t going fast enough, I’ll make them go faster.
Embodiment: Insects live complicated lives that often take skill and, even more importantly, patience. Imagine the ant, studiously carrying his load of food all the way back to his anthill, or the bee, searching miles to find the best flowers to pollinate. Insects model patience. Patience is easy for these insects to achieve because they have an innate belief that their needs are provided for.
Lesson: I am safe, supported, and protected. All my needs are met; therefore, I am patient to allow this to happen. I am in the flow.
Negative Belief: I don’t feel comfortable being alone. I need others to make me feel safe. I must do everything on my own because I don’t trust others to support me. I must earn the love of my peers.
Embodiment: Jaguars are beautiful, mostly solitary animals that model a balanced independence. They spend most of their lives alone—except during mating season.
Lesson: I am independent, yet when I need something from others, I trust that I can find it.
Negative Belief: I’m not important. I don’t matter. No one cares about my opinion. People don’t listen to me. I’m not lovable.
Embodiment: Jellyfish are a significant part of the big picture in the ocean. They eat and are eaten. They serve a great purpose, and without them, the ocean inhabitants could no longer survive. Humans are mostly afraid of jellyfish and fail to recognize their importance, but they model that everyone and everything is an important part of the world.
Lesson: I am worthy. I am important. My existence is a great contribution to the world, even when I may not know what the contribution is. I am lovable.
Negative Belief: I don’t have what I need to feel powerful. I am powerless. I’m always out of balance.
Embodiment: Kangaroos model balance. When you look at the body of the kangaroo, it appears as if there is a lack of balance within this animal (built in a seemingly bottom-heavy way), yet they have learned how to work with their bodies (with what they have) to create power and balance within.
Lesson: I use all the pieces available to me to create balance in my life.
Negative Belief: I must always be “on” to ensure that things go smoothly. I can never take my eye off the ball.
Embodiment: Koalas are … koalas. And they feel no need to prove their value or worth to anyone, even themselves. They take life at their own pace and do what works for them to feel happy, content, and peaceful and have a full belly, with an innate understanding that what serves them also serves the greater good.
Lesson: I am who I am, and who I am is love, awesome, powerful, peaceful, strong, dominant, and clear. I do not need to prove my value to anyone, even myself. I am perfect in my imperfections.
Negative Belief: Everyone else’s needs seem to come before mine. I’m always the low man on the totem pole. I need to prove my value so that others will pay more attention to me, support me, and love me.
Embodiment: Lemurs teach us about support. Family is of the highest priority to lemurs, and in their family they each give and receive attention, care, and love. Lemurs don’t question their worthiness to receive that love. Instead, they know exactly where they are in their family structure, and their needs and desires match that completely.
Lesson: I deserve support, care, kindness, and love. I am lovable. I am completely supported, protected, and secure within my group structure (family, work, etc.).
Negative Belief: I must take care of myself at all costs. I must put myself ahead of my friends and family—and that is justified because I have no other choice.
Embodiment: Lions are typically associated with power and strength, but what they are really teaching us about is structure, organization, and honoring what has been put together. A pride of lions has a specific hierarchy, with each lion playing its own role based on that lion’s strengths and weaknesses. It is the respect of this structure that allows the pride to function well.
Lesson: I am organized. I understand my role in the world. I honor the way the world works.
Negative Belief: It is not safe to let others know how I really think or feel. It’s best to keep my real feelings inside.
Embodiment: Lizards work with inner power and independence. Ever vigilant, they are in tune to what is going on around them, combining this with a strong belief in themselves and their power in order to survive.
Lesson: I am in tune with my inner self as well as my environment. Both the inside and the outside work in unison to create and provide flow and balance.
Negative Belief: It’s better to be part of the herd. It’s safer to fly under the radar by blending in with my actions, decisions, and thoughts.
Embodiment: Lobsters scavenge for food and are totally content to do so. They teach us to feel comfortable creating our life in our own way, regardless of what others say about our decisions.
Lesson: I don’t have to have all the answers at once. I am happy to piece things together to form my own truth, even when others would scoff at me.
Negative Belief: I must analyze everything before making a decision. It’s not safe to be spontaneous. If I am unsure, the best answer is to stay put and gather more data—a lot more data.
Embodiment: Loons spend their lives diving deep into the water to find what they need. They don’t worry whether the water is cold, and they don’t fear they won’t like what they find. They simply and powerfully go deep and trust.
