Category Archives: Personal Observations

Stress and Symbolic Meaning

symbolicmeaningstress

Dealing With Stress From A Symbolic Standpoint

What do you do when you’re stressed?  For that matter, what does it MEAN when we are stressed??

I think these are vital questions.  Why?  Because the first thing we reach for when we are stressed is symbolic.

Consider what you crave, need, or lean on when you are out-of-your-mind with frustration….

Is it food?  That might be symbolic of a need to digest your frustration.  The belly is a fire-pit of soul…centeredness and churning.  Food is a source of nourishment.  Together, the stomach and food are symbolic of a need to process emotional stress that we have consumed.

Maybe it’s alcohol.  If you’re fried to the max, and your instant response is grabbing a beer…that’s symbolic too.  It’s a sign of the psyche needing to be recharged.  Booze is an escape.  It elevates (or sedates) our mind.  If you tend towards alcohol to retreat from stress, I’m willing to bet it’s a symbolic signal towards mind-focused stress.

What about smoking?  The lungs are about inspiration.  They are kin to the air.  They convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.  They’re function is essential to our existence on this lovely planet.  If you reach for a smoke the minute you’re on edge…that’s symbolic.  It’s symbolic that you’re choking within your own anxiety.  It’s also symbolic of a lack of inspiration.  The whole thing about AIR revolves around elevation, lightness…and well…airiness!

So what do we do?

That’s up to you.  Some of our knee-jerk responses to stress are habits formed over long spans of time.  That’s something to be mindful of.  If it’s a stress-relieving habit, it might take effort to consider other options.

I’m not writing this post to offer therapy for stress.  I just wanted to point out that our go-to solutions are symbolic, and should be contemplated.

That said, I do have a few suggestions (of course, lol).  Here they are…

Get In My Belly!:  If you grab food when stressed, consider meditating instead.  Think on the functions the stomach has.  Imagine it churning and functioning without any additives.  You can also imagine a fire-pit within your belly.  Let it rage with an awesome blaze….and allow that blaze to burn all your stress away!

Booze Me Up Baby!:  If alcohol is your stress reliever, consider water instead.  Our bodies are made of over 87% water.  It is cleansing.  Purifying.  Renewing.  Down 16 ounces or more water in that moment when you’re at your wits end.  It will refresh a lot better than a brew.  Also – water purifies the mind.  All water consumed flushes through our neuro fluids and kinda swooshes out the mental madness we have to deal with.

Light Em If You Got Em!: If smoking is your stress-stomper, consider going for a walk instead.  I know it sounds lame compared to a smoke-stick…but it helps.  Exercise of any kind fills the lungs.  It gets us inspired and energized.  It reminds us of our breath, our inhalations, and our life!

A few disclosing remarks about this article:  PLEASE READ!

Firstly, you know I’m not dispensing medical advice, right?  Yeah, I’m trained in medicine, but I’m no doctor, and I would never advise you to adjust your health on my word.  Okay?  Okay.

Secondly, If you beg for a burger, beckon a beer, or bum a smoke…that’s your right…and I’m not judging.  Trust me.  I have an epic addictive personality.  No joke.  You be you!

Lastly, there are some awesome go-to habits we can culminate that are great healing tools.  Maybe some of you practice these habits already…but if you don’t…here are some tips:

I Will Hug You, Squeeze You, And I Will Call You George!:  You remember that Warner Brothers cartoon with the abominable snowman?  Poor soul just wanted love.  I think a lot of times our stress is due to lack of love an attention.  So if you can relate, grab a friend.  Grab a dog.  Grab a cat.  Grab a loved one.  Snuggle on that cuddly baby for as long as it takes to relax!

It’s all Zen!:  The idea of Zen is all about everything and nothing suspended in a liminal space.  If that makes no sense, then just consider being in the present moment.  If you ponder it….we can do nothing about the past.  The future has its own motives (meaning…we can plan, but the Universe might have Her own plans that may clash with ours).

The only truly profound potential we have is in the present moment.  When stressed out, try to unplug future and past tense, and plug into the present moment.  Reach into the infinite possibilities available in this very second.  It’s a refreshing re-start button that trumps any panic button.

May all your moments be as peaceful as possible.

Love,

Avia

More Stress-Free Symbolic Meanings:

Symbolic Meaning For Guidance in Our Lives

Meditation and Symbolic Meanings

Symbolic Meaning of Problems

The Symbolic Mile

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Symbolic Meaning of Travel

This post is dedicated to my bro, who at this very moment is enduring a 1400+ mile drive to visit me.  Bless his heart.  To make matters more challenging, he’s traveling with his precious kids – two furry, female beauties – a German Shepherd and a Beagle.

