GIFTS: Creating and building. Strong work ethic. Power to redirect the flow of you life. Just-in-time work, busyness, creation, building. doing.
CHALLENGES: All work, no play. Creating obstacles—for yourself or others. Blocking emotions. Waiting until it’s too late. Expecting the same work style from others. 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 it 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. Harness Beaver’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.
Beaver’s dam can alter the flow of rivers, cause or prevent flooding, and create new estuaries and bodies of water. As water is a symbol of emotions, borrow from Beaver this power to change the flow of emotions. Beaver builds its dam in the water. Do not avoid emotion. Go into it—as the master creator you are. Survey the landscape of your emotions then create the outcome and the flow that you desire. Do not let emotion become your master. Your only true master is your Self.
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.
Beaver is especially useful in releasing the fear of being worthless. As this fear usually manifests as martyrdom and/or victimization, borrow Beaver’s gifts of industry and determination to persevere through your fear, to maintain your boundaries of self-worth, boundaries that only you define. Your worth is not dependent on people’s opinion or assessment of you. Your worth is indisputable simply because you are here.