Lesson: When I look deeply at myself, I like what I see, and I know that everything that I see is exactly enough. I am wonderful, awesome, and powerful from the inside out.
Negative Belief: I must put pressure on my world to produce what I want. I can never let up on myself, or what I’m trying to achieve won’t happen. Push, push, and push. If it doesn’t make sense logically, then there is no reason to do it.
Embodiment: Moose teach us the difference between power and force. Moose rely on natural power and intuition, not on intimidation and pressure, to make a life for themselves.
Lesson: My peace and power within allow me to accomplish what I’m here to accomplish. I do not need to push or prove, for I am awesome just the way I am.
Negative Belief: I worry about the future all the time. I wake up worrying. My anxiety helps keep me on top of everything and helps me to feel safe.
Embodiment: Mountain goats are kings at going with the flow, being in the present moment, and doing what feels good right now. They don’t worry about the future or hang on to the past. Instead they teach us how beautiful life is when we are fully present with it.
Lesson: I am safe, supported, and protected. All my needs are met. I am in the flow.
Negative Belief: I will hurt other’s feelings if I have boundaries. Other people can’t survive when I take care of myself. It is not okay to put my self-care ahead of the care of others.
Embodiment: Mountain lions are all about boundaries—they model how well holding a strong internal boundary works.
Lesson: I can decide what I want. I can do this with love, and, yes, it can benefit me. I am happy to say no when I feel no applies.
Negative Belief: I need to be rescued. I need to ask family and friends for advice for each move I make. I don’t come up with solutions myself without getting help. I’m needy.
Embodiment: Mice pay attention to everything and then gloriously put it all together to understand exactly what they need to do next. They model being able to look at all the details while also being able to step back and understand the big picture.
Lesson: I am smart, capable, powerful, and fully able to understand my situation. I do not need rescuing. I can figure out both the steps to take and the overall lesson beautifully on my own.
Negative Belief: I can’t do it. I might fail. It’s too hard for me. I’m not smart enough.
Embodiment: The octopus is surprisingly smart and dexterous. He models finding new and unconventional ways to accomplish what we want to accomplish.
Lesson: I can figure out the answer. I am smart.
Negative Belief: I like things to go in the direction I want for them to go. I don’t like when things change under my feet. I like control.
Embodiment: The opossum is often made fun of in cartoons for playing dead in stressful situations, but it is exactly this that she is teaching us. Opossums are clever and willing to do whatever it takes to move through a challenge. Rather than making fun of that, we can learn from it. When you remove your expectations about what conquering your challenge looks like, you’ll be opening yourself to even better solutions.
Lesson: I have released my expectations about what it all has to look like, and I’m happy to go with what the universe is showing me.
Negative Belief: I’m not strong/powerful/balanced/clear enough to handle this.
Embodiment: Ostriches look as if they would have a difficult time maneuvering their bodies; however, their bodies are perfectly balanced between top and bottom, allowing them to quickly address any challenges that come their way.
Lesson: Keeping myself in balance physically, emotionally, mentally, and energetically allows me to be flexible and think on my feet quickly.
Negative Belief: I shouldn’t do what makes me happy because other people won’t understand it.
Embodiment: Otters help us align with that which is peaceful for us and only us by embodying this in their everyday life. Most wouldn’t enjoy drifting down a cold river on our backs, but otters know this is what works for them and go for it.
Lesson: I deserve to do for myself that which truly makes me happy—even if no one else gets it.
Negative Belief: I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough.
Embodiment: Of course owls model intelligence, but they also teach us about allowing. As great hunters, owls aptly determine the best course of action—and often the best course of action is to wait. They trust that their instincts, surroundings, and skills will help them procure exactly what they need.
Lesson: I trust in my ability to figure out any challenge. I am smart, capable, and finely tuned to procure and create for myself everything that is necessary in this life to feel passionate, happy, sated, and peaceful.
Negative Belief: I need to be the best I can possibly be. I must win. I must prove my value. I’m not loveable.
Embodiment: Pandas are not concerned with proving themselves—instead they go about their business with a clarity of purpose that allows them to feel peace. They teach us that no pressure is needed to experience peace within, only a following of flow and passion.
Lesson: I am in the flow and follow my passion. Nothing else is needed within me other than enjoying the ride within, and I will be completely taken care of.
Negative Belief: I need others to see how smart I am. I look to others for validation on my physical looks. I tell people what they want to hear so they will like me. I’m not lovable, so I seek approval through others.