I’ve talked to him a couple times while he’s dealing with the drive.  There’s no bones about it…that kind of epic journey isn’t fun – and it can be arduous with dogs.  Let’s just say he’s not a happy camper. :o

I know what he’s going through.  I can’t count how many times I’ve made the same exact trip (from Texas to New York and vice versa).  It’s a colossal soul-sucker.

The drive reminds me of the freaking Odyssey.  But like that lovely Greek tale, the road kicks up some really wild, wonderful and magical dust.

Here’s where the symbolic meanings kick in….

No matter where you travel….no matter how far….how wide…how long…travel is one of the most superior symbolic lessons.  Why?  Because everything changes.  Whether by car, plane, train or boat – the scenery is always changing.  Have you ever contemplated the symbolism in that?  It’s heavy, man.  Real heavy.

With every passing mile, there is a golden opportunity to seize a symbolic lesson.  No joke.

These don’t have to be mammoth take-away moments.  I mean…my mind was blown away when I ate my first Scotch egg while in England.  Whoa!  But I tell ya – that was an eye-opener in culinary delights for me.  Who would have thought!?

Or what about driving…bleary-eyed and bedraggled into a town called Bucksnort.  What!?!?!  Yeah.  Bucksnort, Tennessee.  A gas station there has the friendliest folks and the best fried pies that I ever consumed.

But I digress.  Travel is a gateway drug for higher-mindednessTravel jackhammers holes in our hearts and minds that forces us to open up, be aware, embrace and roll with the flow.

The biggest symbolic lesson about travel (in my opinion) is this:  Surrender.

Let’s face it – no matter your mode of travel, poop will happen.  Stuff will hit the fan.  Sometimes it’s good poop.  Sometimes it’s fun and whimsical stuff (like the time I met a group of nuns in New Mexico – craziest ladies EVER!).

The point is: It takes guts to take a step out of our comfort zones.  Home is definitely where the heart is, and that’s a symbolic course that stands on its own.  But travel is crammed with big symbolic juju.

To those of you who chose to brave the great outer circle of comfort, I salute you!  And while you’re out there rambling about, consider what you run intoYou’ve got to know that no encounter or episode is random.  So when you’re driving alongside that motorcycle gang (the leader of which has a literal hog in his sidecar…not kidding…I saw it with my own eyes) consider what that means in the grand scheme of your life.

How do these sometimes bizarre or banal events reflect upon who you are and where you are right now in your life?

At least that’s what travel does for me.  It changes my mind, my heart and soul.  It re-awakens my heightened sense of symbolic meaning.  Travel is like a big puzzle.  The pieces all fit in somehow – it’s just up to us to figure out the big picture.

As always, thanks for reading!

Happy travels (and I’ll always leave the light on for you!).

Love,

Avia

Other Articles of Interest:

Symbolic Days for Best Travel

Change, and the Symbolic Meaning of Moving

The Company We Keep – Very Symbolic!

thecompanywekeepThe Company We Keep

Have you ever taken a gander at the company you keep?  Your friends, family, co-workers?  Take a look around you.  What you see might offer a very big lesson in symbolic meaning about who you are.

Why?

Well…I’m under the impression that we humans are magnets.  We attract what is mostly gravitating in our energy.  In other words – what’s heavy in our essence, becomes heavy in our lives.

That doesn’t mean the stuff we attract is heavy or burdensome, it just means we have this magic about us that calls to what we need in our lives.  If you think about it, it’s a beautiful thing.

I’ll give you an example.

I’m going through a slog of difficulty right now. I meditate on higher-minded concepts.  I try to deflect the challenges with positivity and a peaceful mindset, but sometimes things just fall into a big pile of poop.

Nevertheless….there are people who have wandered into my life that remind me of the  brilliance of diversity, and the potential this Universe holds for us.

So the example is this:  In the last week, I’ve made friends with the oddest bedfellows.  The first is a 70 year old man.  He is spry as a kite.  Served in the military, tattooed, still holds a brush cut like nobody’s business.  Every inch a gentleman.  Insists on holding the door for me.  I may be 30 years his junior, but I know class when I see it…and this guy is all class (and a lot of sass too, lol).  His name is Vick.  We’ve had lunch a few times.  Every time I’m enchanted by his presence…his stories…his energy.  That’s big juju right there, folks.  It’s imperative to stop and listen to those who have hung around a little bit longer than ourselves.

