Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mutant Message Down Under

It’s hard to believe, but I left for New Zealand one year ago today. At the time, I felt very lost and confused. Leaving the country and embarking on an amazing adventure was the only thing that felt right. Before I left a friend recommended that I read the book, “Mutant Message Down Under” by Marlo Morgan. It is a fictionalized account of a "walkabout" the author took in the Australian Outback with a group of Aborigines.

According to Encarta World English Dictionary, “a walkabout is journey through bush: an extended journey on foot through a remote area made by an Australian Aboriginal wishing to experience or return to a traditional way of life and to traditional beliefs.” The author is invited to join the Real People tribe as they make their way across Australia. Morgan gives insight into the tribal ways and relays strong messages of how this misunderstood culture and way of life could actually be a better way for us all to live.

My friend recommend this book to me at the time because she believed I was about to go on my own version of a “walkabout.” Ironically, it wasn’t until I arrived in Park City that I actually found the time to read it. However, now I can look back on my New Zealand experience and can relate to the author on so many levels. Not only did I just live down under and was exposed to this world, but I to am on a spiritual journey. Based on recent events in my life, the chapter titled “Totems” struck a chord with me. In the book, Morgan asked the tribe about their relationship with the animal kingdom. The tribe member replied, “We are all one. Learning strength from weakness.” The example of the snake was quite potent and timely, so I have decided to share it with you.

“The slithering snake is a learning tool when we observe its frequent removal of the outer skin. Little is gained in a lifetime if what you believe at age seven is still how you feel at age thirty-seven. It is necessary to shed old ideas, habits, opinions, and even companions sometimes. Letting go is sometimes a very difficult human lesson. The snake is no lesser nor greater for shedding the old. It is just necessary. New things cannot come where there is no room. He looks and feels younger when he strips himself of old baggage. He isn’t younger, of course. The Real People laughed because keeping track of age seems senseless to this tribe. The snake is a master of charm and power. Both are good to have but can be destructive when they become overwhelming. Real People respect the snake’s need for privacy in the same way each of them requires some time alone.”

I can relate to the snake and have recently shed my skin. It was difficult, but just part of my journey. So I will continue to slither through life displaying my power and charm along the way.

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