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The Lizard


WED JAN 13, 2021

The lizard has been a theme in my life since mid-November. Here's the story, but you have to be patient to get to the lizard part...

It all started one super low-key Friday evening when the book "Waiting for Snow in Havana" by Carlos Eire fell from the sky right into my lap. Well, it might as well have happened that way.

Back up to the night before when I was reading "The Power of Meaning". The author shared Eire's story of being exiled from his homeland of Cuba as a kid during Fidel Castro's Revolution as an example of finding a sense of meaning in unthinkable hardships. When Eire wrote his book 40 years later (in 2000), he had a profound sense of sadness for what the child in him experienced accompanied with an equally profound sense of gratitude for the way it shaped his whole life. After reading this brief story, I thought "I should read that book some day". I then closed the book, took a big breath and went to sleep.

The next night, I had a date planned with myself - yoga + dinner out. I had been looking forward to it all week! As I walked into Mission Yoga, the first thing I saw was a box of books on the floor just waiting for a new home. While scanning through, "Waiting for Snow in Havana" flashed brightly before my eyes. With a laugh and a look around to see if someone was playing a joke on me, I grabbed the book and read the first two chapters with full captivation over a glass of rose and tacos. It didn't take long to pick up on the lizard theme, which grew louder and louder as I continued reading it over the holidays.

Fast forward to my first yoga class back on St. Simons Island (my hometown, where I stayed for 5 weeks over the holidays). The teachers theme was lizards! Particularly emphasized was the fact that when lizards loose their tails, sometimes they grow them back and sometimes they don't. But they always survive. This IS their SURVIVAL MECHANISM, after all. I was floored when I heard her explaining to me the theme of the book! As a part of his conclusion, Eire exclaims: "Those tails. Why can't I have one? Every now and then I'd like to leave my tail wriggling in dangers jaws."

Then, you'll never guess what happened two days after the yoga class when mom and I were decorating the Christmas tree! I was wrapping the lights on the top when a bright Green Anole lizard peeked out of the branches at me! We locked eyes for a few seconds, he holding the stare longer than I could take it. He was still there peering at me with his all-seeing eyes the next night when I put the large Santa on the tip.

I've found that lizard pose has felt so welcomed in my body as well. Someones IG post about lizard pose jumped out at me this morning. When I commented on it, she shared that "the lizard symbolism seeks to show you that there are powers of survival that are untapped within you. Just like when the lizard loses its tail during battle, you should also learn to surrender to what no longer works for you so that you can be open to the regenerative energies of life. Only then can your true transformation and rebirth begin".

This reflection and writing has come out today ONLY because I took a personal day from work to dig into these more creative outlets through my yoga wellness gig (which I'm praying is more than a "gig" one day). It feels right in mind~body~soul - very aligned and as if there is nothing else I'd rather be doing. Maybe the lizard theme is wrapped up into this somehow.

There's surely more to it. So I ask myself - what survival patterns are untapped within me? What is no longer working for me?

These are questions that I offer to my yoga students and wellness clients, but I'm realizing that I have not considered it for myself in a few months. More processing is needed, but when I learn what they are, I'll be sure to share with you!