Life Happiness Lessons: What I Learned From a Duck

by Lance Ekum on · 66 comments

This arti­cle is from Evita Ochel, writer at the Evolv­ing Beings web­site.  Evita writes very deeply from a place of mean­ing and pur­pose.  Today she shares her words and insights here.

Life Hap­pi­ness Lessons: What I Learned From a Duck

“The pur­pose of learn­ing is growth, and our minds, unlike our bod­ies, can con­tinue grow­ing as we con­tinue to live.” ~ Mor­timer Adler

Liv­ing on a water­front, in a more nat­ural envi­ron­ment, I have the plea­sure to observe and inter­act with nature in many ways. Whether it is the sun, the wind, the water or any of nature’s immac­u­late liv­ing species — Nature is an amaz­ing teacher. If we allow our­selves to fully see, hear and expe­ri­ence what she presents, we open our­selves up to a wise and infi­nite teacher.

In doing so, we open our­selves up to learn­ing about our­selves, our envi­ron­ment and all that is in it. We invite into our­selves learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties that can nour­ish our being and soul, and move us for­ward along the path of our per­sonal growth and evolution. 

One of my most recent teach­ers has been a lit­tle vis­i­tor to our prop­erty, whom in allow­ing myself to observe, I learned more from, than per­haps any book or guru. I named our lit­tle vis­i­tor Ethel — and Ethel is a duck. I warmly share with you here today, in Lance’s won­der­ful space, four things that I learned from Ethel for liv­ing out a happy life.

1. Enjoy the Full­ness of Each Moment
It only takes a few min­utes of watch­ing Ethel, to tap into a com­pletely dif­fer­ent space and time. A space in fact, where time does not exist — where there is sim­ply — now — this moment.

Ethel knows how to enjoy her being, her life and her envi­ron­ment. She is never in a rush to do the “next” thing. She is fully immersed in being. She fully takes in each moment.  With Ethel, there is no multi-tasking. When she is swim­ming, she is in the moment of swim­ming. When she is groom­ing, she is fully focused on groom­ing. The same goes for her rest and feeding.  

May you always remem­ber, to enjoy the full­ness of each moment of your life. Each moment is pre­cious and holds a gift for us, in what it can allow us to be, feel and experience.

2. Be Open To Receiv­ing
On a few occa­sions, I allowed myself to offer Ethel some food. It was a per­sonal expe­ri­ence that I felt was right for me, and allowed me to inter­act and con­nect with Ethel on a dif­fer­ent dimen­sion. Each time, Ethel received passionately.

How many times are you open to receiv­ing, when another being is offer­ing you their help, kind­ness, hos­pi­tal­ity or any other pos­i­tive ges­ture? How open is your heart to wel­come in their per­sonal expres­sion of love?

May you always remem­ber that ‘in giv­ing, you receive’ — and ‘in receiv­ing, you give’. It is only when we allow for this bal­ance within our hearts, that we allow our­selves and oth­ers around us the fullest expres­sion of love.

3. Have a Per­sonal Enough

In those few times that I fed Ethel, one of the most remark­able things was watch­ing Ethel know when she had enough. Ethel may not know when or where her next meal will come from, but she knows that fill­ing up too much at one time, is not going to help her.

Do you have your own “enough”?  Whether it is hav­ing “enough” food, or drink or of an activ­ity, a healthy bal­ance is one of the surest way for a happy life. In our soci­ety, we are not always so good at our per­sonal bound­aries of “enough”. We overindulge in var­i­ous things.

Whether it be some­thing phys­i­cal, emo­tional or spir­i­tual, may you find that sacred space within of know­ing when you have had “enough” — as over­fill­ing on any­thing leads us out of bal­ance, and away from liv­ing out the hap­pi­est life ever.

4. Know When To Move On
As of a few days ago, I stopped see­ing Ethel, but I caught glimpse above head of the ducks fly­ing off in groups. Ethel knew that it would not serve her to stay here forever. 

