February Desktop Image - Birds of a Feather

posted on: February 1, 2010

While I was visiting family in the midwest over the holidays, I was struck by how beautiful and colorful the Cardinals and Blue Jays were against the white snow and bare trees. My in-laws have cultivated a backyard haven for birds to find food and shelter during the winter, and the delight was all mine when observing the colorful creatures fluttering about. I patiently sat by the window, watching birds come and go and interact with each other. The Blue Jays didn't seem to want to get along with any other birds, while Cardinals seemed perfectly happy to socialize with each other and made occasional attempts to socialize with Blue Jays. It was all very Zen, just observing and appreciating things as they are.

Then I had an idea.

There was one particular background and one particular bird I had seen on occasion, but every time I got close enough to the window to capture it exactly as I wanted it to be composed, the bird would fly away. I tried everything to capture this one background perfectly framed around this bird and after nearly an hour of waiting, moving away from the window, trying to be stealthy, etc. I accepted that the bird did not want to fit into my ideal image as I had imagined it. I could not make reality match my ideal.

Then I realized.

I was so focused on on getting what I wanted- that perfect image, that I was failing to see all of the other opportunities near by. Once I was able to let go of my expectations, I released myself from the frustration of not getting what I wanted, and I was able to simply and happily capture all that was naturally being given to me. Just that one simple act - letting go of my expectation of what something should be - gave me the freedom to graciously appreciate all that was real and naturally ideal without trying to impose my own ideas of perfection.

It is this very thought that has made me rethink the idea of one door closing and another door opening. I find it closer to the truth that when one door closes, it is a window that opens, but we're so busy looking for another door that we fail to see the window as an option to reaching our goals.

This month, I challenge you to appreciate things the way they are, rather than wishing they were different, and to look for windows when you're feeling frustrated that there aren't any doors. ;-)

Click either image above to begin downloading a copy for your desktop.

4 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. thanks for the challenge! I have been feeling particularly low right now and re-thinking my decisions. thanks again! i'll be working on looking for those open windows :) XOXO

  2. I've been learning this lesson a lot over the last year and sometimes you have to suffer a lot of pain before you learn the lesson. For example.. both of our cars died, and we only had the ability to pay to repair one, but that has taught us that we really don't need two cars and we can survive on one and just rent another when we feel the need. Ultimately it even saves us money because we aren't paying insurance or payments on two cars! Another lesson was learned when I was forced to downsize last year. Downsizing forced my office out of the house, and in the end -having a separate studio actually saved me money in my business and personal finances! What felt like a painful separation of creature comforts, has actually improved our quality of life!

  3. Beautiful pics of the cardinals. I'm on the west coast so don't see to many of them over here.

    Learn where to sell digital photos

  4. Ah, thanks for the reminder of how having presence in the present is a gift, Anne.


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