Okay, y’all. I’ve already messed up the post sked, but that’s alright because I’m going to share something with you that has changed my entire life perspective. The last two weeks I’ve been spending my days at a Partial Hospitalization Program for those struggling with depression, mood disorders, and other mental health issues. There. I said it, and I’m not freaking out (yet).
When I found out it was all group therapy, I thought it’d be the biggest waste of my time. What could I possibly get from spending time with a bunch of loonies? One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest came to mind. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I got more from it than I’d ever dreamed. We were there for very different reasons, but I could relate to all of them on the most basic levels. Well, I guess we all are human!
I want to share something I read last week during one of the sessions. It’s called Lessons From Geese by Milton Olson, adapted by Angeles Arrien.
As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.
I got goosebumps–heh, no pun intended–when I read this. I recognized that I’d felt that drag and resistance at one time because I’d been alone for so darn long. Then I realized I hadn’t felt that drag for a long while now. My flock is comprised of my author friends and my book ‘ho friends. My flock is the most warm, encouraging group of people I’ve ever met, and I’m privileged to know each of them.
We all need our flock from time to time. We all need to figure out who will be there for us and who we will be there for in return. It could be your family or even the family you make on your own, but we all need a little support, no matter how we may resist the notion.
How about you? Have you found your flock? What do you do when you start to feel alone or discouraged to break out of it? Have you seen other examples in the animal world that we should follow?