Although a long flight to a warmer cli­mate is going to take time and effort, and the jour­ney holds a lot of unknowns, Ethel knew that ulti­mately this would be for her high­est good. She knew when her present envi­ron­ment no longer served her, and when it was time to move on.

In the same way, we can look at our own per­sonal rela­tion­ships and places where we reside. Are we open to change and know­ing when it is time to move on?  Are we will­ing to embrace a bit of the unknown, to ben­e­fit our high­est good?

Whether it is a rela­tion­ship with some­one, a work­place, a neigh­bor­hood or a per­sonal ven­ture, may you always know when it is time to move on for your high­est good. Trust that in let­ting go and mov­ing on, you too, will find ‘bet­ter cli­mates’.

“Those who con­tem­plate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” ~ Rachel Carson

You can keep up with Evita by sub­scrib­ing to her blog, and fol­low­ing her on Twit­ter.

Lance writes sto­ries from his heart, aim­ing to inspire and moti­vate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he’s not here, you can find him hang­ing out with his fam­ily, rid­ing a bike, or just gen­er­ally act­ing goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Tree­house newslet­ter and get addi­tional inspi­ra­tion in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
View all posts by Lance Ekum

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Farnoosh September 27, 2010 at 8:17 am

A beautifully and sincerely written post, Evita! I so enjoyed reading this all the way from Bali….of all that I saw on my RSS feed, this spoke to me the most in my little time online. Thank you for sharing your lessons with Ethel. I think when you name an animal or a state of being or an event, it makes you so much more aware to be in tune with it too…..And great photos, I think these were taken by you? :)
Farnoosh´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Case for Micro Vacations- Quick Travels to Far DestinationsMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 8:25 am

Hi Farnoosh,

Wow, all the way from Bali! Now you have yourself some nice climates over there :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this from me, your comment and feedback. And yes, the photos are of Ethel, taken by me.
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


rob white September 27, 2010 at 8:28 am

Yes, Evita. Observing nature can teach us so much about ourselves. I am often in awe of the infinite intelligence of the squirrels, ducks, swans and chipmunks that frequent my daily walks… I call it the “tao of the chipmunk.” Animals are naturally wide awake for every opportunity… because they trust in themselves they know they deserve the prosperity of natures bounty. You summed up the lesson beautifully.


Evita September 27, 2010 at 8:59 am

Hi Rob,

Rob, did you mention chipmunks…. ;) Oh, while I love all the creatures of the forests, and waters and skies, because I have an abundant supply of chipmunks where we live, and at that very, very friendly ones, they simply melt my heart in such profound ways. Maybe next post, what I learned from a chipmunk ;)

But in all seriousness, I completely agree, all the animals are amazing teachers, and they are radiantly awake indeed! Thank you for your comment and to many more beautiful nature walks!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Leah McClellan September 27, 2010 at 9:06 am

Hi Evita,

I enjoyed reading this–I know exactly what you mean. This is one of the lessons I’ve learned from animals too: I knew a lot of ducks as a kid! But as an adult, I have dogs and cats who constantly show me the joys of being in the moment….then again, my cat woke me up way too early in anticipation of the next moment–feeding him! lol But when he’s had enough, he stops eating and does what cats do best–enjoy the moment.

Nice way to start my Monday and my week :)
Leah McClellan´s Last Fabulous Post ..Anger Management- It’s Not Just For BulliesMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 9:34 am

Hi Leah,

That is a great story about your cat. We babysat a cat one weekend, and indeed, when it is feeding time, they let you know, no matter how early. But that ‘next moment’ for them, if we think about it, has been conditioned by us. They depend on us, so they let us know when they need something from us. When they are in nature, they are on their own “schedules” :)

Wishing you a beautiful day!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Leah McClellan September 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Hmmm my cat Nikki smiled and said that actually, the cats have conditioned us and, either way, they’re always in the moment :)

Beautiful day for you as well!
Leah McClellan´s Last Fabulous Post ..Anger Management- It’s Not Just For BulliesMy Profile


Emergefit September 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

Beautiful. I am reminded of James Prosek’s writings, paintings, of how he writes of “finding God through the theater of nature.”