Embodiment: Parrots are much wiser than humans typically give them credit for. They model feeling happy and content with themselves—despite what others think or say.
Lesson: I don’t need to prove my worth or lovability. I like myself just the way I am, and those who can’t see that will be blinded by my happiness, generosity, and smile one day.
Negative Belief: I am lost without a partner. I am only complete with a partner. I am only complete when I have a big group of friends.
Embodiment: Penguins rely on themselves, their chosen mate, and the group in general to live. They consistently balance all these parts of their lives based on the conditions in their life. For example, sometimes they will lean more on their mate (to raise offspring), while other times they will demonstrate their strength (to become one of the dominant penguins). Penguins model achieving balance within ourselves as well as with those around us.
Lesson: I trust myself and others to protect me and support me.
Negative Belief: I’m always off. There is chaos around me. I feel like my life is out of my control.
Embodiment: Pigs love stability and they thrive when their environment, their support system, their family, and everything else is balanced. They teach us to embrace our own form of balance, even if it doesn’t look like what others would call balance.
Lesson: I have the skill to find and maintain my life balance regardless of what others think, feel, or say.
Negative Belief: I’m safe when no one notices me. I’m happy to let others take the credit for my work. I like to fly under the radar. I prefer not to speak up.
Embodiment: The platypus models simply being. The platypus believes in herself strongly, regardless of the opinions of those around her. She does not allow herself to be swayed into behaving any way other than her own way.
Lesson: I am who I am, and who I am is awesome. I march happily and freely to the beat of my own drum. I am wonderful. I am lovable. I am worthy, capable, and deserving of my opinions. Others can benefit from what I have to say as well.
Negative Belief: I’m not strong. I’m weak. I have to watch out, as I can be easily taken advantage of. I don’t trust myself or others to care for me.
Embodiment: Polar bears teach us to believe in our abilities to dig deep and keep going, even in times of turmoil. Polar bears intuitively trust in their environment and that they are taken care of.
Lesson: I have what it takes to make it through any challenge. I am strong and powerful, spirited and intuitive. I know that as I dig deep, additional support will show up to help me as well, as I am safe, supported, and protected by the universe.
Negative Belief: I must do everything myself. I don’t trust others to come through for me. I’m very independent.
Embodiment: Porcupines are mostly solitary animals, seeking others only in times of need (such as bad weather). They model for us an independence that shifts to working with a group when necessary. They do not cling to their independence, although they do value it.
Lesson: I trust others to come through for me when I ask for their help, but I am happy to take care of myself as well. In doing so, I feel full.
Negative Belief: The goal is all that matters. I need to exceed all my expectations. As I approach a goal, I should up the ante.
Embodiment: Porpoises teach us about enjoying our lives. They represent fun, passion within, and the ultimate, everyday pursuit of that experience.
Lesson: I deserve to have fun in my life, and through this fun other successes, passions, and loves will follow. I am in the flow of fun. I will stop turning down fun and value it for what it is—a respected part of being human. Fun does not take away from my pursuit of success; it is a huge part of it.
Negative Belief: I must protect myself all the time. I must watch out for myself. No one else will watch out for me or come through for me. I’m not lovable.
Embodiment: Rabbits embody living with love every day. Family is the most important aspect to them, and they will do everything they can to promote their family’s health and happiness.
Lesson: I am in tune with my family and friends around me. I trust them, and they trust me, as we live and grow together faithfully.
Negative Belief: I don’t trust others to come through for me. I don’t believe that I am taken care of by anyone. I don’t have the resources within me to be or feel successful.
Embodiment: The raccoon is comfortable using all her tools to feed and protect herself and her family. Outside of that, she scavenges for whatever else she needs, fully knowing that the needs will be met. She teaches us to believe in our inner power while also using the advantages our environment offers us.
Lesson: I believe I am strong, capable, and powerful—enough to serve my family in whatever way is necessary. I trust that I am being shown everything I need in life.
Negative Belief: I can’t create my life. I’m a victim of my circumstances. I have no control over my life.
Embodiment: Rats are clever and do whatever they need to do to care for themselves. Often they surprise others with their ability to create homes, find food, and more.
Lesson: I have the intelligence, smarts, and skills needed to create the life I want.
Negative Belief: I don’t have time to deal with my feelings of anxiety, lack of confidence, or imbalance. I can push through everything anyway.
