Learning by Doing

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The ducks were napping in the yard. Their long necks turned gracefully , keeping their bills nestled in downy feathers.

It wasn’t always like this.

This Spring, we decided to add 3 ducks to our home  – one duck for each human girl. I went to the Feed Store , where we purchased our chickens a year earlier, planning to “just look”. I walked back to the area where they keep the newly arrived chicks and ducklings. I peered into the tub marked “Ducks”. There they were, 3 remaining downy ducklings, huddled together . Just them against the world. One by one they had watched their tub mates disappear. They had watched as human hands appeared from nowhere and snatched them away. Listening to the frightened peeps of their friends getting more distant as they were carried through the store, must have been scary.  Where did their friends go? What would be their fate? All of their companions had vanished. The 3 Duck Musketeers were comforting each other.

I brought 3 ducklings home, that day. I just knew it was meant to be.

The ducklings were understandably nervous about the humans and their intentions. Up to this point, all of their interactions with humans had been unpleasant – why would this be any different?

Every day, I lovingly scooped them up from their sleeping area to place them in a safe fenced area outside. And every day, they would peep and run around, trying their best to avoid those human hands. They spent their days in a lovely ducky place. It had sun, shade, grass and just the right amount of water. They rested peacefully huddled together, in the grass.The ducklings were happy and content – until human hands swooped in and transferred them back to their nighttime place. Every day was the same routine. They never recovered from their fear of hands.

The ducklings grew fast. They seemed continuously ravenous. It wasn’t long before their fluffy down was replaced by sleek white feathers. They were so happy to find a container of water in their pen. They jumped in and right back out! But then, they were hooked! The ducks couldn’t resist splashing around and playing. They discovered joy.

The day came to let them experience freedom.

At first, they remained huddled together underneath the big forsythia bush beside the pen. They didn’t want to leave the safety of that spot. I walked around the yard, completing my chores. The girls ran and played and the chickens were elegant and sweet, as usual. If we got too close to their hiding spot, the ducks would grumble and complain. We didn’t push them. We talked soothingly as we fed them and slowly, they started to relax.

Some days, the ducks make huge leaps of independence.

One day they discovered the scratchy fragrant pine trees. They didn’t know what they would find there, but resistance was not an option. Another day, they found the big water tub on the far side of the yard. Now, it’s one of their favorite places to hang out.

The ducks keep a wary and watchful eye on the chickens. They realize the chickens have useful knowledge about the yard and the humans. The chickens have secret places  to find treats, like worms and seeds. The chickens know where all the water sources are located. And they know when it is feeding time!

It makes sense for the ducks to follow the travels of the chickens. So, when the chickens follow me around the yard while I am working, the ducks will also.

There was a time when the ducks would never have thought it was possible to leave the safety of the forsythia bush. 

Watching and learning from the chickens has helped the ducks imagine their own possible potential. The ducks realized there was a big exciting world, just waiting to be explored. The ducks are discovering their true purpose. They are happy.

First, the ducks had to take a leap of faith.

Or maybe in this case, a waddle of faith! The ducks had to stop hiding from new experiences. They had to try.

As the creature in charge, I knew the ducks had limitless potential for happiness. I knew they were capable of more than just hiding from life. But, the ducks could not know until they allowed their natural instincts to surface. The ducks had to trust. 

The ducks journey of happiness is a parallel journey to my own.

The ducks needed 2 things to succeed:

First, they had to believe in themselves.

Even though the world seemed so scary and they had no idea what to expect, they had to start with those first steps. If the ducks had remained hidden in the darkness of the forsythia bush, they would still be sad and afraid. They would still be looking out, wondering about all the possibilities, but never truly experiencing life. They had to try.

Once they stepped into the yard, they discovered everything they were meant to discover. They started to experience the endless possibilities the Universe had to offer.

I am also learning to believe in myself. I am stepping into the light and I don’t want to go back to darkness. There is a big fantastic world out there. I can not possibly imagine everything the Universe has to offer. But, I have to leave the safety of the familiar to discover my true potential.

The second factor needed for the ducks life affirming journey, was to find guidance.

For the ducks, this came in the form of the wise chickens. The chickens had already conquered the backyard. The chickens knew the humans brought food and provided safety. They knew where the gardens were and how to find yummy worms and tasty seeds. The ducks benefitted from the chickens experience. 

I also benefit from the prior experiences of others. I can seek out others who have conquered scary new experiences similar to mine. The best way to illuminate my journey is to utilize the light others provide. In the form of books, blogs and websites, I can seek out others that have succeeded.

The Universe already knows  my true potential. The Universe knows everything I can accomplish. Sometimes, it can be difficult for me to believe in myself.

It can be hard to take that leap of faith, just like it was for my ducks. But, once they stepped into the light and started moving – they never looked back. Now, they take naps right in the middle of the yard!

I have decided to be like those ducks. I am going to leave the safety of the bushes and experience everything life has to offer. I want to find out what the Universe already knows about me.

Come with me.

I would love to hear about the tactics you have used to experience your dreams and full potential.

 

 

 

 

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