Thank you Lance, and thank you Evita!


Evita September 27, 2010 at 9:32 am

Hi Emergefit,

Thank you for sharing in this with us!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Stacey Shipman September 27, 2010 at 9:13 am

Hi Evita,
Your new home is so divine, truly. I am a believer in lessons, and that they come in different forms, including ducks. What you touch on is the simplicity I think so many are searching for. It is available to us if we just pause, enjoy our surroundings, and stop worrying so much about the future. :-)

My husband and I spent the weekend doing a “house cleanout”. We had a tons of bags/boxes that we dropped off at a local Goodwill location. It felt good to do the clean out, and felt even better knowing someone else could benefit from our belongings. We talked about that simplicity, and the need to “have more” vs want more and how, in our own way we buy in to it. It’s not easy.

you are making me a tad jealous with your water pictures, that is the one element missing from our home…a water source. :-)


Evita September 27, 2010 at 9:31 am

Hi Stacey,

Thank you Stacey… and just think being close to the coast, you guys can visit the many amazing places and beaches along the east coast and have the beauty and power of the ocean… almost at your door step :)

And awesome job on the cleaning house. It feels so, so, good to live simpler, with less “stuff” – there is honestly so much more clarity in a person’s life, and the deep richness of life that comes to us, is always from within, never from external things, so I imagine this change will benefit you both even more!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


J.D. Meier September 27, 2010 at 9:50 am

I remember the first time somebody told me, “Be like a duck and let it roll off your back.” It stuck with me. It’s like “roll with the punches,” but duck style.
J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..When To Use Task-Oriented vs Relationship-Oriented Leadership StylesMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 11:24 am

Hi J.D.

That is awesome :)
I remember reading in Tolle’s book too about watching ducks after a fight simply ruffle their feathers and continue on as if nothing happened. If we could only let go of things that easily too ;)
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


The Exception September 27, 2010 at 10:01 am

This was delightful Evita! There is so much we can learn form nature and from those around us if we quiet our mind and notice. Animals are just what they are – they fully live, stay true to themselves, and listen to their intuition/instincts. They are wonderful teachers.

Loved this post and Thank you Lance and Evita for sharing it.
The Exception´s Last Fabulous Post ..Incomprehensible WhyMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 11:26 am

Hi The Exception

So good to have you share in this and enjoy it too! Thank you for your feedback!
They truly are all that and it feels so good to be in their presence.
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Erin S. September 27, 2010 at 11:45 am

Lovely. Let me be like Ethel today.


Evita September 27, 2010 at 11:55 am
Shannon September 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Very powerful post. The strongest thing you wrote to me is…
Whether it be something physical, emotional or spiritual, may you find that sacred space within of knowing when you have had “enough” – as overfilling on anything leads us out of balance, and away from living out the happiest life ever.
Something I am going to really think about in my life. Thank you for sharing such wise beautiful words today!


Evita September 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Hi Shannon,

It is truly a gift to hear that my words have resonated with you in such a deep and meaningful way.
Thank you for sharing this with me, I so warmly appreciate it.
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Joy September 27, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Hi Evita,
I *love* these lessons…and Ethel too..
My children truly believe their pets are the ducks that swim up to the back of the boat to be fed, the harbor seal that plays in our finger behind the boat, the various birds that walk up and down the dock..what a rich life indeed:)
I celebrate the lessons you share with us here, and the energy in your words! Nature is my greatest Love, my teacher, my guide, my friend, my source of so much…when I open my heart to that Love..abundant magic is placed in my life…and life is as grand, effortless, joy filled, wonder filled as I allow it to be..
Joy´s Last Fabulous Post ..Fearless Fun Friday- Say Hey I Love YouMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Hi Joy,

Your kids are so very blessed, in so many ways and for so many reasons. One obvious is the animals they have in their life and the second is having you as a mom.

