What two little birds taught me
Updated: Dec 30, 2022
Sometimes you have to slow down to see the way out...
I was up in NJ a few weeks ago visiting my fam. One morning, sipping coffee in my sister’s lovely backyard, we noticed 2 little birds had flown into her screened-in porch. There were two doors wide open, but they were so freaked out, they kept flying right into the screened walls.
The more reactive they got, the more trapped they felt. The more trapped they felt, the more reactive they became.
At first, we tried to help by “guiding” them towards the open doors. But that only flustered them more. We soon realized the best thing we could do was step back, let them calm down, and find their way out. And that’s exactly what they did.
I admit I've been feeling a lot like those birds lately - anxious, flustered, confused, and trapped. The current state of the world alone is enough to send my nervous system into overdrive, and then there are kids (who are off for the summer) to take care of, grocery shopping and house stuff to manage, work, and so on and so forth. When I try to just push through, to move forward from that triggered headspace, I find myself banging my head against the wall over and over again. What's more, I end up polluting the whole well! When I am reactive, I just add to the noise and confusion and overwhelm - much like when I tried to guide the birds out and scared the bejesus out of them instead. If, instead, I carve out just enough space in my day to get grounded, centered, and clear, I have a much higher chance to see the opening before I take flight, and actually find my way out. Some days it looks like a long morning walk with Bella, some days it looks like just 10 min to sip my coffee in silence before waking up the monsters...err, kids. Sometimes it's a short yoga practice, and sometimes it's a phone call with Leanne. I've learned to prioritize whatever it takes to collect my scattered energy and soothe my nervous system so that I can take intentional, soul-centered action. Which is way more powerful, and helpful, than triggered reaction.
I hope this serves as gentle encouragement (and full permission) to take the time you need to digest all that’s been coming at us lately, to be with it and understand it and let yourself just feel for a hot second. To honor the parts of you that need a soft place to land before fighting the next battle - whether it's with your kiddo who refuses to put on his shoes, a controversial meeting at work, or a fundraiser to support a cause that's close to your heart. To take care of the body, the mind, the spirit beneath the armor. And to lean on whatever practices or rituals ground you, nourish you, and empower you to fly, with purpose and intention, when you’re ready.