Parents often ask me if having a Power Animal could help a child with sleep disturbances. From my experiences, the answer is yes!
Children from ages 3to 13 or older are plagued with worries and concerns resulting from divorced parents, school problems or bullying, worldwide events, and general feelings of impending perils. Gone are the days when our children were sheltered from things like the killing of Osama Bin Landin, the BP Oil Spill, the Japanese earthquake, Katrina the hurricane, etc. Their minds and spirits are not developed enough to absorb the enormity of these items of global concern, yet they are exposed to these realities at school (current events), at home in discussions or on the TV news, on the computer and through their peers. It is no wonder they are sometimes sleepless.
How can a Power Animal help? From the shamanic perspective, our Power Animals, (guardian spirits who are animals) bring us power! They are guardians of our spirit/mind/body. In the past 75 years or more we've heard or observed numerous stories of children having 'imaginary friends'. As we study the ways of our ancestors, we come to realize that their children often saw spirits with whom they had deep relationships. For instance in the highly-acclaimed book, Of Water and The Spirit,Malidome Some, the author, speaks of his life as a small child in his village of Berkina Faso and his ways of communicating with, and amusing himself, with relationships with the 'little people'.
Our children in modern days do the same thing; they pretend their dolls and trucks and stuffed animals have a real life. This is their way of accessing what they know is true; that life exists outside of what we can actually see with our human eyes.
When we connect a child, through a simple and effective shamanic ceremony, with his or her Power Animal, most children are filled with such joy it is an honor to witness the event. Once a child knows for certain that they have a guardian, a special animal, who is watching over them, they most often move right into giving their guardian a name, make a space for them in their room, and with some coaching they come to know how to call on the power of that special spirit friend to help them sleep. The child is no longer alone. They recognize that they can access power to care for themselves, comfort themselves and empower themselves through the relationship with this very special (and real) spirit helper.
Check in herein a few days for some great stories about children and their Power Animals!