Healing Arts Report

Practices for an Evolving Life

They Don't Tell You How

“You need to love yourself more.” “You shouldn’t feel that way.” “Always put other people first. Don’t be selfish.” The one thing that is missing from all this good advice is telling you HOW to do it. We introduce you to practical tools using your own character traits to support you in creating practical answers to those questions. Read more here.

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Two memoirs tell about times of extreme personal growth in the author’s life. Sunny Side Up is a window into the early 70s when certain young adults were searching for a way to head off society’s path bent on materialism. The Transparent Feather tells of a dying author passing the torch of writing to her new friend cum student.

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You can love yourself and other people as well. At Healing Arts Report we explore fulfilling personal development that at the same time serves to create the shift to a peaceful new world paradigm.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ―C.G. Jung

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Support Group The Old Fashioned Way – Part II

(Continued from Part I) After school, I phoned the humane society, asking discreetly if they had anyone who was a specialist in raising baby birds. I purposely didn’t tell her what kind of bird it was, assuming that knowing it was a pigeon wouldn’t create much sympathy.  She gave me Lou’s phone number. When I called him, the first thing he asked was whether it was a pigeon. I couldn’t skirt the issue.

Instead of hearing the heartless response I expected, Lou was all enthusiastic. “You know that pigeons are one of the few birds that drink. That’s how they get the pigeon “milk” from their parents. The parents regurgitate their semi-digested food and then the babies stick their beaks into the parent’s mouth and drink the “milk.” I’ve fed many a baby. I chew up some bread and let the baby drink from my mouth.”

Not the instructions I expected to hear, that’s for sure. Perhaps it was my silence that encouraged him to continue. “You can take little pieces of plain white bread and roll them into tiny balls, but you have to be very careful to give the bird a lot of water all the time you’re feeding it this way. Because they drink and are not usually fed, you’ll have to pry the beak open to put the food in.” This was challenging but more do-able. I practiced with Lou guiding me by phone.

Then he told me he had a pet bird shop and that he raced pigeons. The pigeon loft was at the back of the store. When he learned I was a social worker he wanted me to visit. “All the old racers in the neighborhood come here every day and hang out. You’ll enjoy talking with them. It’s like the old days, as if this were the general store.” To this day I still imagine there was a potbelly stove they gathered around even though there was none. Lou continued, “They come to exchange news, hear about the birds, make trades, and challenge races.”

I loved that Lou had created the meeting place, that it wasn’t a government-sponsored affair. It had the old feel of what used to occur in ordinary life before our modern modes of transportation and communication had the mystifying effect of isolating people.

The best part of my visit happened as we passed Rusty from hand to hand, trying to assess his or her gender. Our intimate conversations led each man I spoke with to tell me how he’d been a troubled kid and how some old neighbor befriended him and taught him all about caring for the birds and racing.

Although they seemed to have a farmer’s practical and unsentimental attitude toward the flock, each one also had a story about one pigeon that, unintended by the man, won them over and became a pet. One bird would have a unique appearance or behave in some way that created a different type of relationship. It was sweet to see the old men get misty-eyed as they told me about a special pigeon in their life.

I valued seeing that the men got out of the house every day, met with old friends, and shared past times and current interests. This behavior kept them healthy and alert and suited them in such a natural way.

Practice: Do you have an activity that takes your friends by surprise and brings similar health and education benefits to your life?  If not, is there a new activity you’d like to do?

Contact. Have you a wish to add a new activity to your life but just can’t seem to find the time or energy for it? Contact me for a free 20-minute consultation. We can find a way for you to get started and stop putting it off.