Learning to Fly

I thought it was interesting, after my last post about changing the energy around my home, that other creatures began taking up residence there, too. Mostly birds began to nest in the eaves and the trees around the house. It was as if they, too, felt the change in vibration, and decided it was a good place to raise a family.

A house finch even took over an abandoned nest outside my kitchen window and began sprucing it up with new twigs and bits of fluff. It made me smile, knowing we were both doing a little redecorating. When mama finch began to spend a lot of time in the nest I knew she must have laid a few eggs.

A couple weeks later I heard high-pitched peeps coming from the nest, and saw the mom coming and going with insects and worms in her beak. The babies were too small to see, but I could just make out a beak over the lip of the nest, always open in anticipation of being fed. Then I counted three beaks and began to see little feathered heads reaching upward.

Another week passed and soon the little birds were looking back at me as I watched from the window, cocking their heads this way and that, taking in their new world. They had already grown in their pin feathers. I knew it wouldn’t be long before they flew away.

One day I looked out the window and saw one of the babies perched on the edge of the nest. “Oh my god! This is it!” I thought to myself. “He’s going to make his first flight!” And then, he did.

It happened so quickly. He just dove out of the nest, into a landscape he’d never seen, and soared away over the neighbor’s roof. I still stood in the window, thinking he might come back and do it again. But he didn’t.

I stood for a long time in the window, contemplating what I’d seen. The bird didn’t sit in the nest saying, “I wish I could fly. Yeah, I’ll do that next year, when the kids are grown, when I retire, when I’m rich…” He just did it. He didn’t perch on the edge, worrying about failure. “What if I can’t do it? What if I fall?” He just did it.

Somehow, the little finch just KNEW. He was born knowing how to fly, even though he’d never experienced it. He didn’t have to take lessons. When his time came to spread his wings, he just clicked into that innate knowledge and soared.

What if we were more like the birds? We’re born knowing that we are perfect, whole, and complete, that we can do anything. Yet, somehow we get separated from that truth as we grow. We let worry and doubt and fear take over. We forget that we have wings of imagination, that we can do anything we set our minds to.

Is there a part of you that has forgotten how capable you are? Spend a few minutes in nature, observing how the birds know how to fly. See the trees, steady in their roots. Watch as flowers grow toward the light and blossom. You are a part of all that. Now, FLY!

 

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Is Your Spiritual Practice as Good as Your Dog’s?

In your spiritual practice, can you honestly say that you are 100% present all the time? As you go about your daily life, are you unconditionally loving to everyone you meet? Are you able to forgive easily? These are ideals that most of us strive for in our lives, yet we may only catch glimpses of our goals over the course of a lifetime.

Our pets, on the other hand, seem to have mastered these qualities and practice them without hesitation. Animals can teach us so much about our own true nature, since they have never disconnected from the awareness of themselves as eternal spirits.

Animals are masters of living in the present moment. They don’t worry about tomorrow, nor do they resent what happened yesterday. There is no ego with animals, only being in the now.

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My spiritual teachers, Molly and Gilligan.

I live with two house rabbits, Molly and Gilligan. They are my best friends, my family, and, I’ve come to realize, my spiritual teachers. Molly doesn’t need a glass of wine, I observe, to relax on her rug. Gilligan doesn’t need stimulants to express his joy while running in the yard first thing in the morning. They know who they are and they express themselves without hesitation.

Man is equipped with a mind, which gives him the ability to think, perhaps too much. Many of our abilities and senses, especially the intuition, can be blocked by our thinking. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of our true nature and essence.

Many people who grew up in a situation where they felt unloved find it easier to relate to animals than to other people. They may tend to love their animals more than themselves. It’s easier to be less judgmental of animals than we are of ourselves or others. Yet animals will bring us back to our spirituality and soulfulness ¬≠to help us remember that God loves us just the way we are. In some ways, an animal may be like the parent you never had, letting you know you are worth loving.

I’m reminded of this again and again when Molly and I visit nursing homes for Love on a Leash pet therapy. The reason animals are so effective with people with handicaps, in nursing homes, and with illnesses is because they teach us what we should have known as we were growing up: that we are loved; that we are forgiven; that we are an individualization of God.

Animals help us learn that we are God’s creation. We may do dumb things and act in strange ways but we’ll always be forgiven. In this knowledge we can go on, and keep practicing and rehearsing as we become the person we want to be.

It just goes to show, you can teach an old human new tricks.

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