GIFTS: Focus. Speed. Self-care. Making wise decisions and taking appropriate action. Bringing other gifts to light.
CHALLENGES: Too much sprinting and too little resting. Lack of focus. Lack of strength and self-protection—wearing yourself out.
Spirit Animal Cheetah teaches that fear-less-ness* comes from making wise decisions and taking appropriate action.
Spirit Animal Cheetah is particularly helpful in releasing the fear of missing out. Cheetah knows that it cannot have/do/be everything at once. That would lead to death. Cheetah knows that surviving and thriving come from being fully present in this moment—either in the sprint or in the siesta.
Most people associate Cheetah with speed, but speed is only one facet of Cheetah’s gifts. Yes, Cheetah does teach speed—physical and mental. But this speed must be balanced with rest and self-care, otherwise Cheetah will burn itself out.
The key to Cheetah’s success is its speed in combination with its focus. Cheetah chooses its prey wisely based on its perceived chances of success. The lesson for you is to focus on what you really want before taking action. Taking random or unforced action will cause you to burn out. Chasing every opportunity will spread you too thin.
Physical cheetah lacks the strategy and large group of Lion and Hyena and strength of Leopard to pull its kill into a tree. It also cannot defend its kill the way Lion and Hyena can. This compounds the need for Cheetah to choose very wisely when deciding when to take action.
Cheetah know not to say “yes” to every potential prey that comes along. In fact, Cheetah says “no” to most opportunities so that it can focus on the ones that have the greatest chance of success. This does not mean that you should avoid risk or take only the opportunities that “guarantee” success. There are no guarantees. Rather, take the opportunities that really speak to you, that further your cause or your mission, that bring you closer to fulfilling your passion. Then say “no” to everything else.
Like Cheetah, you have a limited store of energy. If you blow it on the “wrong” activities, you won’t have any left the activities you really care about. See where in your life you are saying “yes” too much. Remember, when you say “yes” to one thing, you are simultaneously saying “no” to another thing. Make sure your yeses are where you really want them to be. When you say “yes” to the things that don’t mater, you are effectively saying “no” to the things that do. Focus your energy and your time on what matters most to you—your passion, your values, your top priorities.
Cheetah also teaches the futility of hoarding. Holding onto things (or intangibles) creates the probability of loss. As cheetahs must eat their kill immediately as they lack the strength post-kill to stash a carcass in a tree for later, Cheetah teaches that consuming completely in this moment is what ensures abundance. You may mistake Cheetah for resembling the fear of missing out, but it actually teaches the opposite.
Cheetah is unique among big cats in that it is diurnal. While lions will hunt during the day, they primarily hunt at night If you have Cheetah as a spirit animal, the message for you is to use the shadows for self-care and to rest. Otherwise, come out into the light. You must be in the light to get what you want. Your passion, your desires, your needs are all in the light.
If you have other spirit animals in addition to Cheetah, Cheetah is particularly helpful in bringing those other gifts to light. Cheetah thrives in the light.. Cheetah makes its kill (gets what it wants) in the light. Cheetah will help you get what you want by bringing who you really are into the light. You cannot hide your gifts from Cheetah. Try though you might, Cheetah will run after them in a burst of energy and drag them down for you to see.
(Note from above: *I write “fearlessness” this way because the only way to be truly and completely without fear is (1) to become fully enlightened or (2) to have a brain defect that blocks you from experiencing fear. As humans, we will experience fear in some form or other most of our lives. Rather than feeling disappointed that you continue to experience fear, recognize the progress you are making in experiencing less fear—becoming fear-less.)