I’m going to begin with a centipede.

I opened my eyes at 7 a.m. the other day and the little bugger was splayed in all its glory on the wall next to my bed. I sat up quickly and went to the kitchen for the can of Raid, all the while hoping it wouldn’t move from its spot. It was still there when I returned, so I began to spray. Immediately it fell to the floor between the wall and the bed. Oh no. It was nowhere to be found.

Let’s backtrack for a moment. I am petrified of anything that crawls. The fear is irrational. I know it. People who love me know it. So, of course, what else could I, the fearful one, do? I’d have to take the bed apart until I found it, dead or alive. Otherwise, could I sleep peacefully in the bed? No way. Funny thing is, I started to move the bed from the wall and I stopped. Suddenly, I thought, no more! Get a hold of yourself. What is that little bug going to do to you, Nancy? Truly, what is the worst thing that can happen?

In my written meditation a short time later, it all started to make sense. I had been blocked on several things in my life, blocks that revolved around debilitating fear. As I wrote, insights came pouring out. It blew my mind, really. The centipede had spurred me into action in a matter of hours. This blog is one result.

Later that day, a trusted friend noted the centipede is symbolic. So I looked it up and found some centipede “wisdom” on a website about the shamanism of animal spirits. It listed four things — balance, coordination, ability to survive stress, beauty of movement.

Now that’s my kind of bug.