Embodiment: Rhinos model being grounded, balanced, clear, and powerful. Imagine a rhino running toward you. Feel the power? This is what they show us so that we can create it in our own life. Being fully present and clear produces that inner strength and power.
Lesson: I am aware of my energetic balance and do whatever is necessary to bring myself into balance. My balance and clarity are a great contributor to my power within.
Negative Belief: It’s better to be part of the herd. It’s safer to fly under the radar by blending in with my actions, decisions, and thoughts. It is better to hide.
Embodiment: Roosters march to the beat of their own drum. They represent following one’s heart, regardless of the pack.
Lesson: I believe in myself. I believe in my power. I can do my own thing easily and without resistance. I’m not worried about what others think because I know I’m doing what is for my greatest and highest good; therefore, it’s for the greatest and highest good of all.
Negative Belief: No pain, no gain. I must work hard to get what I want. Fun is overrated.
Embodiment: Sea lions teach us to take our lives seriously without ever losing our sense of humor. Sea lions take care of themselves well, and this includes taking downtime.
Lesson: I can work efficiently and still leave time for myself. I deserve time too.
See Sea Lion.
Negative Belief: Nothing ever comes my way. Everything works out for everyone else, but it never happens for me. I never win anything. Everyone else has it easier than I do.
Embodiment: Seagulls model being an opportunist and taking total care of themselves. Ego doesn’t get in the way; they do what is good for them to live. They don’t worry about whether they deserve that fish or that bit of food—they just know they deserve it.
Lesson: I am deserving and completely supported by my life and environment, which gives me everything I need to live just like everyone else. I can figure out answers to any challenge.
Negative Belief: I don’t have the focus/strength/prowess/skills/intelligence/power/etc., to reach my goals and be happy.
Embodiment: When sharks decide they want something, they focus in on it and strive to achieve it. They don’t question whether they can achieve it, they simply believe in their power (physical and mental) and go for it.
Lesson: I am strong, powerful, and awesome enough to focus in and achieve what I want in my life. I can do it.
Negative Belief: It’s better to be part of the herd. It’s not okay to go against the norm. I should keep my alternative ideas to myself.
Embodiment: Sheep usually appear in great numbers, making it tough to tell one apart from the other, and yet each sheep is powerful in knowing exactly who he or she is.
Lesson: It’s okay for me to stand out. I am different, and I love this about myself. I am safe to be myself.
Negative Belief: I don’t have time to do the things I want to do. I don’t have time for myself.
Embodiment: Sloths embody extreme self-care. They do only what feels good: eating, sleeping, climbing, and enjoying the sunlight … They teach us to take time for ourselves so we can be healthy, happy, content people.
Lesson: I can do the things that make me happy.
Negative Belief: I am different; therefore, I am less. I am ugly. I am feared.
Embodiment: Snakes, despite being feared by many animals and humans alike, continue to do their thing, live their life, and perform their very valuable functions in the world. They do not bow to pressures.
Lesson: I am free to be me, to march to the beat of my own drum. I don’t have to be accepted by everyone, only my inner self.
Negative Belief: I overgive and sacrifice to make others happy. I hide my feelings to make others happy. I dumb myself down, so others can feel comfortable to be around me.
Embodiment: Spiders know and live with the ultimate balance. They model knowing exactly how much to put out and how much to bring in. Just look at the beauty of their webs.
Lesson: When I honor my intuition and inner knowing, I find balance in giving and receiving.
Negative Belief: No one understands me.
Embodiment: Squids teach us to take advantage of whatever method works best for us to communicate our ideas. Squids flash and use bursts of color to get their message through because this is how they are best suited. For you, it may be drawing, writing, dancing, speaking, and organizing.
Lesson: I have everything I need to get my message through. I can communicate well, in my own personal way, even if it’s not the way that others may typically communicate.
Negative Belief: Well, this is as good as it gets. This is the best that I can have even though it’s not really what I was looking for.
Embodiment: Squirrels are not satisfied until they have gathered exactly what they need. They don’t settle. They don’t say, “Eh … hopefully, this will get me through the winter!” They go after what they want and don’t settle. They keep going until they have achieved their goals.
Lesson: I deserve for things in my life to work out the way I would like. I am worthy of having my life feel the way I want it to feel. I deserve a wonderful life, partner, job, and day.
Negative Belief: I can’t have any less than I have and still be okay.