Nature is amazing truly, and so is every single one of her creations! I celebrate with you and I allow that same stillness, magic and abundant love to fill me as well. Thanks so much for sharing here today Joy!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Stacey September 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm


I just love this article! It is truely amazing what we can learn by watching nature around us. Other animals have so much to teach us humans, we seem to have seperated ourselves from some of the most basic truths. I love that you shared with us what you learned from your lovely little friend Ethel. What a sweetie she is! I bet you she will be back early next spring to happily visit you once again! You and Ethel have a most beautiful lake to live upon, keep enjoying each moment of its beauty!

I will take Ethels lessons with me today! There is nothing like an animal to teach us to simply Be in the moment! Thank you Evita and Ethel for the beautiful teachings!
Stacey´s Last Fabulous Post ..Moccasins!My Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Hi Stacey,

Awesome to share with you in Ethel’s lessons and have you resonate with them too.

I definitely hope to see Ethel, along with all of her children back next spring, that will be fun! Oh and yes, we are so blessed to have this beautiful body of water that we live on and all these beautiful ducks and other wildlife in the waters and on the land, and in the air.

Thank you Stacey for your comment!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Lynn September 27, 2010 at 3:08 pm

A good lesson that you have shared today, Evita. Change is certainly difficult and I always resist it, but I do it. “Know when to move on” – indeed!
Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Moon again- fashion statement and taco tweetMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Hi Lynn,

Lovely to see you here take part in this little sharing about Ethel. Change indeed is not always easy, but one way or another, I feel the Universe helps us move through what we need for inner growth and expansion. All the best to you along your paths!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Travis September 27, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Points #2 and #3 stick out most to me here. #2 being an operative principle that almost all of us can allow more of into our lives, and #3 being something which our culture has a tremendously difficult time adopting (myself included).

Nature really is the best teacher, isn’t it? It seems to me that all the most important lessons humankind has ever learned, it has learned from observing the natural world.

Beautiful post. Great lessons, great pictures.


Evita September 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Hi Travis

Yes, she is :)

And I too see in in our culture, that so many of us for some reason just can’t seem to walk away when we are “full” we need to take things to an excess. Is it perhaps because we are missing or craving something on a deeper level and feel that whatever we are trying to fill up on will take its place? I don’t know, but that is a thought I have about it.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, I enjoyed them greatly!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Sandra Lee September 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Evita, This is such a heart-stirring post with special lessons. The first lesson on simply being has been on my mind of late too. It’s such an important capacity to reawaken for our own sanity and the health of our environment. I too notice how animals don’t over eat and appreciate your point on how over-indulgence has the potential to extend to many different arenas. The last lesson on letting go is profound. This all makes me want to have the intelligence of a duck!

And, fantastic title too!
Sandra Lee´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday reflection- like a flash of ligtening in the skyMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Hi Sandra

Your comment brought a huge smile to my face :) Thank you.

We learn most from those perhaps, from who we least expect to. The ducks are amazing, and so are all parts of nature. They have so many beautiful gifts and lessons for us. I truly marvel at them all, and the perfection that binds them to us.

Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Eliza September 27, 2010 at 7:36 pm

This is one of the reasons why I love owning cats. They just simply are … well, cats. And based on my cats I would add one more item to your great list: know when to play. Okay, two things. Know when to sleep … after all, they are cats :-)
Eliza´s Last Fabulous Post ..What are you waiting forMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Hi Eliza

Oh wonderful additions! I love the idea of play and definitely agree that it is a necessary part of life, as is sleep ;)

Thank you for stopping by!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Jacqueline Johns - Your Happy Life Mentor September 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Beautiful post!

