The coyote on the trail locked eyes with me for several minutes in the early morning mist. This was a trail I usually pass by, but this morning my large Newfoundland puppy, Ember, pulled me onto the path. She was distracted by different smells and sights, leaving me alone with coyote. Our connection stretched out for several moments until she turned and jogged off. And I wondered, as Ember and I continued our walk, what was the message that she was sharing this morning?
In many traditions coyote represents the trickster, the guide that asks us if we are on our path or following a false trail. Sometimes coyote leads us astray, challenging us to realize that the only way to find our path is to navigate from our soul. And in fact, often we have to be lost before we are courageous enough to embrace our journey.
Perhaps coyote was teasing me, asking if I am brave enough for this life voyage. Or perhaps she was suggesting that courage is more important than correctness, or perfection, or even belonging. It is too easy to turn away from our path when it is challenging or dark. It seems easier and even wiser to choose any other well-traveled path.
We do this throughout our lives, searching for best practices, proven systems, get-there-quick schemes, guaranteed programs, and ignore the message of coyote to trust our own soul’s craving. And when these do not work, we blame ourselves for not following the instructions exactly or for being flawed. It is time to listen to coyote’s message to look inward, to walk into the dark forest on our own path, guided by our soul’s craving.