Vice versa…I made friends with my neighbor’s grandkids just yesterday.  Now…I don’t know much about kids, but I know they are REALLY young.  In fact they’re kind of wobbly, and I can’t understand a word of gobbly-goo that they’re speaking.  Nevertheless, we made a connection.  A lovely one too.  They shoved little books through the fence separating us, and demanded I read to them (I understood that much), and I complied.  We had a wonderful time….me, my dogs, and three lovely children just kicking back, reading “The Lost Duck” and singing songs together.

All this makes me contemplate the importance of random encounters in our lives.  I don’t know what these exposures mean to you – but for me – it’s extremely symbolic.

I think the people who come into our lives are a symbolic sign of what we need in our lives.  Vick helped me remember I needed some reverence and perspective.  Those little kids helped me remember to kick it, and have a little silliness in my life.

So who is visiting you these days???  And why???  I think these are big symbolic questions to consider when we encounter random strangers in our lives.  What do you think?

As always,  thanks for indulging me by reading.

Big love,

Avia

Doggone Awesome Defining Moments

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Dogs and Defining Moments

(Kip Shown Above)

There are defining moments in every human’s life.  Moments when we decide we’re going to change our lifestyle.  Times when we realize there’s more to life than what we may have thought.  Moments in which our entire paradigm shifts.

Sometimes these defining moments are forced upon us.  Maybe we have to step up to take care of loved ones who need our help.  Perhaps a tragedy has struck and hence changed the landscape of our lives.  Faced with dire times, we have no choice but to change.

Other defining moments seem so random (but of course you know they’re not).  Little synchronicities that seem so out-of-the-blue can change our lives forever.

These are the kind of defining moments my dogs represent.  I have three now.  Each one has seemingly and randomly wandered into my life.  The choice to give them a better home has utterly transformed my entire life.

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Kissy Face Gus!

Gus (shown above) was my first defining moment.  I hadn’t had a dog in over 20 years.  I admit, I was a cat person.  It’s not that I have preference for cats – it’s just I never considered owning a dog.

Gussy came to me via a handyman and volunteer fireman who was doing maintenance around my house.  He knew I had 3 acres, and I guess he knew I was a sucker for hard-luck cases.  He called one day and told me he picked up a bone-thin, stray puppy.  He already had 7 dogs, so he couldn’t take this little guy.  When he said: “Avia, if you don’t take this pup, I’ll have to take him to the shelter – or else he’ll get hit by a car.  Well, he had me at ‘shelter’.  No way I would let Gus go there!

Then there was Kip (shown at top of post).  He’d been kept in a small area outside with access to a tiny portion of a barn.  Kippy had been in that confined space for about 9 years.  Can you imagine?  At least he had some shelter, but in 100+ degree days, that’s not saying much.  He was also being fed, but the lowest quality food ever.  Never able to bond with family, no friends, no interaction with anything or anyone.  It all broke my heart every time I passed his caged up area.  So, being the sucker I am, I asked his owners if I could take him.  They were thrilled, and Kip became mine.  He was a disaster.  Heartworm.  Massive inner ear infections.  Not even neutered!  Well, as you can see from the picture at top, Kip is a hot mess now!  Happy as a clam, and thriving!

Next up:  Penny.  I just got her day before yesterday.  She’s a 10 year old stray.  She has a heart condition.  X-rays at the vet revealed several broken bones (and she’s a gimpy thing – poor baby).  She also has major inner ear infections.  She’s got scars all over too.  Don’t even get me started on her teeth.  She’s only got 4 of ’em!! In truth, Penny looks the way I feel half the time.  Old, been-around-the-block, tough but tired.

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Happy Penny!

So what’s a sucker of a soft-hearted gal to do?  Yep.  I’m taking care of her.  Surprisingly, Kip and Gus have warmed up to her.  Maybe they sense a kindred rescued soul.  I dunno.

My point to all this story-telling is this:  The discovery of dogs was (and still is) my most defining moment.  Sure – there have been a lot of delineating points in my life.  New births, death, illness, marriage, new jobs, financial disasters, etc., etc., etc.

But by far, bringing dogs in the fold of my life has been the most major turning point.  Sometimes I have no words for how transformative these babies have been for me.

What’s the symbolic meaning behind this post?  Gee.  I suppose it’s all about never underestimating the power of those defining moments in our lives.  Whether forced upon us through unpleasant circumstances, or random visitors in our lives – we never know what’s going to sculpt our souls. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d have three dogs.  But I tell you what….those three babies are the biggest blessings and so bountiful with lessons.