I especially like the point about ‘enough’. With the ‘more, more, more’ mentality that pervades our society, I hope many people read and digest your post. It is amazing to ponder just for a moment how our planet would change if we just decided ‘enough’ is enough.

Live Life Happy!
Jacqueline Johns – Your Happy Life Mentor´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Quotes – Inspirational Quotes for a Happy LifeMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Hi Jacqueline,

The topic of “enough” is very dear to my heart as I see the race towards more and I see the suffering along the way that is caused in so many. There is so much pleasure actually in having less, so many benefits, so much more clarity and so much more focusing on what really matters.

Thank you for your wonderful feedback, it is so much appreciated.
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Clearly Composed September 27, 2010 at 8:46 pm

I love the lessons from Ethel. Oddly enough I have been working on a duck post too! *lol* I think though I need to go pay attention to the squirrels out back in case I can pick up some woodsy wisdom this evening. :)

Thanks, Lance for sharing such a delightful post with us. :)
Clearly Composed´s Last Fabulous Post .. The Gifts of AnxietyMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Hi Clearly Composed

Wonderful to hear and I have no doubt that some of those squirrels have a few great lessons up their sleeves… make that fur :)

Thank you for stopping by and sharing in the discussion!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Caity September 27, 2010 at 9:03 pm

What a great post. I needed to hear something like this today. Isn’t it amazing what you can learn from nature if you only listen?
Caity´s Last Fabulous Post ..New Zealand!My Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Hi Caity

All things come to us at just the right moments. So I am happy to hear this was a timely piece for you to read.
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


~ bern ~ September 27, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Hi Evita,

I loved how you opened your heart to Ethel and were therefore able to see or to feel emphatically that which is timeless.

What struck me most was when you said “May you always remember that ‘in giving, you receive’ – and ‘in receiving, you give’.” I got excited to hear someone actually say that. It’s invigorating that you can actually feel it and sense it and embody it. It is a miracle to know from a centered heart that we are everything that we reflect upon. When we teach, we are also the student, just as the student teaches the teacher. Its a blending of two energies, and is in essence a Home Coming.

When we embrace and sense fully the opposites, we fuse as One with the object of our attention. This is when we truly realize we are One. We are all the same but are wearing different costumes.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that you are a duck and can blend your own essence with the duck essence, bringing you into a new space of experience.

When the lesson is learned and the message is received, I feel it is time to move on to the next translation. When the world speaks to us and we get its meaning and message, it is time to listen for the next calling. Nothing is missed then, because we take the essence of the experience with us for Always.
~ bern ~´s Last Fabulous Post ..Harlequin Duck Reflecting Upon Open Skies Without LimitsMy Profile


Evita September 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Hi Bern

Thank you for your kind feedback and meaningful insights!

I really take those lines about giving and receiving to heart these days, as it was a couple of years back when something really got my attention in understanding how we give, when we actually receive from someone and vice-versa. It is a merging, a home coming of sorts and merges the world of duality down even further into the oneness of all being.

Blending with nature and all of its creatures is just blissful and so much fun too for all the senses!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


BLOOMING PARIS/Jenn September 28, 2010 at 1:09 am

Hi Evita, and Lance!
This was a wonderful post! I really enjoyed the clarity and thought put in.
I had a bit of an aha when I read this line..

Have a Personal Enough — I think that can be taken a few different ways … as in setting your personal best rather than setting a bar too high… and also to choose to balance rather than overindulge on something that can actually hurt our growth potential.

I also love this quote: (never heard of it before).. thanks so much!
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” ~ Rachel Carson

hugs and blessings to both of you,
BLOOMING PARIS/Jenn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Wish I were a little girl- Name Your Lead RoleMy Profile


Evita September 28, 2010 at 7:09 am

Hi Jenn,

Thank you so much for your kind and very meaningful feedback! I love Rachel Carson’s work and thought this quote to be quite fitting, so I am glad you enjoyed it too :)

And yes, I think personal enough’s are important in many areas, and you pointed out some great points about that too.
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Jannie Funster September 28, 2010 at 9:47 am

I read this twice, loved it so much, Evita!!

