THE FLYING OSTRICH
This is a story I made and told my best friend last night. It is about how I was feeling lately. It is about the beliefs, messages, and values I feel that have been imposed on me by society.
The story goes that there once was an ostrich named Busker living on a farm. The ostrich was surrounded by other ostriches, had a family it was a part of, and grew up with a good life.
Every day, the ostriches woke up, stumbled on to the grassy fields of the farm, and with their heads down, got to work; digging with their feet, toiling the soil, and searching for bugs and food to eat.
Sometimes Busker would overhear from the other ostriches that there weren’t a lot of bugs that day, or that the weather has been bad, or that there wasn’t enough for everyone. He often observed other ostriches competing over bugs to eat; sometimes becoming aggressive and physically hurting each other.
Day in and day out, the same routine continued for Busker and the ostriches. Waking up, going on the farm, keeping their heads down all day, and working hard to find food.
But then one day, after looking down continuously for almost 8 hours that day searching for food, Busker realized his neck was hurting. He was tired of looking down all day. He was tired of competing with others, and working alone to get his own food. He was tired of his pain in his neck!
As he stood there, watching the other ostriches around him pluck away at the ground, scrap with each other, and scurry in panic searching for bugs to eat, he decided he was going to take a risk.
Busker decided to stop looking down, and lifted his neck up so that he was standing upright.
Wow! What a feeling!
Busker went from feeling low to the ground, to now standing at almost 6 feet tall. His pain in his neck began to subside, and instead, a feeling of pride, joy, and certainty came over him.
By honouring how he felt, escaping the pain of looking down, and rising up to his elevated perspective, Busker was surprised at what he saw.
Off into the distance before him, he saw that the farm that he lived on had a beautiful meadow and hill. Beyond the hill, as far as his eyes could see, was a streak of blue.
Busker was so excited by his new perspective from standing tall, that he began to walk towards the hill. Immediately, the other ostriches, still with their necks down and digging through the ground, told him that he was “crazy”, that he would never make it, and he should come back down and stick to doing what they were doing.
But Busker, inspired by the beautiful vision ahead of him, kept walking towards the hill. Once he reached the top of the hill, he realized that the farm he lived on his whole life was situated on top of a cliff, and that the blue streak he had seen from afar was the ocean.
Memerized by the landscape in front of him, Busker barely noticed the three other ostriches hanging out on the other side of the hill. One of them turned to him and said, “I dare you to jump”. Startled by their presence, Busker felt apprehensive of the way they were pushing him outside his comfort zone.
Why were these people so wild? Why did they dare him to jump?
As Busker got to know them better, he realized that these people had also been ostriches that were tired of having pain in their necks. They had also lifted their necks and stood tall. They had also been drawn to the hill, and stumbled on to the beautiful cliff and ocean view that lay beyond it.
“Are you ready to jump now?”, one of them asked.
Busker was afraid. But he was also tired of the things he had known, what everyone else told him, and a life that he wasn’t happy with. So he said, “Yes”.
In the beginning, as he leaped off the cliff, Busker didn’t know he could fly, but he flew. He didn’t know how to use his long legs, and let go of his old habits, but he learned. He didn’t know he would ever leave his old life, explore the world, and enjoy the food from others places, but he did; with a small group of wild, visionary, and supportive ostriches by his side.
Today’s practice: I am born to fly. I will not let the words, beliefs and opinions of others limit me and prevent me from thriving.