Wake Up: A Reminder From the Birds

How can I fathom that this is where I need to be?

We were finishing our morning dog walk (Nick, Nora, and myself), when we heard a flock of geese coming in the distance. We stopped in our tracks, and I wondered, Do I have time to take my camera out? I responded internally, No. Don’t take a photo. In the words of Ram Dass, “Be here now.”

A blink later, more than 50 geese trumpeted loudly overhead. The message to me in the cacophony was clear: “WAKE UP!”

Another blink later and the birds were out of sight. The dogs were on to their next bush, and I found myself silently arguing, Why? Why bother waking up?

I had experienced a challenging week on the home front. And for some reason, continuing our dog walk, I thought of my residents in the skilled nursing facilities where I work. Lately, the television news seemed to kindle a vicarious trauma.

Isn’t there a benefit from blocking out the turmoil in our society and in our own homes? I must admit that shutting down has been one of my own favorite coping mechanisms. Growing up, we called it “tuning out.” Can you relate?

So why wake up?

I believe that we are capable of experiencing peace and joy when we don’t allow ourselves to hide from our feelings. In CalmUp® Journey: Your Daily Ascending Tool for Better Days, I wrote, “Now, with complete awareness, you have the opportunity to cross the finish line by choosing how you wish to express yourself on this one, glorious day.”

Deep down, I know that this is exactly where I need to be.


  1. What message might you have heard from the birds?
  2. What has typically been one of your favorite coping mechanisms?
  3. The CalmUp® Journey is a new coping technique. What would you like to awaken in your life?