Could there be a more wonderful gift to yourself than knowing what is enough and when to move on, the latter being the key to so much happiness. Doors close softly to let others open to those better environments. And so much wonder and opportunity waiting everywhere.

Beautiful post by a beautiful soul on another beautiful soul’s awesome blog! Thank you.

I wish beauty and happiness for you all today.

Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..Funstering Friends- 2My Profile


Evita September 28, 2010 at 11:03 am

Hi Jannie,

You are making me blush – thanks Jannie!
We can stay in situations that don’t serve us and suffer, or we can take the plunge with courage and move on, before we overstay our welcome. It applies to all from work to relationships…. we just need the intuitive discernment also to know when that time comes. If we listen to our heart and soul, it always has the right answer for us.

Much happiness and love to you!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


arina nikitina September 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

What brilliance! It takes a really intelligent, artful observer to appreciate the duck’s dispositions. But more awesome, it takes a spiritually-rich person to equate the scene to that pursuit of bliss. While others would just see the fowl and the visual setting, it’s amazing that Evita Ochel sees – and connects – beyond that. This is truly wonderful, insightful and helpful. How all four ideas are explained with simplicity is refreshing as well. Makes me think: the next time I am to wrapped up in chasing success and lose grip of life’s sources of happiness, I should think about the duck!


Evita September 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Hi Arina

Wow, I am so touched by the comment you left. I literally have tears in my eyes. Thank you so much for what you expressed here. It is incredible to me, how this one little duck can literally change lives. Makes one think, how much is in our environment that we miss daily, but has the potential to transform us and others to make this a better world for all.

Wishing you abundant happiness always!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Becoming Extraordinary- Interview with Happy Lotus Lifestyles Founder Nadia Ballas-RutaMy Profile


Little Lessons Under the Big Sky September 28, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I absolutely love this post, Evita. Thank you! Living in the great state of Montana, this really resonates with me. We live up against a mountainside, and frequently have many animals that come around. Your lessons are just right on, and such a great analogy of the way we all should live….fully present, open, and intuitive.

Now what do you think you would say if Ethel was a bear? We seem to be prone to attracting them lately. Better go clean up the apple tree. I can learn a lot of lessons from a tree too:)

It was a pleasure to read this post…….
Best to you!
Little Lessons Under the Big Sky´s Last Fabulous Post ..Towny…My Profile


Evita September 28, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Hi Little Lessons,

It is funny you should mention bears, as we have them in the area too. I was only once so far lucky enough to see one for real, but their tracks are actually everywhere, even on our property. And in many ways, I have to tell you I would love to see them and observe them and watch how they interact with the world, and what I can learn from them. Maybe by next year, I will get to and be back here on Lance’s site with “What I Learned From a Bear” :)

Thank you Jen for your comment and feedback – it is so very much appreciated and good luck with those bears!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vipassana Meditation- An Experience of the Power of SilenceMy Profile


Tess The Bold Life September 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I love it! I just heard 2 out of 3 Americans are obese. I find that so sad. If everyone did what you suggest here that statistic would change. “Find your enough.” What a wonderful way to put it!
Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..7 Ways to Extend Happiness TodayMy Profile


Evita September 28, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Hi Tess

Simple, but true, eh?
Yeah, those stats are not pretty, and we have fallen in society into a type of complacency where excess weight is concerned. And when those who wake up take action, the weight loss industry is right there to monetize from their pain.

