Over time, it proved impossible for me to differentiate people whom I know from the writing community, from animal-assisted therapies, as students, as clients, as friends and acquaintances. I collected a list of over 3000 contacts on my list, where some people speak only English, some only Czech and some want to know about my events and projects in both Czech and English. I tried segmenting, but then people said – “You didn’t tell me about your art!” or “I didn’t realize you are also a writer.” From this mess came a single bilingual newsletter for everyone, with quick links to articles, blog entries, photo albums, radio and TV interviews and whatever else I worked on lately.
Lynx Library came in the wake of the newsletter idea, as I needed a place to store articles, videos and content I thought was worth sharing. Not just mine, anybody’s. Broadly speaking, Lynx is about culture, nature and personal development. LynxLibrary.com is a website dedicated to people who do exceptional things. It’s curated content with proper links to the actual creators who deserved our praise. Because, again, it would be impractical to make a separate mailing list just for that, I include the latest additions to Lynx Library in the same newsletter.
The word Lynx is not just word-play for the linking format of the newsletter and website. Lynx, as a symbolic animal, first appeared during a meditation practice. In this vision, it led me down into a cave to an underground river and showed me a sacred burial site. Although without words, it felt as a privilege, a permission of sorts. It was made clear to me that these were the bones of ancestors and that I was now considered a part of that lineage, somehow accepted into the lineage of ancient shamans who occupied that cave.
Lynx returned into my dreams and meditative states couple more times, always notable impatient with my hesitations and far from friendly. It would nervously pace and growl whenever I got insecure, as if saying “You know damned well you can do this, c’mon, don’t waste my time, I’ve got other things to do.” I had an uncomfortable feeling of the animal knowing my every thought and feeling and seeing right through me with his amber eyes.
In my second encounter we ran across a snowy field, then under snow-burdened branches of an old fir tree, back down to the cave. This time he challenged me to cross the river and, eventually, I ended up on the other side, receiving a large beautiful crystal that focused light into a single beam. Again, without words, I had a clear sense that the crystal represented knowledge and that I was supposed to bring back to the surface. It was a humbling large gift and I felt that I was going to merely be a carrier and guardian of it, rather than a boastful owner. It was given to me, but meant for others.
I looked up the shamanic meaning of a lucid dream that introduces lynx as a power animal and it was laughably accurate. “If a Lynx is at your door, listen. A Brother or Sister Lynx can teach you about your personal power and things you have forgotten about yourself. The Lynx can lead you to lost treasures and connect you to forgotten brotherhoods or sisterhoods,” said one website. Another suggested that Lynx is “an oracle, having the gift of knowing and speaking the thoughts of others…. one with the energies of winter and snow… likes to romp and play in it… knows the power of silence, power of words and uses words as healing potion.”
Other sources lead to the symbolism of the Norse Godess Freya, who had “a chariot pulled by two lynx cats” – a theme that already found its way into my fiction, for completely non-spiritual reasons. And, to top it all, about a year later, I was helping my friend artist Marie Brožová tend her gallery and picked up one of her books, where I found a story about Lynx as a power animal. In the story named Amber the Architect (The Medicine of Ancestors), the lynx leads the main female character (a journalist, a master of words) across a snowy field into a cave, to a river with a waterfall to reveal knowledge about her forgotten ancestors. The Nordic looking woman depicted in the illustration looks awful lot like me when I was younger.
When I pointed this out to Marie, she just smiled – clearly, we both know the same lynx somehow. She gave me another picture with the same lynx, wearing a key around its neck. She drew it a long time ago and it’s named North Shrine – the shrine being secret world with animals gathered under the branches of an ancient fir tree, covered in snow.
The Lynx Power
The general notion seems to be, that “Lynx People” see straight through others, but seldom reveal what’s inside themselves. Having experienced the animal’s frightening sharp-sight in the dream states, I knew exactly what being “seen through” feels like. I also realized that I carry this quality – for better or worse – within me. It is precisely the quality I use in coaching, writing or organizing, where I have a tendency to point out the truth and get to the core, sometimes quite without tact or with some growling, always impatiently. Yet I see it as the only possible pivotal point. It’s a laser sharpness that cuts but also heals.
It took much time to understand and learn to properly use (and dosage) this power. Getting to the core of things and speaking what I know is true is not always popular, but for me, it’s the only way I can be myself. Several people who were once unhappy with hearing the truth came back to me and said “You know, back then I was kidding myself, you were right. But you were the only person willing to say it, everyone else was comfortable with me living a lie. It hurt so much not just because it was true, but because I realized just how complacent everyone around me was.”
When I got several such pieces of feedback in a row, I realized that this is indeed my gift and became more willing to let that laser beam do its work, even if it’s not pleasant or popular. I became a willing messenger of bad news, but always try to deliver them with humor, tapping into that sense of playing in the snow. I also learned to ask whether people want “the truth or something beautiful” as Paloma Faith aptly put it in one of her songs.
This perhaps accounts for those 20 years or so of my not keeping in touch, just quietly working on my stuff, until the time came to “connect myself to the forgotten brotherhoods and sisterhoods.” Above all, Lynx – the newsletter is about creating and supporting my community. On occasion, I might even reveal a secret or two.