Embodiment: Starfish teach us about flexibility and adaptability. When a starfish loses one of its arms, the starfish will adapt accordingly, working to regrow that arm.
Lesson: I can adjust and handle any change that comes my way, whether positive or negative.
Negative Belief: I lose myself in relationships. I forget what my own needs are.
Embodiment: Swans embody balance with another. They form bonds with their partner and work in tandem to achieve a harmonious, balanced relationship.
Lesson: I can have a clear, balanced, intimate relationship in which I take care of myself as well as my partner. This relationship is satisfying because two whole people come together to complement each other.
Negative Belief: It’s best to be stoic. It’s best to keep my feelings and thoughts a secret. This behavior keeps me safe.
Embodiment: Tigers are focused yet intuitive. They maintain an awareness of their surroundings at all times while also being aware of themselves. They represent an inner and outer balance that results in great success.
Lesson: What is on my inside is completely reflected on the outside. I am in tune with my emotions and like them, whatever they are. I feel safe to share my feelings with those around me.
Negative Belief: I want more. I should have more. Others have more; why can’t I? I want it bigger and better.
Embodiment: Turkeys teach us about being grateful for what we have in front of us. Turkeys are opportunistic feeders—they eat what the world is providing for them rather than turning their nose up, being picky, or refusing. They model gratitude for what they have.
Lesson: I am grateful for the things, people, and experiences in my life, and I know that this gratitude creates more things, people, and experiences to be grateful for.
Negative Belief: There are too many obstacles for me to achieve my goals. I can’t do it.
Embodiment: Turtles do what they do. When something occurs and they need to stop, they stop, take cover, and then resume doing what they’re doing when the danger has passed. They embody simply and peacefully sticking to goals, despite any hiccups or challenges.
Lesson: I can do what I’ve set out to do. I can achieve my goals, even if it takes me some time.
Negative Belief: I don’t trust others to come through for me. I don’t believe that I am taken care of by anyone. For me, it’s
all for one—me.
Embodiment: It’s probably unexpected, but vultures teach us about loyalty. Vultures are committed to their families and strive to protect them in all situations. This creates a strong support system that the entire vulture family feels secure in relying on.
Lesson: I trust my family and friends to come through for me, and they trust me to do the same. I feel safe and supported by my social network. I feel safe in the world.
Negative Belief: Hiding my feelings and thoughts keeps me safe and prevents others from figuring out that I’m not good enough.
Embodiment: Walruses thrive through communication. They model creating their desired life through communion, connection, and communication (grunting, whispering, roaring, coughing).
Lesson: I can communicate my feelings freely and powerfully. My feelings are valid, and I can easily let others know about them. I feel safe to share what is going on within me.
Negative Belief: It’s not worth it to tell others what I think. No one understands me, so why talk? No one listens to me, so why should I listen to them?
Embodiment: Whales model the ultimate in communication. When you observe a pod of whales, you’ll not only see that they are in touch with each other physically, but you can also hear it. Whales teach us to value what we have to say to our peers—and what they have to say to us. So many people have underestimated the value of clear communication!
Lesson: I feel comfortable sharing my thoughts and feelings with others. I know that my peers value my words, and I value what they have to say and teach me.
Negative Belief: I don’t work well with others. I don’t like working with others. I don’t trust others to come through for me. I’m not lovable, so I’ll just take care of it all myself since no one else will.
Embodiment: Wolves teach us about working together as a unit. Whether it’s family or the pack, wolves model this for us in their everyday life.
Lesson: I trust others to come through for me. I believe in my support system. I work well within my support system.
Negative Belief: Why try? I’m nobody anyway. I don’t matter. I’m not big/smart/famous/established/successful/etc., enough yet.
Embodiment: Worms may seem somewhat unimportant, but they are actually very important. They take care of the earth just by their movements! They feed many birds and animals as well. Worms embody the idea that no matter how insignificant we may feel, our efforts, our thoughts, and our existence matter greatly.
Lesson: Everything I do affects the rest of the world in some unseen way. I am just as important and worthy as every single other soul, whether human or animal, on this earth.
Negative Belief: I don’t feel safe being noticed. I want to fly under the radar. Others will target me if I stand out.
Embodiment: Every day zebras model the beauty of standing out, of marching to the beat of our own drum, of being an individual.
Lesson: I feel safe, supported, and protected by the universe being me, even though being me doesn’t look like being anyone else.