I just had a bizarre experience. I was eating lunch in my little backyard minding my own business. I heard a strange noise coming from over by my planter and saw the strangest thing- a little sparrow bird was splashing around in the bird bath, really for a good long time. I was taken aback- I had never seen a bird in the bath before. My kids gave me these cute little gnome bird baths last year for my birthday. We (when I say "we" I mean "I") have dutifully keep them filled with water and cleaned out when they became mucky. So why then am I so surprised to see a bird in it, using it for what it was meant to be used for? Basically, because I never really considered a bird would find it and want to use it. Again, I never saw one in it before, and today, on a kind of cool day, there one was, happily splashing away. You might be wondering two things - how many other times have birds been partying in the red gnomie tub when I wasn't looking, and why am I writing about this?
This encounter reminded me about spiritual practice (you knew that was coming, right?). We may do some meditation, or yoga, or mantra, because we think we should or because someone gave us a gift certificate, or we have nothing else to do... and then suddenly something happens in life and we realise we are actually using the gifts we have been given by our practice. We may practice yoga without thinking we are ever going to "need" it. We may practice stress relieving techniques (meditaiton, TRE, mindfulness etc) without thinking about how stressful things can stop us in our tracks and affect our health. But then we remember to breathe deeply like we learned in yoga class. Or we remember to shift our awareness to sensations in our body like we practice in meditation. We don't always notice the bird in the bath, but it's in there, fluttering around happy as can be even if you aren't looking, and so are all the things you have practiced in classes.
Isn't it great that our practice has given us back something, maybe something unexpected? Maybe you have been practicing all along looking for results, for example a way to age with ease and mobility, and then you might realize that you got something else too, like remembering to breathe when stressed. My kids gave me the bird baths with the gnomes on it because I was saying (they may say complaining, but I think that is too strong a word) that when the gnomie village disbanded on the tow path a few years ago (if you missed it, I am sorry! I was quite a site!!) many gnomes found homes in front of local businesses, like the bank, a few stores in town, but not in front of the yoga studio (we hadn't yet moved to 23 Race Street) so they got the bird baths really for the gnomes, not to lure more birds to the backyard. I love birds in my backyard, and now I realize that I have gnomes and birds.
Coming in June we have a lot of opportunities to practice things that will serve us in ways we may not expect. I hope you will consider using the lazy days of summer (and close-to-summer) to get yourself a birdbath- metaphorically speaking.
To help you along, please use this code to purchase any of the workshops below at a 15% discount. (Not valid on the presentation by Nitin on the 29th. that is by donation only.)
coupon code is good for workshops only and expires 6/1
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