We simply need to work on our thoughts and what is in our minds. Change that, find a personal enough and watch your world melt right before your eyes, into the life of your dreams!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vipassana Meditation- An Experience of the Power of SilenceMy Profile


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now September 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I’ve been so focused on making money off my blog I’ve been forgetting to enjoy the fullness of each moment. Too focused on getting to point B.

I’m trying to relax, but I get caught up in my work. To solve this I’ve been using trigger points to take breaks and realize how lucky I am. The triggers can be the top of every hour, soreness in my hips, or when I hit a wall.

Thanks Evita for the great tips. I need to stay even more away of my feelings. Feel myself getting too focused and letting go of trying to be at point B and just enjoy where I’m at.
Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..Working Hard Behind the Scenes – Fear- Tantrums- and PorcupinesMy Profile


Evita September 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Hi Karl

My pleasure and thank you for stopping by here to share your experiences!
I so agree, we often get too focused on the end result and miss the journey. I think our society is a little too driven in all the “wrong” directions and it makes a lot of people lose sight of the things that really matter.

You are doing awesome Karl and have come such a long way, so definitely take time to enjoy the present moment you are in and enjoy the journey of where you are at :)
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vipassana Meditation- An Experience of the Power of SilenceMy Profile


Holly Latty-Mann September 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Evita, I love how you dignified these magnificent feathered members of our planet earth. I have copied and pasted your article to take to my workshops. Lance will tell you that ducks are a very important part of this workshop! You added so much depth and breadth to our own not-all-inclusive list. Recently a graduate wrote something about “water off our backs” when it’s important not to take things personally. (I thought you’d like that!) Your celebration of ducks is so rich and heartfelt. Evita. I fully echo Arina’s reflections of just how amazing you are. Thank you for reminding us to take the time to be in the moment to recognize and appreciate everything you covered in your article. I truly appreciate the soulful you that you are, Evita!


Evita September 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Hi Holly,

I am again humbled and moved so deeply. Thank you so much for your kind words and feedback.

That is fantastic to hear that ducks have a big part in your workshop – I think they not only have so much to teach us, but they are amazingly cute too :D Who could resist that wobbling walk and shaking of tail feathers ;)

I remember Eckhart Tolle had a great story about watching ducks fight and then swim away, ruffle their feathers and continue on as if nothing happened. I just loved that and can so relate to the “water off our backs”.

Wishing you all the best with the workshop and many thanks again for your additions here!
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vipassana Meditation- An Experience of the Power of SilenceMy Profile


Jody - Fit at 52 September 28, 2010 at 8:49 pm

What a beautiful post! Says it all about life.. there is a beginning middle end that is not necessarily the end with all these little moments in between with learning.. thank you Evita & to Lance for the guest post!
Jody – Fit at 52´s Last Fabulous Post ..Travel Coffee Mug-Popcorn Popper &amp Recipes- Gadget Reviews!My Profile


Patricia September 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Always a pleasure to find Evita’s writing – thank you for asking her Lance.

Thank you also to Ethel and Evita for transcribing her lovely lessons into such a happy outcome…

Oh I wish I did not have so much trouble with knowing when some foods are enough…when the taste and texture are just right – oh I have trouble stopping….enough is hard for me

Great job…
Patricia´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown- PhDMy Profile


Evelyn Lim September 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Hello Evita, I love your post. It is very beautifully written. I enjoy point #4. I have noticed that in many of us, there is a tendency to cling on, attach and hold on to the past. While it may be painful, moving on may just be the best thing we can do for ourselves. We create space for the new.
Evelyn Lim´s Last Fabulous Post ..7 What-If Ideas for Creative VisioningMy Profile


Zeenat{Positive Provocations} September 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Sweet Evita,
I love you and your energy…and Ethel too! What an mazing way you have found to connect, contemplate and be harmonious with mother nature, all the while being so in tune with yourself. So beautiful and so amazing!
Feed a little something and rub her neck from me too….:) Tell Ethel I said hi…
Thank you fro sharing your beauty here sweet one ..
SO Much Love to you and to You too Lance!
Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Celebration- An Announcement &amp 33 Spiritual Laws of HappinessMy Profile


