In my early 20’s, I was learning how to tap in to my intuition and was taken on a guided meditation that started with the visualisation of a bird in a cage. In my mind’s eye, I unlatched the hook, opened the cage door and, after a moment of sitting on the wire edge of the cage, my bird flew out into freedom.
With each flap of the wings, the bird grew stronger and as it grew stronger, it flew higher, faster, further. I appreciated the analogy and it felt liberating to soar above parks and then paddocks and then farmland.
Then my bird got shot. Maybe by a farmer. Either way my bird took a bullet and plummeted, immediately, out of the sky.
My teacher, oblivious to the shooting, kept talking and guiding me higher and higher with, unbeknownst to him, a now-dead bird.
He continued talking as if nothing happened. I needed a replacement bird in order to keep up with his story. Except now there was no time to bond with another bird and bring it out of it’s cage. He’s still talking about being in-flight. I need it now. And so I just became the bird myself. And I flew.
At the end, I told my teacher what happened and he was both surprised and amused. I took my own teachings from that meditation which were relevant to my life at the time. The more interesting thing to me now is just how relevant it has been ever since then. I have found that every case in my life where my bird has been shot, I’ve become the strength, I’ve thrown myself straight into flight and I’ve soared higher as a result.
I've always been impressed by what we're capable of at the very moment we think all is lost.
Photo by Joel Coleman