The Robin’s Courageous Heart

Continuing with bird messengers, today’s poem is about Robin, whose orange breast is often referred to as “red.” Robin is a confident, courageous bird whose presence heralds spring and the endless cycle of rebirth.






Courageous Heart

I wear red like a badge
of courage

through rebirth’s
endless unfolding

bringing raw creation
from Earth to offer

blue orbs of truth
waiting to break

into voice. I sing
the cycle of self

“Say What You Need to Say” #speakyourtruth #thyroiddisease

I turned off the light the other night after reading the following passage spoken by Agnes Whistling Elk in Lynn V. Andrews’ book Jaguar Woman, “‘Children are told to speak when spoken to. We as women are taught that to speak of our power is to be shunned by most of society. When you listen to the voices of many men and women you hear a strangled sound. And it’s no wonder. Women’s voices are often weak or a monotone or barely audible. Voices need to be open and free, so that energy can flow through the throat center. We hold our enlightenment there. If energy is trapped in the throat, it can’t move up into the crown of the head. That’s why we get sore throats, thyroid problems, or diseases such as throat cancer. Whenever you have an energy knot like that, it will eventually cause disease.'” (70)

Agnes and the narrator go on to discuss how this concept of trapped energy pertains to disorders in other areas of the human body, but this is where I ended my reading for the night. It was the message I needed to “hear.” After closing the book and placing it on my dresser, the lyrics “Say What You Need to Say” by John Mayer played over like a stuck record inside of my head.

The message from Spirit was clear and obvious, but the concept itself is complex. When I was about 24- years-old, I was diagnosed with thyroid disease. To be more precise, hypothyroidism, which means my thyroid was under-active. I was not surprised. Thyroid disease, after all, runs in my family on my mother’s side. She has it, her sister has it, my sister has it, and the list likely goes on. I have an old photograph of great aunts, five sisters posing in pretty dresses that hug their enlarged, goitered throats.

At 24, I thought my thyroid disease was a cause of bad genetics, I neglected to consider the environmental triggers. I didn’t realize I was holding a knot of energy trapped in my throat. All I knew was that I was destined to take a hormone to supplement my deficiency for the rest of my life, and that if I had children, especially daughters, it was likely they would suffer the same fate. This is what I was told, this is what I believed to be true.

I was wrong, thankfully. Over the past several years, I have witnessed the breaking down of the truths that were the foundation for my early life. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful I set foot on this path to spiritual truth. As Agnes states in Jaguar Woman, we heal ourselves, sometimes through the facilitation of others. Awhile ago a psychic told me I would cure, or heal, my thyroid disorder. I’m still getting there. I’ve lowered my dose, but not a lot. I wrote my memoir, but I still have not sent it out wholly and fearlessly into the world. And, I still don’t always “say what I need to say.”

What does that mean? How does the individual who is used to being silenced, often through many lifetimes, clear the trapped, stagnant energy in her throat? It’s not about avenging past wrongs, it’s not about anger or rage and it’s not a matter of turning into a person driven by aggression. I have lived most of this life trying to avoid conflict, assuming that if I were to speak my truths at certain moments, especially when dealing with aggressive people, I would face a verbal battle or worse. Silence became a way of life for me; a life, it seems, not so easy to change.

I still have moments when I flee a room in tears, unable to form the words caught in the web of energy inside my throat.  Sometimes we heal “miraculously,” sometimes we heal by small steps with a few leaps and bounds. In Jaguar Woman, Agnes cures the beginnings of disease in the narrator’s throat by using shamanic healing to help her free the image of a black crow Andrews sees trapped in her throat. The crow tells Andrews, “You need to remember the importance of saying what you need to say.” (66)

The words that we need to say come from that place of truth inside of our soul.  As Meyer sing, “from a heart wide open.” Our true voice is the clear, bold, yet compassionate voice of the spirit, stripped of the fears of ego. It is the release of constriction from fear’s hands at the present moment, for it does little good to move back to the past in an attempt to alter a situation that has already occurred. The energy has already been lost, or wasted. The moment cannot be fully recovered.

Later in the day, while driving my children into town, I turned on the radio at the moment “Free Bird,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd was playing. Spirit likes using this song as a call to action for me. It’s not an accident that a healthy throat chakra vibrates in the color of a cloudless blue sky, the color of a robin’s egg in spring. And, yes, I saw a robin when I walked out the door of my house in the morning, boldly baring its orange chest to the world and pointing its yellow beak to me.

Robin: The Bird of (Re)birth #robins #robinsymbolism #robintotem #rebirth #sacralchakra #throatchakra


The American Robin is considered by many to be a harbinger of spring. When the robin returns to its summer home in the spring, it gets to work building a nest with its mate and laying a brood of beautiful, sky-blue eggs. It is also one of the first birds to sing at dawn, harkening the new day with its melodious voice.

The robin, in many respects, is a bird of beginnings, of birth, and of the rebirth of the true, creative self. Upon its proud chest, robin shamelessly displays the color orange. Although robins are considered to have a “red-breast,” the color is really a deep orange, the vibration of the second, or sacral chakra. Orange and the second chakra are symbolic of our creative and sexual drives. This wheel of energy stirs us into action, and when balanced and healthy,  enables us to live our creative truths without worry of how we will be received by the world.

When I see robin, the bird always inspires a sense of awe and reverence. Standing erect and confident on the ground, where it digs through the body of Earth for sustenance, robin appears a master of the self. The robin has no doubt who s/he is, unafraid to sing in full-throated beauty the first song of the morning.

The robin births eggs in the spring in the color of the cloudless sky, making the robin a creator of truth and a teacher for a healthy throat chakra. The throat chakra is the fifth chakra in the set of seven primary chakras in the body. It is closely tied to the second chakra. When we are able to create freely from that seat of orange energy, we need to be able to bring it up through our throats, where we express our truths with compassion and confidence.

Near the end of last summer, on the first day of returning to school for my children, I experienced a day of magical peace and communion with nature. It had been a difficult summer for me, not because the kids were home, although that presents its own set of challenges and gifts, last summer was a time of transition for me. I was emerging into the field of energy healing, and was getting ready to finish up my memoir and start sending it out to the world. I was feeling called to release old fears and habits that were no longer serving me. Part of this releasing was letting go of relationships that were no longer in alignment with who I was, and my upper back, neck and shoulders were suffering the struggle to unburdan an old, heavy load.


That day at the end of August, after I sent my children off on the bus, I was able to decompress and live in the moment in a way I had not been able to for a long time. I spent the beautiful sun-filled day with my dogs walking in the woods and sitting outside. Many birds appeared to me, including a hummingbird, flicker, and robin. For a long time I watched these individual birds and took in the lessons they had to offer. Robin sat in a maple tree in my front yard, toward the middle of the afternoon shortly before the kids were due off the bus. I had my camera with me all day, and I captured the bird on the branch, then watched as it released a single feather, which swirled with gravity toward the earth beside where I sat. A gift, it seemed.

Spirit sometimes speaks to us with feathers, offering them to us as a gesture of hope and reassurance that we are a part of a great, universal love that is so vast and infinite we can hardly comprehend it in our human form. I am often reluctant to take feathers from the Earth when I see them, for there is also the belief that one should not take from Earth what one does not need, or belongs to someone else. Sometimes, though, the gifts are so overt one is pulled to accept them. That day, as I gently lifted the fallen feather, feeling the vibration of the robin’s energy still humming inside, I knew I had been given a precious gift. A gift of new birth and beginnings. It’s been quite a journey.