A helping hand from a hummingbird

I have been busy this summer with preparations for my home to be featured on a garden walk. For months it seemed like my to-do list was never ending and as anyone who has a garden knows, the weeding, watering and deadheading never seem to end. I must admit, I was getting bogged down in the drudgery and losing my enthusiasm for something I usually love. Instead of looking forward to my time in the garden I started to feel like it was an obligatory chore that I had to “get done “and it was affecting my mood. I realized this was happening and I wanted to get my excitement back, I just didn’t know how to accomplish it. So I set a clear intention that I was willing to see and experience this situation from a fresh and new perspective. I left it open for the universe to surprise me in an unexpected way with something that would shift my outlook. Over the years I have learned that asking for the situation to change isn’t really what I truly need. The situation isn’t actually the problem, it’s my thinking about the situation that is causing the issue. I learned this tough lesson through the school of hard knocks. However, the good news is that whenever I sincerely ask for a way to change my perspective something inexplicable and unpredictable always occurs to bring that shift about.

Then one day, out of the blue, I encountered a hummingbird nestled into my bee balm plant. I stopped and just watched him, completely fascinated by the beauty and magic of this tiny miracle. In an instant I was brought to the present moment and felt lighter, relaxed and filled with joy. I realized in that moment I was missing the thousands of other miracles all around me in my garden. By turning something I loved into a task to be completed, I had effectively lost the zest and spark behind my original passion for creating the garden. In that moment of clarity I experienced the shift and fresh perspective I had been asking for. It came in like a quiet whisper, with no fanfare or trumpets blaring announcing its arrival….just a soft still moment of peace.

Over the following weeks the little hummingbird has continued to visit me multiple times a day – and every time I see him I am reminded to stop and see the joy, wonder and miracles surrounding me in the garden. Ironically, it seems like he makes his appearance just when I need a positive boost of energy. It is truly amazing to me how something so seemingly insignificant can have the power to completely shift my mood, outlook and state of being. This was a great reminder for me that a change in perspective can come in an instant and in the most unexpected of ways. A fresh way to view our current circumstances can literally be as simple as seeing what is right in front of us. Because as Wayne Dyer famously said, “When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change”. What miracles in your life are you overlooking that are right in front of you? I think it is a question worth pondering.

The Kindness Of Strangers…


Recently I had an opportunity to experience the kindness of strangers in an unexpected way. I was returning home to the USA and my plane experienced an electrical failure. Luckily this was discovered before we left the ground, so we deboarded the plane and proceeded to wait for further details. What happened over the next 12 hours of waiting ended up teaching me much about the love, warmth and natural goodness of humanity. As the minutes stretched into hours I began to strike up conversations with many of my fellow travelers. I have to say, I met the loveliest people during those hours. We talked about our travel plans, shared pictures of our vacations and discussed our views on an endless variety of topics. I encountered so many wonderful people that it ended up feeling like a blessing instead of an inconvenience to my travel plans.

What I realized from that experience was while I didn’t have a choice about the delay, I did have a choice about how I experienced the delay. It started me thinking about the endless opportunities we have every day to turn delays, waiting or inconvenience into a beautiful practice of accepting the present moment with joy and curiosity. Fighting with the circumstances before us only serves to make us miserable and really does nothing to change what is happening. It only assures us that we will feel angry and frustrated while experiencing the situation.

Before boarding the plane some 12 hours after our originally scheduled departure, I approached the ground agents that had been helping us for all those hours. I thanked them for their assistance and told them how much I appreciated their kindness and great attitude during the long delay. That simple act of kindness took little effort on my part, but it clearly meant a lot to these workers. Tears welled up in their eyes as they thanked me and told me that it was nice to be acknowledged in that way. In the end, I was thankful my travel plans did not go smoothly and was actually grateful for the delay. I walked away with a deeper understanding of what it means to surrender to the moment in front of me and stay present to the opportunities for love and connection that are all around us…even in the most unexpected of circumstances.