Tuesday, June 15, 2010

wisdom from a rooster...

As many of you know, I work and teach at Country Village, a little shopping village with trees, ponds, shops, ducks, geese, and chickens. My daily life includes many a serenade by my feathered friends, the roosters. Yesterday, as I sipped my Americano from the Village Bean and watched the infamous "Phyllis Diller" rooster, and I heard more than just his top 40 hit "Coc-a-doodle-doo". The rooster was perched up on a flowerpot staring into the window of Bella & Max. I thought for a moment he was intrigued by the colours of the kids clothing in the store; but can roosters even see colours? Then it dawned on me. He was looking at the rooster he saw in the window, getting frustrated and flustered by the moment, at himself.

Wild, I thought as I put down my latest edition of "Joyfully Jobless", a publication that encourages self-employment and living your dream. How often we are up against ourselves in our day. We can be our own worst enemy. Self-image, self esteem... a frustration of our lack of something, and the feeling of hopelessness that this mirror gazing can conjure…

"Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"... There are days when we may see a great beauty and days when we see a Bloody Mary.

Perhaps I haven't been drinking enough Bloody Marys lately since I have been seriously busy over the last 4 months. Busy in good ways, but I have not had a whole lot of personal time to pause, chill, paint, hit my reset button. I have been extremely hard on myself during all this. While confidence is usually not an issue, I have, at times, doubted my abilities, my knowledge, and have even begin to wonder if I am doing enough. I am working against myself in those times. Not being gentle and forgiving with what the day brings, internalizing too much. Seeing this rooster hit my reset button. I realised that the only person who ever truly judges me, is me.

The rooster eventually walked my way and hung out between the tables and chairs where I was sitting. He faced the brick wall as he groomed himself; making little clicks and grunts as if he was finishing a conversation in his head. It reminded me of all the internal chatter that one can have when leaving a stressful moment, the round and round of thought on repeat playing in the mind. 'Oh, I should have done that, perhaps if I had done this, what if this had happened....' If one continues to follow that worrisome path, one becomes the raving rooster, with daily rants in the mirror and cock-eyed self-perceptions. Hmm... sorta makes chicken little look like a Zen Buddhist.

So, as I finished my last sips of coffee, I looked at my feather friend and thanked him. Things always happen for a reason. And if we are lucky, and really paying attention, we can learn the darndest things from the most ordinary of situations. “It's elementary, my dear Watson!” Let the bad ‘stuff’ fall away from the brow and shoulders, stay focused on the positive and continue to generate good thoughts... after all, the wise TUT says, “Thoughts become things. Choose good ones!”