Spirit Animal Beaver
Gifts: Creating and building. Strong work ethic. Power to redirect the flow of your life.
Challenges: All work and no play. Creating obstacles. Blocking emotions. Expecting the same strong work ethic from everyone. Pushing people more than they can bear.
You probably know the saying “busy as a beaver,” but spirit animal Beaver is selective about its busyness. Physical beavers actually do most of their dam and lodge building on a just-in-time basis. While Squirrel makes preparations for winter throughout the fall, Beaver makes its winter preparations at the very last minute. This just-in-time behavior isn’t reckless or lazy or a sign of procrastination. It’s more of an as-needed approach that Beaver can afford to take toward life.
Beaver is an incredible builder whose dams can create new ponds and waterways or dry up old ones. Beaver is such an efficient builder that it can construct a dam or lodge from scratch in one night when it detects the signs of the first frost. The lesson for you is not to procrastinate, but rather to master your gifts so that you can create from scratch quickly, at a moment’s notice. HarnessBeaver’s gift for building so that you become a master builder of your own life. When a proverbial frost hits, trust in your ability to respond quickly and stress-less-ly.
You can translate Beaver’s efficiency into a strong personal work ethic. While Beaver may not spread its building out over time, its work ethic enables it to snap to and get the job done as soon as needed. This type of work ethic is likely not what you were taught as a child. Beaver’s opinion of “why put off until tomorrow what you can do today” is “why do today what you don’t need to do until next week—especially when you’ll just have to repair it before then?”
If Beaver is your spirit animal and this approach supports the work you do, then don’t let other people’s narrow definition of work ethic sway you. Beaver teaches you to work the way that works best for you. Beaver models a process that definitely won’t work for everyone.
A challenge that comes from spirit animal Beaver is managing the fluctuation between “all work” and “all play.” When you imagine Beaver as the proverbial “busy as a beaver,” your work ethic will push you to stay in work mode and resist taking time for play. This type of work ethic can spill over into your relationships as you expect the same non-stop work focus from them.
At the other end of the spectrum, you run the risk of falling into the trap of unproductive busyness—as in, busyness for the sake of being busy. Checking things off of a long to-do list gives satisfaction to busy-Beaver. But this satisfaction is fleeting when you realize that your to-do items don’t amount to actually getting much done. What have you actually built once you’ve checked everything off of your list?