The coyote medicine of our ego
May 16, 2012
Interesting given the subject, that this is now the second time I have sat down to re-write this. Putting our truth into words can sometimes prompt interesting results in our lives and in this case, taking the time to write about my ego prompted me to somehow delete my initial truth speaking from my Ipad as if it was too close, too real, too astonishing to be brought to the light of day. So here we go a second time.
The Native Americans have a saying in their tradition which is ‘coyote medicine’. Having grown up in the foothills of the Colorado rocky mountains, I spent my young life surrounded by the haunting calls of the coyotes. Strangely beautiful and alluring and yet also calling us to the risk of harm if we step out into the darkness to find the source of the sound equipped with our poor night vision. Coyotes are well known as the great tricksters, cunning and subtle in their hunt.
Over the years I have realised that coyote medicine is but another name for my very real and active human ego. I have also realised that the more we risk to follow it’s call into the night of our shadow side, the more we become aware that in being the trickster, it is the one that works within us to create the life stories and experiences that govern who we think we are. It is the one that helps us to experience our darkness so we can come to know our light.
Over the years my personal coyote has taken various forms and guises, some more hidden and subversive than others. I know it’s my coyote in change whenever I feel like I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not experienced enough or not enough of anything. I know it is in full effect whenever I feel superior to others in intellect, experience, spiritual wisdom or power. I know my coyote also has me in its trickster jaws when I feel like hiding my light, like pretending to be less than my truth to fit with others expectations of me. It especially has me by my human throat when I feel the need to show off or exaggerate to gain others appreciation and love.
One of the greatest domains of the human coyote comes into play when we find ourselves comparing ourselves to others and competing with them in our minds. The greatest lesson the coyote ego can bring to us is to become aware of the futility of this exercise and allow us to choose instead to honour ourselves for our uniqueness, beauty and spirit which is truly not comparable to anyone or anything else. This is the beauty of the human coyote spirit dance.
In helping us to create stories in which we feel we need protection, love, recognition from sources outside of ourselves, our coyote leads us down a merry path, away from the very things that we are seeking. As long as we believe that these things can be found anywhere outside of our own being then we will always feel lacking, empty and alone when the external source of these is taken from us. And of course it will always be taken from us until we learn the lesson coyote is here to teach. That is is us and only us that is the ultimate source of love in our lives. We, in our human and spirit form become our deepest gift, our deepest longing, our deepest love. Those around us are but mirrors and reflections of our own inner truth. Want to know where you are in your friendship with your coyote? Look at the people and situations in your life for they are ever reflecting this back to you.
A few years ago I had a stand off with my coyote pack. I declared to the universe that I was ready to see beyond all the stories and lies. And to live from a place of my infinite being and spirit. The temptation was to renounce my coyote ego. To banish it from the house of my being and ‘pretend’ that it wasn’t a part of me but to do so would have been denying a vital part of my human journey. You see what I have come to realise is that our ego / spirit, mind / soul, coyote / angel is all the same. We are all of these things and more. Like a dear soul sister once said to me, we are like the sun, a burning white hot truth of love at our core and all the different rays shining out from this are the different expressions of our human life. Our spirit in physical form.
It has become important to me that I am able to distinguish between the voices. To know when my coyote is howling in the night, baying for blood vs when the quiet, deep voice of my heart and soul is speaking through me, to me and from me. To distinguish the story teller from the mystic, the myth from the dance through my very real life journey. All is valid, all is me.
The Native Americans have another saying that I am particularly fond of these days. It is the saying that ‘everything is medicine’. For me this is another way of acknowledging and claiming our sun-like nature. Committing to see every occurrence in our life as something we can learn and grow from. Grow ever more into our deep truth and allow our spirit to guide us on our path towards living a life of love. Without experiencing our darkness we would not know our light. Without knowing what we are not, we would never come to know what we are.
I have learned to love my coyote deeply as a friend and compadre. To stop and listen to its howl and allow myself the luxury of a friendly pat and lick to my face of its rough tongue. To feel e love that it brings to me as a constant reminder of my true self.