I don’t know what to write this week. Thinking about last week’s post, have I made any break throughs? Did I work on my goals for the new year? How can a week go by so quickly?
That’s what I started with as I stared at the bare white canvas of computer screen in front of me. The days had passed like a vapor and I was trying to remember the details of each.
I did recall my Monday evening Zoom session with my therapist. I was filled with questions about how to interpret online dating behaviors. While I’ve gone to my girlfriends for their opinions, each one has told me something different–and basically they’re just conjectures. But when you’re paying an expert on relationships, a professional therapist who has years of experience working with couples–you hope you’ll get your money’s worth. Without being specific, I’ll say that talking with him was very helpful and challenged my faulty assumptions. That one hour session saved me many hours of trying to come up with answers that may have been off the mark. Each therapy session’s a building block; while no one session may lead to huge changes, a single conversation can make a difference–something small can ultimately yield big results.
My plans to eat a healthier diet and get regular exercise made a step forward. I wasn’t as consistent as I’d hoped–but did make better choices more often. I was intentional with finding ways to exercise rather than talking myself out of it when the weather was bad. Instead of saying, “I can’t go for my morning walk because it’s raining,” I substituted exercises and dancing in the comfort of my apartment. I have to find a way to focus on what I can do instead of what I can’t.
Last week, I read more of a book I mentioned– The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert. I recognized some of myself in the Perfectionism of Ones. I’ve known this about myself, but reading this now, from a new perspective helps me to move further in letting it go. I guess it’s okay to not be completely consistent in my eating and exercising; my efforts had been enough.
Taking an online Enneagram test, I found two other areas where I scored high: numbers Seven and Nine— both having to do with Avoidance. Addressing these behaviors in my life takes time but even in the vapor of a week, that was possible. In the midst of daily life there were situations where I had an “Ah-ha,” an essential moment that led to more awareness, and eventually will lead to more clarity.
Yesterday, like last Saturday, I waited until mid-afternoon to do my jog– but this time there was more energy and less resistance. During the first half of my run when I passed the pond, there were geese swimming on the far side and no sign of the heron. I kept going down my path and didn’t stop to observe the geese.
But by my final segment of the course, the heron had arrived on the bank. It was as if he was checking in with me to see how the week had been.
I remember what I’d written in the last post about the appearance of the Big Blue Heron: “His body appears like a question mark. In the silence of that scene, it’s as if the bird has been sent to ask, “What are you going to do for yourself this year?” I’d noted his fine coloring– grayish-blue overall with pale belly, dark streaking on the neck, and brownish feathers mixed throughout.
When I saw the Big Blue Heron fly away last week, it reminded me of a Native American in full costume doing a bird dance. Native Americans have lived close to the land and to nature from the very beginning and have much to teach us about appreciating creation. When I looked up blue herons on line, what caught my attention was the symbolism of the heron. From the findanyanswer.com site, this was a question submitted by a reader:
What does seeing a blue heron symbolize?
According to North American Native tradition, the Blue Heron brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance. They represent an ability to progress and evolve. Blue Herons have the innate wisdom of being able to manuever through life and co-create their own circumstances. (Copyright 2020 FindAnyAnswer All rights reserved)
That’s interesting, I thought and remembered years ago when I bought a Big Blue Heron to go on my house.
We’d built a home near Jordan Lake and often saw herons when we crossed the bridge. Our home had a cupola, a dome-like structure that sat on the roof ridge of the garage, and we needed something decorative to add a finishing touch. I found a lovely heron that seemed perfect for our setting.
We lived in that house for almost twenty years and the bird was ever-present. Now, I live in the city and the heron showing up at the little overflow pond reminds me of the connection to my past. I think of how my life has progressed and evolved since my days in my country home near the lake.
I’ll consider the heron showing up as a gift, a symbol for me to carry into 2021. It makes me feel strong and confident to draw on my innate wisdom, that which God has planted within, as I move further down this path of my new life.
Now, I’ve filled most of the white canvas of the computer screen with this update on my journey over the last week. I wonder about your journey. Did you find areas of your life that you are exploring–retooling for this time? Were there gifts in your path that helped you along your way?
Blessings to you today and in the week ahead as you keep your eyes open for the gifts in your path, provisions that help you progress and evolve toward the person you’re meant to be.