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