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Do you see the owl?
October 02, 2012
“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.” –Mother Teresa
“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?” -Edward H. Richards
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Owl Story
One early evening while I was living in Portland, Oregon I was chatting with a friend on the phone and looking out our family room window. It was early fall and the trees were just beginning to turn golden. Out of nowhere, a single owl swooped up to sit on the branch of this tree. Can you spot the owl?
I was astounded. It was the first time I had ever seen an owl. He sat there blinking and twisting his head around in search of pray. I stayed frozen, wide-eyed, staring with amazement.
Over the next two years, I saw the owl maybe twice. It was always thrilling.
During the summer of 2010, I was itching to shakeup my habits and decided to stop watching television, completely, 100%, never, ever turn it on. The first few weeks I really didn’t know what to do with myself. Sit in silence? Read? Take up a new hobby? Go somewhere? I can tell you the house had never been cleaner.
I eventually eased into the silence and spent much of my free time staring out the windows into our forested backyard. To my amazement, there was the owl. Not just once, or twice, but all of the time. In the morning while I ate breakfast, all throughout the evening. I even discovered that there were two owls who would perch together and swoop around the yard hunting as dusk set in.
This made me wonder…how many time had the owl been in the yard and I was too distracted to see him? The owl would be out perched in his tree watching the back of my head as I caught up with the news and my favorite sitcoms.
What could you discover if you broke your routine to allow for some silence? Time to peacefully see what you see? No agenda. No expectations. Just open eyes pointed out toward the world.
It is ridiculously effortless to become distracted these days by flashy screens, twitter, facebook, e-mail, texting, ipads and ipods. What is waiting for you to turn away from the screen?
My upcoming book is about simplifying life to focus on where our values lead us. It is a focus I am putting my full attention on because I don’t want to miss seeing another owl.
What do you need to let go of to allow silence into your life?
Finding the resources within:
Self Help Resources
Simplify your plan:
Personal Development Plan
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