Spirit Animal Camel
Gifts: Travel. Enjoying the journey. Going the distance. Endurance. Stamina and pacing.
Challenges: Lack of self-care. Forgetting to nourish yourself. Lack of stability (always moving). Can’t tell if you’re coming or going.
Camel’s primary gift is that of enjoying the journey. Camel reminds you that life is a journey, and the journey is the thing. It’s not the finishing. It’s not the arriving. There is no destination. There is only the journey. You are always departing and always arriving. From one moment to the next, everything is both a departure and an arrival. The key is to be in the moment, to be fully in the journey.
Most people believe that when they have a higher degree, a better job, an increased level of income, a bigger house, a better relationship . . . then they’ll be happy. They will have “arrived.”
Camel reminds you that arrival is an illusion, a mirage. You can’t wait to be happy—or fulfilled or joyful or at peace. Happiness—and everything else—comes by way of the journey. Not at the end. Not on arrival. During. If Camel is your spirit animal,remind yourself—write it down and put it where you’ll see it every day—“the journey is the thing.”
The journey is the thing.
As part of this message, Camel offers the gifts of stamina, endurance, and pacing. As the journey is ongoing, you need the strength and energy to go the distance. Physical camel can go days and long distances without drinking water. (You should still drink lots of water every day!) Camel’s message is metaphoric in the sense that you should prepare yourself for periods of privation or lack.
Of course, many spiritual teachers preach that there is no such thing as lack, that lack is an illusion. Camel teaches that physical lack can be a reality. It can be the truth. In the spiritual plane, there is no lack. In the physical plane, where you live now, there very well may be lack. The spiritual lesson is not to ignore physical lack. That would be Pollyannish. The lesson is to learn how to manage lack. Camel teaches that one way to manage lack is by preparing for it—not by hoarding, but by conserving and using wisely your resources.
It can be a challenge to take care of yourself with Camel as your spirit animal. You rely so much on your stamina and on your ability to keep going, no matter what, that you neglect to put fuel back in your own metaphorical gas tank. Steven Covey calls this “sharpening the saw.” It takes you more time and effort to chop down a tree with a dull saw than it does to take a break to sharpen the saw.
To maintain your Camel stamina, your ability to go the distance, be sure to nourish yourself. This means not only food, but also fun, play, passion, creativity, whatever feeds your body, your mind, and your soul.