Nicone September 29, 2010 at 5:38 am

You can find teachers anywhere if you’re open to it, which you’ve so eloquently illustrated. Beautiful duck btw! :-)
Nicone´s Last Fabulous Post ..Dynamic decisions – the difficult choices that transform our lifeMy Profile


Keith September 29, 2010 at 9:51 am

Hello Evita ( and you too Lance!),

Evita, is is great to see you here and what a beautiful post. So much can be learned from observing nature, and from communing with it too. This has long been a source of learning for me and I am so grateful for it, as I can tell you are as well.

All the points you discussed speak to me. One that really stands out is being “open to receive”. Also, knowing when to move on is very important. If you linger too long in a “place” you should be leaving behind, it will only drag you down in every way.

Here’s a statement you made that is packed with meaning and power “Are we willing to embrace a bit of the unknown, to benefit our highest good?” Now THAT is a question I should ask myself regularly!

Thank you Evita. It is always a blessing to learn from you.

Thanks Lance, for having Evita on The Jungle of Life once again. :-)


Chris Edgar September 29, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Hi Evita — I definitely envy animals for their lack of self-consciousness — or, at least, they seem that way to me, although I don’t know for a fact how they think. But they certainly don’t seem constantly concerned about how they’re being perceived, and constantly using up a lot of energy trying to make sure they’re seen “the right way.” On the other hand, the more aware I become, the more I get conscious of ways I’m doing this that were completely unconscious. :)


Christopher Foster September 29, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Hello Evita,

Thanks for sharing your lovely meditations on Ethel the duck. It reminds me of a time three or four years ago when a fox named Freddy came to visit with us. A young fox I think. He made a home for himself beneath a large lilac bush in the backyard.
It was a difficult time for JoAnn and me and we thought many times Freddy had decided to stop by and visit so we could enjoy his presence and be reminded of our close connection with Nature and the timeless realm from whence our help always comes….


Lance September 30, 2010 at 7:15 am

I love these lessons that you’ve shared from your time with Ethel! And I’m especially drawn into the second lesson – as that’s one that I, at times, have a more difficult time with. And yet – when I do that – when I open up fully to receiving…I am blessed (and likewise, I’m blessed also when another open fully up to me…).

This is an especially fun article to read, too, as I had two pet ducks growing up (Max and Molly). What fun we had!! Molly looked exactly like Ethel…

Evita, your connection to our natural world is such a beautiful gift…and in that…the deeply moving experiences are truly in what is “ordinary”…

Thank you, very deeply, for sharing your words here, for your caring comments, and for your wonderful friendship.


Lance September 30, 2010 at 7:19 am

Thank you, everyone, for your deeply meaningful comments on Evita’s article. I’m moved, reading through all of these…at how truly beautiful our world is. (and that’s because of each of you…shining your amazing light here…)

I know that Evita has taken a few days away from her computer, to connect more deeply within. I’m sure she will be back here soon, to soak in even more of these caring thoughts that you have all shared.



Henway September 30, 2010 at 9:31 am

Great tips here. However I think ducks have it easy.. they dun got a sophisticated a brain that can go wrong anytime like us… they dun live in an insane society… they dun have advertisements bombarding them 24/7 on what we should buy, eat, and do to be happy… they got it easy =)
Henway´s Last Fabulous Post ..Full Stomach When SleepingMy Profile


Naomi Estment October 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Absolutely lovely, thank you Evita and Lance. Cannot agree more on how deeply nature teaches and inspires – infinite, as you say :-)
Naomi Estment´s Last Fabulous Post ..Puppies’ First Swimming LessonMy Profile


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

You will receive an email with any replies to your comment. Check this box only if you want to be notified of ALL follow-up comments. You can also subscribe without commenting.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: