Surrender to the Beauty of Life
A Shaman’s Story
This is the story of a beautiful vision I had. Typical for receiving a vision, I was day-dreaming with music—not writing or editing, coaching or teaching, cooking or doing laundry, driving the car, or any other earthly task. Ceasing the routine of life, I was open and available—a healthy place to be several times each day. This gives the mind a rest and allows the creative muscle to exercise. As the saying goes, the writer staring out the window, is working. Writers and shamans are both dreamers, sharing the same reliance on the imagination, which is the doorway to creativity, journeying, and awe.
While in this detached, relaxed state of no effort, White Buffalo appeared eyeball to eyeball with me. Buffaloes are heavy, stout beasts with large eyes and dense fur. I felt her presence to be this way. The connection ‘in my face’ was a big, yet gentle greeting. It was unavoidable, undeniable, and unearthly. While grounding the experience of being eye to eye with a buffalo, I recalled the legend of the White Buffalo, as if having a white buffalo join me in my reverie was like running into a friend from long ago that instantly brought a flash of shared memories.
The White Buffalo is a special buffalo and portends a time of changes and blessings. Being white, this animal totem is associated with North on the Medicine Wheel, where elders and wise ones sit. White energy flared all around the animal image. She emerged white from white, as if she bounded through a cloud to reach me.
Being a shield-making shaman, I immediately placed the mental image of the buffalo in the center of a circle—the hoop of life—and imagined long, white feathers hanging from the hoop’s rim from West to South to East—as many as would fit to represent the bursting of white light.
I felt the pounding hooves, like a drum corps, shaking and vibrating beneath my feet—a call to wildness. Her magnetism was powerful, yet soft and beseeching. My breath caught again with the magic of the encounter. She succeeded in summoning me to attention and I was alert for the vision about to be delivered.
From the right side of my inner field of vision, a whale appeared. She swam partially submerged in the sea. Large, weighty, smooth, and gliding with the moon upon her back. A reflexive smile crosses my face. She was vivid and moved with comfort and ease into the water and disappeared. I glanced all around my field of vision to capture any and all details. Above was a clear sky. The water was deep ocean water, calm, and parting with the force of the whale beast. The moon was shining white and fully round. No other details. A simple image. And she was gone, into the depths of the sea, but her fleeting visit with the passenger Moon was captured. I was left to ponder what the vision meant as I sketched a full circle with the water, whale, and moon. That was a whole lot of exciting totem activity, I thought. It must be a special message.
Subsequently, during a meditation, a voice said, “Surrender.”
Oh boy, I thought. Here we go. The warrior who crashes through life, pushing and pushing, is not the nice companion that a warrior who surrenders is. Surrender is a strength, not a weakness. It is not really giving up control. It is a relinquishing, repositioning, and strategizing for forward movement.
“Surrender to what?” I dared to inquire, and I was glad I did. When I started having visions, it took a while before I thought to interact with them. It is helpful to get as much clarification as possible on the spot.
The voice said, “Surrender to the beauty of your life.”
Oh, I can do that! Doesn’t sound bad! The beauty of my life, huh? Great! Like what?
Following through on an idea is a little harder than having the idea. Turns out I’m a little resistant to surrendering—letting go, not worrying or anticipating what could be, giving up the drive and control … With every activity, it is possible to experience the beauty of the moment, to receive the love, caring, and opportunity that each synchronistic moment offers. I say Om and Hallelujah to that, but am left with so many old habits to lose. Bring on the vultures! Let them eat up my old, useless habits. I’m ready for comfort and ease. Like the whale in the ocean; the moon in the sky.
In a fantasy of imagination, I straddle the whale, which isn’t easy to do, but in a fantasy, anything is possible. So, I’m atop the huge body of a she-whale and I feel her glide across the water. I have no reins. It is better than the carousel as a kid or Thunder Mountain at Disney. It is magical. No danger. No threat. No worry. Smooth sailing, laughing carried by this force of Nature beneath me.
That was fun. I could do that anytime. I’m encouraged to do that all the time. When the Geek Squad needs three sessions to fix the computer problem, when the numbers on the bathroom scale get higher rather than lower, when the anticipated phone call doesn’t sound—ride the whale. Be the butterfly—transform the irritating circumstance to beauty. Glide through it, rather than resisting. Fling it off. Bury your head in the wooly white blanket of buffalo hide. Moan and groan if you need to, but become tenacious in choosing to surrender.
Whale species are thought to be millions of years old and the largest creatures to live on the planet. They live in the open sea. In the shaman’s world of symbols and omens, the whale represents the history of humanity on Earth. It is said to carry the records of time and of each one of us, like a floating, external hard drive. In my vision, the feminine moon sat upon the back of whale. We cannot overlook the moon that rode serenely on the back of whale. What does the moon mean in the vision? The image was a fully-illuminated, complete circle of the moon. Illumination rides on the back of whale in the sea of life. I take it to mean, “Shine! Rely on your history and the wisdom and insight offered, to carry you through. All you have to do is surrender.”
No longer the spiritual warrior struggling with reality, struggling to be heard, struggling to help, but seeing and trusting the beauty of existence.
Many gifts await the warrior who surrenders to the flow. Not just talking about surrendering, studying it, writing about it, working for it—but being it. Now. And now. And anon. As long as the buffalo hooves pound the drum of earthly life, it is right to recognize the beauty of life, glide like whale carrying the wisdom of the ages and shine like the full moon. Maybe this is good advice for you, too.
How do you interpret the vision? Share your ideas, esse@LaughingWatersWay.com.