As always, thanks for reading.  And thanks also for indulging.  I realize I rambled a bit.  I feel a little like a mamma who brags on her children and whips out pictures of my kids to anybody who does (or doesn’t) want to see them.  Oh well – thanks for putting up with my excessive gushing over my canine BFFs.

If you’re into dogs, and feel the same as I do, you might like these other dog-related articles:

*Dog Meaning and Dog Symbolism

*Dog Brothers and Dog Sisters (written in collaboration with Dave Crotty)

*Dog Tattoo Meanings and Ideas

Nature Is Where You Find Her

CityAndCountryLiving

Nature is Symbolic. Thankfully, Nature is Everywhere!

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who lives in New York City.  She’s going through a hard time.  I encouraged her to tap into Nature for inspiration, renewal and symbolic insight.  She balked at me! She complained: “Avia! I live in NYC! I’m surrounded by cars, concrete and carbon monoxide! How do I commune with Nature in a space like this!?”

Easy.  Is NYC void of blue skies?  I don’t think so.  And when peering into those beautiful skies, aren’t they filled with feathered friends?  Birds are big messengers!

And what about those weeds that grow through the cracks in sidewalks.  I’m serious!  Even those determined greenies have lessons to offer.  They talk to us about willfulness and a fierce need to thrive and survive.

Heck -There are tons of bugs and beauties in NYC – I’ve been there!  I know!  Bugs are surprisingly forthcoming with powerful wisdom.  No jive!  And if nothing else, shove a few potted herbs or houseplants around the apartment! Green is good for the soul!

Granted, Nature crops up in different ways in the city than in the country.  Sometimes we’ve got to be extra-aware in the city to read the language of Nature.  But that usually makes our messages and meanings more profound!

NatureMeaningCityAndCountry

The country affords its own kind of messages.  Country living isn’t for everybody, I know.  Nature can be very intense living out in the sticks.  I’ve had toads living in my abode, lizards in my bed and scorpions snuggling in my shoes.  The bugs! Oy!  But Nature lets loose in less populated spaces.  As a result, symbolic meanings and messages abound.

Like many of you, I’ve lived in a lot of different places.  I’ve settled in big cities like Phoenix and Dallas.  I’ve also homesteaded in country backwoods.  Which is better?  Hmmm.  Not a simple answer.

Whether city or country, the Universe is bountiful in symbolic meanings and messages.   We can’t escape Nature.  She permeates every nook and cranny of our daily experience.  Thankfully, that means we can’t escape the signs, symbolism and messages Nature is always sending our way.

All we need to gain direction and insight is a little awareness.  No matter where you live, look around, ponder, approach Nature with curiosity and awe – the answers and epiphanies will come!

Wherever you live, I wish you all the delightful insight Nature so generously offers every day.

Thanks for reading!

Big and brightly,

Avia

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Symbolic Meanings in Nature

Earth Symbols

Symbolic Meaning of Trees

Getting Messages and Meanings from Nature

Zip Ties and Duct Tape…

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Symbolism of Fixing Stuff

OK, maybe this isn’t the most symbolic post – but it could be, if we consider the guts of the message.

I’ve moved back to my homeland to be closer to family.  There are some special needs that need to be met.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m absolutely clueless how to meet some of these needs.  Yeah, sure. I’ve fixed a few toilets.  I’ve hefted my fair share of awkward (and very heavy) supplies.  I can certainly change a light bulb.  I know my way around hammers and nails.  But not having exposure to certain skills leaves me grossly lacking.

So what’s a girl to do?

Zip ties and duct tape!  WD40  runs a close third in the race….but these two/three items will save your bacon.  No lie.

Example:  My sister needed her kitchen light heightened.  Solution: ZIP TIES!

Commode handle on the fritz.  WD40 rocks (thank you to BFF Dave for that tid bit!).

Bird feeder constantly attacked by raccoons and squirrels – leaving it devastated on the ground.  Zip ties!  Perfect!

Cord strips on the floor that keep on flipping up when wheel chairs cross over them….Duct Tape!!  Better yet…Get MINION Duct Tape (from the Despicable Me movie – LIGHT BULB!….sure to get a smile).

Maybe all this nonsense is symbolic.  Maybe not (Although I think it is).

See – thing is – I’m in a tight spot.  I grapple for anything and everything I can to get any job done.

Maybe that’s significant in your life.  Maybe that strikes a chord. If it does, then I guess what I’m saying is this:

  • Use what you have.
  • Do what you can with what you’ve got.
  • Do your best.

None of us are perfect.  But all of us can look around and make an effort to improve.

Just sayin.

Big love,

Avia