Facing our Fears with the Heart of a Crocodile

December 31, 2012 Christine McDonald Animal ConnectionsMystical Animals

The year is coming to a close and there are endings and beginnings to celebrate and mourn. 2012 has had its share of challenges for me and most everyone I know. The recent shootings in Connecticut and Oregon have saddened all of us and cast a shadow on the holiday season. Sadly, we live in a gun culture with many fears and anxieties.

I was sharing my list of challenging situations to a friend and she said “you know it’s like were being asked to stay in your heart regardless of the outside circumstances”. She reminded me of ancient Egyptian ceremonial initiations in the temple of Kom Ombo along the Nile River. Participants must swim through an enclosed water chamber or tank surrounded by crocodiles. About ten years ago I was in Egypt and visited this ancient temple. Out guide told us about SobekSobek the crocodile God as we stood on the rock edge of a chambered pool. Over a decade after my trip to Egypt, I began to see the significance of the state of “being” required to complete such an initiation. I remember thinking how dangerous it would be to swim by crocodiles over 20 feet long with their jagged teeth and strong bodies so close. Not only did they have to be in the close proximity of crocodiles they were required to swim under a tank with a roof over it which required holding your breath for the duration of the swim.

A meditation practice I have embraced and taught is holding the breath. Slowing the inhale and exhale and then pausing for a few seconds, or as long as is comfortable before taking the next breath can quiet the mind and stop thought. Perhaps the men or women going through this initiation were taught the benefits of a quiet mind. They may have had training or known they must remain calm, centered, relaxed and in their hearts if they were going to make it to the other side. Expressing fear or anxiety would have been a sudden death.

As I sat in meditation today I thought about swimming through a pool of my own crocodile like issues. I held my breath, felt my heart and put a face to each of the crocodile like situations as I brought them into awareness. It was an interesting practice and what was revealed was a sense of feeling their hearts, too. When you feel the heart you see beyond the emotions and other obstacles that keep dramas at play. You feel something bigger, more powerful and liberating from the limited viewpoint of the mind.

Facing fears and embracing our hearts offers more long lasting solutions in today’s troubled world than engaging in fear and acts of violence. So find your heart in your pool of crocodiles.

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