If anyone ever asks me what my spirit animal is, it’s the Phoenix.
This Greek mythological fire bird tells the most wonderful life transformation story ever. It is said that there is only one Phoenix at a time in the world and the bird lives in a 500-year cycle. Nearing the end of its life cycle, the majestic bird gathers cassia barks, frankincense and myrrh, flies up to the highest point in the world and builds a nest out of the fragrant twigs, barks, and spices.
Then, the Phoenix sings the most beautiful song the world ever heard and it ignites itself into a blazing fire. Out of the ashes, a new young Phoenix emerges. Once it is strong enough to fly, the Phoenix flies out in all its glory into the sky and lives for the next 500 years. And the cycle continues on…
Here are some life transformation lessons that we can learn from the story of the Phoenix:
1. There is only one Phoenix at a time in the world.
Likewise, there is only one you in this world. Even if you have an identical twin, there is no exact replica of you. You are unique. If you ever doubt yourself and question your self-worth, STOP!
You are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
You are here for a purpose. God has a great plan for your life, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you.
2. From time to time, you need to undergo personal transformation – to let your old self die and rebirth a better version of yourself.
Sometimes the transformation happens by choice like:
– taking night classes even though we have a full-time job and children to take care of because we want a better paying job to provide for the family
– working on building our own business because we don’t want to be stuck on a 9-5 job till we retire.
We are doing these changes consciously and willingly to improve our lives.
Other times, life circumstances force us to undergo the transformation. When tragedy hits us – losing someone we love, getting into a life-threatening accident, or losing the life that we have built our whole life, it will change us whether we like it or not. We can be kicking and screaming at first for the loss that we experience, but eventually we need to accept it and let it change us for the better.
When I lost the life that I have built for 16 years, it hurt deeply. I had to reconfigure myself. The pastry skills that I have developed do not serve me anymore. It is like I am starting back in square 1 in life. I have to figure out what else I can be good at and rebuild my life from scratch.
Emotionally, I had healed from the emotional wound from this trial. I went through a period of deep depression. Even though I am still not where I want to be in life, through the practices that I have adopted to heal myself and let go of the hurt, I find myself to be calmer and at peace. By letting go, I am letting my old self died.
3. The Phoenix sings the most beautiful song the world ever heard before it dies.
As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Many people die with their music still in them.”
We don’t know when our time is gonna be up. It can be 40 years from now, a month from now or it can be today (Sorry, I don’t mean to be morbid!).
Express yourself fully, practice kindness and love others each and every day because we are never guaranteed of tomorrow.
And don’t die with your music still in you – whatever that “music” is for you: the books you’ve always wanted to write, the business you’ve always wanted to start, the family you’ve wanted to start, the wonderful places that you’ve wanted to go…
How do you want to express yourself to the world?
4. As the phoenix is burning, it gives out the most wonderful fragrance from the burning of barks of cassia, frankincense and myrrh, and a new Phoenix rises out of the ashes.
Something good will come out of the trials that you are experiencing. You will survive the fire – whatever seemingly impossible challenges life throws you cat the moment. Don’t give up hope. You will be broken, but you will heal and regenerate. You will give birth to a brand new, stronger, more resilient version of yourself.
I hope you are inspired by the Phoenix.
Remember that you are one of a kind. You have it within you to transform yourself to become a better version of yourself as many times as you need to do it in the course of your life.
Don’t like your soul-sucking 9-5 job? Work on building your own business or a location-independent career so you can earn income and travel at the same time.
Stressed from living in a fast-paced, materialistic driven society? Take a sabbatical to recharge your soul and re-prioritize your life. You might even find yourself adopting a new country to live in.
Troubled from an abusing relationship? Leave the relationship. Anyone who does not value you is not worth sticking around for.
Facing hard challenges at the moment? Make Lemons Out of Lemonade. Accept the hard stuffs with grace and see what good you can make out of it. Use the obstacle as an opportunity to grow – to create a new life for you, a new career that you actually love, and a new loving relationship you deserve.
What’s your story of rising out of the ashes? What is the next grandest vision of yourself?
Please share if you find this helpful. Thanks a bunch!