Following is an excerpt from a recent interview conducted with Hedgehog, based on the tiny spiny creature’s request.
JR: Nice to meet you Hedgehog, I understand you wanted to share a few thoughts?
HH: uh hum. Yes, thank you for the opportunity. I was recently elected by my animal peers to be a spokesperson. Apparently there was a famous hedgehog back in the 90s who may have paved the way for my voice to be heard.
JR: Go on.
HH: It seems you people have been missing some clues. I’d like to help.
JR: Please do.
HH: Well, you might have noticed that it’s dark at 4pm. The trees have gifted their leaves to the earth. Flowers have retreated. Your dog’s coat is thickening. It’s getting cold.
JR: Yes, of course. Winter is on its way. Happens every year, HH.
HH: Right. Mother Nature is sending pretty big signals. It’s time to slow down. Conserve resources. Be introspective. Retreat & Recover. Nurture. Rest. Trust me. It’s best to respect the guidance She provides.
Many humans don’t realize that not just Bears hibernate. Bees. Snakes. Skunks. Squirrels. Turtles. Snails. Bats. And me. To name just a few. You see, we’re on to something here. During this time, our heart rate slows down dramatically. We consume less energy and we breathe nice and slow. We honor the quiet. We wait, and we let our bodies recuperate and gear up so we can be at our best the rest of the year when the world is fully alive.
JR: Sounds lovely, HH. But humans don’t hibernate.
HH: Ok. Respectfully, you’re missing the point, JR. Sure. While humans don’t hunker down for five blissful months of rest—you are still animals. We are all subject to the same cycles. Left ignored, you bring on illness, exhaustion, and you deplete yourselves of the resources you need to be fully human. And then you spend a lot of wasted time wondering why the planet is so sick.
In order to be able to be really good at moving fast, you also have to cultivate the skill of slowing down.
And you know what doesn't help? The insanity of things like Black Friday, Elf on the Shelf, year-end deadlines, silly traditions and self-imposed stress. These are uniquely human. And equally ridiculous.
JR: Hmm. Fair point. But what makes you an authority on the subject?
HH: Well, I am fortunate to be one of the natural world's representatives of self-preservation, protection and resourcefulness. When I need a break, I can roll up into a tight little ball and no one will bother me. In fact, many cultures honor me for my connection to Source, intuition and centeredness. In summary, I’m a smart and intuitive little dude.
JR: This is obvious. So, wise one, what suggestions might you have for us?
HH: Thought you’d never ask. Baby steps are best for humans. You can actually bring a hint of hibernation into your daily routine. If I was human, for example, I would:
- Reserve a few moments for deep breathing at the start of each day.
- Get a massage.
- Take walk around the block—no matter the weather.
- Gaze at the fireplace or a candle to unwind at the end of the day.
- Spend quiet time loving my animal companions.
- Turn off the TV. And my iPhone. During dinner. Keep them off until morning at least one night a week.
- Make eye contact.
- Let go of just one holiday tradition or commitment that doesn't enrich my life.
- And above all else — get some darned sleep, for crying out loud.
JR: Thank you for your insights, HH. I think we could all use a little Hedgehog reminder this time of the year.
HH: Glad to help. And remember, if you need a little guidance, I’m here for you. Always. And I'm not talking video games. So just one request—no Sonic talk. Now back to my nap......
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