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The Hummingbird Mind

I woke up this morning with what I call a hummingbird mind. 

My thoughts were flitting from one task to another, creating a long and arduous task list that felt overwhelming. I started to feel the stress even before slurping down my first cup of caffeine. My mind was taking me on a roller coaster ride that I didn’t want to be on with thoughts like:

“You have SOOOOO much to do!”

“You shouldn't have taken those last two days off… that was irresponsible!!”

“You are behind and letting people down.”

“You are not DOING enough.”

I am sure these phrases sound familiar to you, too. This fast-paced hummingbird mind feels a bit frantic and is not helpful. We drop below the line and fall into worry, fear, and self-doubt. I knew I was below the line.

As loud as that voice was, I silenced her long enough to put on my running shoes and head toward the mountains. A process that always slows me down and brings clarity and calm so I can climb back above the line.

As I hit the dirt and felt the warm sun on my back, I heard the familiar squeak of a hummingbird. She was racing up and down in front of me, making shocking noises from this tiny body. It warned me and tried to get my attention, so I stopped and watched it. Then, it stopped mid-air perfectly still and stared at me. We had a special moment. 

Then I realized …

“Nature always sends us the messages we need.”

Even the hummingbird with wings that flap 50–75 times per second during regular flights and up to 200 times per second during courtship can pause and be still. 

I took the message seriously and slowed my mind down (well, my legs slowed down, of course!). I paused, sat on a rock, and took some slow, deep breaths as I reminded myself that the tasks and to-dos would all get done because, the truth is, they always do. I observed this pattern of freakout for what it was… Just a thought!  My hummingbird mind was feeling speedy and frantic, but in reality, I could slow down and choose a different way of being(with all of the tasks, to-do’s and meetings.

 I chose to be above the line.

When I got home, I looked up the hummingbird's meaning and read that she symbolizes joy (which I was not creating with those thoughts), Freedom (which I could choose to create), perseverance, creativity, and love. She encourages us to live in the moment (I was futurizing and not in the moment!) and to be open to change, which I chose. 

Nature is an incredible teacher if we slow down and listen. I could have just as easily been lost in thought and run right by missing this vital message. I am glad I didn’t.

Are you slowing down enough to receive the messages? I would love to hear.


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