Flaunting my Inner Flamingo

Johanna flamingo on stageI’m about to leave on a four-month national tour of festivals West to East and everywhere in between. There’s one thing I was hoping to leave behind, a habit. Ever since I started singing and playing while standing, I have a tendency to lift one leg as the energy builds. Even though I’ve tried to keep both feet on the ground, one of them (usually the right one) just wants to pop up when I forget to focus on keeping it down.

One of my friends at a festival recently said  “I’ve figured out your Medicine Animal. It’s a flamingo!” I didn’t know what to think. I had thought that I’d been hiding my “bad habit,” and here she was naming it.

Later she sent me a link to a podcast called Don’t Underestimate the Flamingo. It turns out they’re amazingly tough birds who can fall asleep standing up in frozen Andes marshes, and then wait for it to thaw before taking off, among other things.

She also sent me a link about the “flamingo spirit totem.” It was also full of good news. Almost eerie, as a matter of fact, a summary of my life path.  In a few words: social, sometimes flirtatious and flamboyant in dress, balancing a busy lifestyle and relationships. But most of all, what I know to be true: “Decisions and life directions usually come from the heart.”

Suddenly the habit doesn’t seem so bad, after all. I discovered a long time ago that it’s the struggle to change something that keeps it around, I’m embracing the toughness of the bird and the power of the heart. I’m bringing her along with me for this tour.