Of dogs, eagles, and following “the signs”…
It’s a cozy Friday night here on We Are One Farm, cold outside, the wood stove in the basement has been keeping the house toasty all day, along with lots of sun that streamed in the windows this afternoon. It’s late now, I am on the sofa flanked by my dog Alfie to my right, on her back, legs splayed out and up, and of course, her furry butt aimed at me. It’s what dogs do, right?
Dog Angus is across from us, occupying an armchair, nose tucked into his tail, and glancing up from time to time by raising only his eyebrows, giving a hound-doggish look.
Rosie the calico cat has just returned from having a snack, curling up in her special cat tree. And just for something to break the monotony, Jackie Cat suddenly has “the wind up his butt” (lots of butt references, I know) but he has suddenly gone wild for all of a minute, pouncing on and batting around a cardboard paper towel core that was lying on the floor, formerly one of Angus’ trophies (a “bone” to play with), then leaping onto the window sill and hiding behind the curtain until his name is called and he peeks out.
Alfie, awakened from her dog dreams by the ruckus, slides off the sofa and onto the floor to retrieve the “bone” and take it to another chair to gnaw on until I snatch it away. Not good to eat cardboard. She’s eaten a lot of things she shouldn’t.
Reflecting on my day, it was quiet, alternating between periods of intense focus on computer-y things like getting a newsletter done for the business, and spacey moments when I felt like I really needed to plop my head on a pillow, as I am still recovering from a cold that seems to have sapped my energy. Angus’ incessant whining to go for another walk interrupted my one attempt to rest, finally late afternoon, in the warmth of the low sun that flooded the room. Oh to be a cat on a sunny windowsill.
Our morning walk in the woods was a high point, as I could see in the distance three huge bald eagles perched in the top branches of a huge, dying “wolf” pine down by the pond. (A wolf pine, in local parlance, is usually one which is multi-forked, not a single, straight-up trunk, and considered not great to harvest.)
A lone crow was hanging out with the eagles, until, of course, the dogs raced ahead to the pond and started barking up their tree. Not that a dog is likely to pose any threat to these giants, but I’d take off too if I’d had to listen to that racket. By the time I’d reached the big pine they’d all taken flight and disappeared from view. While eagles are a fairly common sight overhead here, I rarely get to see them perching.
I’ve been noticing eagles lately too from the office downstairs where I see clients. I have my chair facing the outdoors and my client’s chair with their backs to the window. I don’t want them distracted by some crazy free-ranging rooster peeking in, although in certain circumstances it could be a great opportunity to break someone out of their funk! “Hey…look at that crazy rooster!” That’s what we would call a “pattern interrupt”! You never know when a rooster could come in handy as a Strategic Intervention technique.
But I digress. What has been interesting to me lately is that, when I am coaching someone, and the opportunity seems right to introduce some kind of journey work or guided visualization, some opportunity for the client to connect with their Soul or “Higher Guidance”, or perhaps a relative who has passed into Spirit, bald eagles seem to show up in the sky within my window view. In fact a couple of times when I have mentioned to my husband that I had added a Soul journey of sorts with a coaching client and saw the eagles, he had also noticed one or more overhead when on his way in or out the door, almost hovering or circling the house for what seemed longer than a simple fly-past.
Are we making something out of nothing? Or is this one of those “signs” that we have learned to look for? And if it is a sign, what is my message?
I like to think that when I am inspired to change tacks and work on a more spiritual level in the midst of psychology-based coaching techniques, that I am being supported and affirmed that this is indeed what is needed in the moment. One comment I found on a Shamanism web site about Eagle medicine expresses this exactly:
“Tying in with this thread of thought, one of the lessons to be learned from eagle is not to depend exclusively on intellectual solutions. Through its connection to the air element, eagle is connected to intelligence, but also to Spirit, the knowing that goes far beyond intellect.”
The author suggests as well that solutions often need to come from a higher perspective, with the broader vision that Eagle would have, not so earth-bound and limited as we humans often are.
So, as I hone my Strategic Intervention and NLP-based coaching skills, I am reminded to leave room for Spirit and for my intuition to guide me to the right solution or technique for the person at hand. And even if seeing eagles at certain times actually means nothing of the sort, it’s still a good idea to keep that flexibility and allow room for the Soul to speak! Choosing empowering meanings for the events that happen in our lives is one of the things we teach as coaches. Why not take advantage of an eagle sighting at a synchronistic time to believe that it means, “Hey, I am doing exactly what I should be doing…I am on track and supported by the Universe!” I’ll accept an empowering sign any day.
Sometimes I think what is lacking for many people today, is a sense of connection with a higher power (God, The Universe, The Matrix, Universal Consciousness, The Great Mystery); Or even the idea that soul or spirit lives on after we die and can communicate with us; and that we ourselves have a place of deeper knowing, that inner wisdom of our own souls that holds the real truth for us, if only we can quiet the noise enough to hear.
I realize the world is a very challenging place, with so many people facing incredibly tough circumstances that are beyond my ability to comprehend. But there is that “still, small voice within” that offers space for peace to emerge, if only for moments at a time. I am truly blessed with a lifestyle that allows me such space, like my daily walks with the dogs in a forest, the chance to see eagles and hawks overhead on our farm, and especially the chance to connect with my beautiful clients. Being with them to support and offer them the space to hear and recognize their own truth is an honour and a privilege. To have a chance to help them see their own beauty and the beauty of that inner knowing is a gift. That really is my mission, for which I am grateful.