How can Birdwatching Strengthen Your Mind?

Uncategorized Aug 03, 2020

I have no time to get anything done these days but a lot of time for my mind.

I’m noticing my thoughts. Deeply.

Life is slower right now, which can have a significant effect on our mind.

It can make us more anxious. Time for thoughts means time to obsess over thoughts.
It can give us time to notice. Notice the things that bring you joy. Notice the things that make you curious.

What a gift that is: To learn forever. To stretch our mind. To want to figure out something we’ve never figured out. The WORLD. There is an infinite amount of things to learn.

You could obsess over Coleoptera beetles, or pinot noirs, Russian literature or book binding. You could get really into perfecting jokes or performing magic tricks, baking sourdough or growing dahlias.

It’s amazing. And it’s ALL good for us. That I know. The possibilities are all around us (and they're usually free!).

I’ve become enamored by a bird that lives in the forest behind our house. A Cooper’s Hawk to be precise. It landed on our deck the other day as I was cooking breakfast. I looked up over my eggs and saw it sitting there, not 6 feet away. I didn’t know what I was looking at except that it was magnificent with its grand, speckled chest and ombre back.

I thumbed through the birdwatching book I have, my grandmother’s notes scribbled on the side, to confirm what it is. Family history pulled me even closer to this rare bird.

Is this my spark bird? I wondered.

I think I may have gotten a glimpse into the magic of bird watching. The suspense, the anticipation, the jolt of excitement when that Cooper’s Hawk flies over my head at an unexpected moment.

These moments in our day: The things outside of ourselves, the creative outlets, the wonder of nature... To me, they act as a balm over me.

Things get quiet. The worry or stress fades a bit to the background. The problems or thoughts that - just a moment ago - seemed like the most important thing in the world no longer seem quite as significant.

This grand HAWK is all that matters in the moment. Where is she going? When will she be back? Will I see her soon? When does she hunt? Does she have babies in her nest? Is she a he?

It’s good to have reminders that our thoughts aren’t everything that matters.

Now, I want to turn it over to you:

What are YOUR curious or creative outlets? What are YOU into right now?


Speaking of learning, curiosity, and new hobbies, in a recent episode of The Inner Game Podcast, I talk about the value of carving out 'white space' in your life. 

Click the link to listen to Episode 23 of The Inner Game. It's a punchy, 4-minute episode that is sure to make you feel relaxed and ready to take on the day. 


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