Well, I’m back from my Animal Connections trip with a group of twelve wonderful women (and two pretty hilarious guides) in Costa Rica and I already want to go back!
What an adventure! One of the first places we visited as we traveled around the country meeting with various rescue organizations, wild animals, and others, and probably the place that affected me the most, was the Toucan Rescue Ranch, a rainforest wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, and release organization.
I was moved by the animals themselves, the loving care of animal in residence, the open-heartedness of the rescue’s owner, Leslie, and the unconditional love I felt throughout the space.
We saw a duck that followed Leslie around as if she was her mother.
We met an owl with an injured wing.
We hung around with lots of birds who were happily recovering from past ailments so they could be released back to the wild.
Each animal from bird to cat to duck to monkey to otter was experiencing the love and support of the ranch in the best way possible.
But the animals that moved me the most? The sloths!
I had no idea I would be so connected to these slow moving creatures – especially, since I tend to veer away from being slow moving in my own life.
Have you ever met a sloth before?
Sloths move very, very deliberately and slowly. It’s almost as if they are living in a different dimension.
Let me see if I can accurately portray in words how a sloth moves:
H m m m . . . I…. am… going… to… put… my… hand… right… there…
Now… I’m… going… to… grab… onto… that… branch…
And… now… I will… turn… onto… my back… and snuggle… in… this… tree….
Everything they do is deliberate, well thought-out, and slow. I LOVED watching them move (or not move, as the case often was).
I believe every animal is working to teach us various lessons – and the sloths as the Toucan Rescue Ranch are no different!
As the minutes passed and I observed each sloth do it’s thing, I realized they were representing a longstanding lesson that I’ve been working on mastering for several years.
It’s often hard for me to relax. I go through wonderful periods where I meditate 45 minutes each day and that always makes me feel good – except that the rest of the time, I tend to run at Mach 5 pace.
Sloths aren’t concerned about speed, busy-ness, or keeping up with others.
Sloths don’t worry that they’ll be left behind if they don’t do more.
In fact, sloths do exactly whatever they are going to do, however they choose to do it, in the time frame that works for them.
Moreover, they aren’t stubborn about this. sloths adhere to the ultimate faith in themselves: all they have to do is whatever feels right to them.
For most of my life I viewed sloths as lazy – and, in fact, many other people have that viewpoint of them as well.
But Sloths are not lazy! They just choose to live their life at their pace, with a deep knowing that they are safe, and protected.
I think this is something that we can all learn from the sloths of the world – we don’t need adhere to the “no pain, no gain” theory, we don’t need to compete with others, we only have to do what we know is right for ourselves, and things will work out for us in the long run.
Love & Light,