Cynthia Sharper Snodgrass
I recently purchased a lovely scarab necklace from the Art Supply Depo, here in Toledo. This bronzed, humble yet powerful creation (made by local jeweler, Jaci, of Crave Jewelry Design) is about 2 inches wide and has become a treasured and unexpectedly provocative statement piece.
One day, in sheer disgust, an office passerby asked about the insect … wait, no, the "bug" on my neck. Her response was certainly entertaining – as she has a serious (and loud) aversion to insects, dead or alive (or in my case, dangling). Just a few weeks prior, a different colleague had asked if my pendant was a roach … I’m still pondering how I feel about that. Haha.
Nonetheless, the former comment provided an opportunity to shed light on the dung beetle aka the scarab – and why it is has professional and personal significance.
A dung beetle is born, living in and rolling atop balls of bull-corn. Let’s not mince words. We know that dung, while a natural by-product of life, can also be used to fertilize soil due to its nutrient-rich content. In it lay the seeds of creation. Literally! But still – its bull corn, and it smells.
Yet the beetle calls it home, day-in and day-out. Until one day, it discovers it had wings all along – and flies away. In this moment, the dung beetle has transformed into the revered scarab, Khepri, a symbol of transformation and new beginnings.
In sharing this story with my bug-fearing colleague, I saw a light switch-on in her eyes. Blessed to be a part of that moment, I think we can all relate to the story. The beetle has divine potential, by design, as we all do.
Oh, but the dung of life is divine as well (dramatic eye-roll): life experiences, relationships, work environments, workflow processes and company culture can become outdated, even dismantling though indeed ripe with lessons for fertile, innovative solutions.
We often roll the dung of the “safe” and predictable [unwittingly] out of fear of change, co-dependence, or dozens of other financial and ego-based factors. As perpetual, neighbor-watching consumers, most are driven to earn more to consume more … to maintain a level of consumption (or “comfort”). Perhaps it’s all we know. Perhaps it to provide, survive and get along. We all know this cycle.
I’ve seen fear of change and co-dependency temporarily shade the brightest star and most talented teams. Fear and co-dependency (i.e., micro-management aka the fear of relinquishingcontrol, etc.) are powerfully sticky and dense obstacles that hijack progress and aren’t so easy to roll-up and fly away from. Or are they?
I'm thinking that these perceived obstacles can help power an awakening that hoists your wings toward personal and emotional transformation. If each person would take this step, imagine the change that can occur in our interpersonal exchanges. This internal leap of faith cannot help but to filter into your work space. If it doesn't, then maybe it's time you changed that space, as well.
Leaps lead to positive impact. Your personal and professional impact is your legacy, not just your duty or LinkedIn bedazzle. It should be the 24 carat gold on and in-between the lines of your personal and spiritual resumes. Your impact, though not always pleasant for others - as you stretch and help them grow as well - can be the electrical impulse that ignites your awareness of your true wings. Not the ones you think you are supposed to have. Be clear on the grit required to polish and clarify your values and "do you" - in the words of Russell Simmons.
The bible scripture of Job 12:7 says to "ask the animals and they will teach you ..." - the great thing about ancient wisdom is that it never gets old. Ha! So don't categorize it, let it infiltrate every waking aspect of your life - especially your workplace. I sincerely hope the scarab alters your level of awareness today in a transformative way. Take leaps, trust your divine flight capabilities and Power On.