A Mockingbird’s Lessons
by Sulana Stone
The exuberant mockingbird showered me with a variety of cheeps, peeps and melodies. This lively sound-maker had quite the repertoire. One sound mimics a cat’s meow. Another, a siren. The ra-ta-tat-tat of a woodpecker. The harsh squawks of a cactus wren. The cheerful chirps of a sparrow. And just when I felt I’d heard her entire collection of sounds, the carefree songster thrills me with a new tune.
The beguiling bird sings what she hears. She’s like the playback of a musical recording. Like a random play CD. Mockingbirds are even reported to imitate the sounds of squeaky gates, car alarms, machinery, dogs barking and humans whistling. The variety of sounds is staggering. After thoroughly enjoying the serenade, I wondered, “What’s HER unique sound? What would a mockingbird sing if she didn’t imitate sounds from other sources?”
The similarity between the way a mockingbird repeats what she’s heard and the way people repeat what they’ve heard struck a chord in me. I began to wonder about people, “What’s THEIR unique sound? What sound would each person make if he or she didn’t imitate sounds they heard from other sources? What would each person’s unique song be?”
Are We Living Life “Our Way”?
From the time we enter the womb, we hear and feel the world around us. And we begin to record what others are saying and doing. This education, this learning/recording continues in the home, school, social and career settings.
We’re often deemed “successful” when we can repeat the words we hear and actions we see that bring us praise. We frequently take jobs that our society approves of. Jobs we are educated for. Jobs we feel capable of performing adequately. Yet, after hearing the mockingbird, I question myself, “Is the job I’m doing MY dream? Am I singing MY tune with this job … or am I doing what I was taught to do? Am I repeating a tune that I heard someone else sing, regardless of how happy or healthy the tune makes me? Am I living my life, as Frank Sinatra croons, “my way”?
I ponder, “What if I wasn’t so good at repeating what I’ve been taught by my parents and school? What would I say and do then? What is MY unique ‘sound’?”
The Power of a Unique “Sound”
Everyone is born to share his or her distinctive talents with the world. Every one!
Let’s consider several people who uplift our spirits with their indelible sound. That we, by hearing and experiencing their individual sound, in some way are changed.
How did you feel when you first heard Susan Boyle share her gift of song on Britain’s Got Talent? And on Australia’s The X Factor 2011, Emmanuel Kelly surprises us as an optimistic, inspiring, talented, soul-healing singer with a cheeky smile. Then there’s Oprah, Mr. Rogers, Princess Diana, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. And what about Rosa Parks? Her “sound” was saying “no” to segregation. That “no” sparked events that helped gain freedom for African-Americans in the United States.
Animals are finding people to “sound” for them. These sounds—or words—inspire people to reassess just how sensitive and smart animals are. Many horse whisperers popularize more humane ways to train horses without force or violence. The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, demonstrates the powerful energetic connection between themselves and man’s best friend that affects their dogs’ behavior and health.
These people don’t capture our attention because they did something that was never before done. We notice these folks because of their distinctive sound. When they share their heart-song with others, they uplift the world!
Finding Your Unique “Sound”
We each are born to share our distinctive talents with the world. Most of us can feel that inner knowing that there’s something inside that wants to get out. To be heard. To be noticed. To be free
Yet, after a lifetime of repeating what we learned from others, how do we find our own dream … and sing our own song?
What’s Your “Sound”?
A key to finding your own sound is to express your life from your heart.
1. Here’s one suggestion to get you started. Before you act, talk, write or do anything, move your center of awareness from your head to your heart/solar plexus/belly area. A way to do this is to place your hand in this area. Then shift your attention to the area between your belly and your heart. And express from that space. This is the space of the heart. Ask your heart what to do. Your heart knows.
Spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy points the way to breaking free of our limitations and parroted beliefs: “The word ‘impossible’ is only in the mind and not in the heart.” The heart is connected to Universal Consciousness that has infinite options and resources.
2. A second tool that can help you to find your own dream is to ask open-ended questions. Ask a question—that allows for the greatest flexibility—from your heart to your heart. Several questions that are useful to open the door to a fresh new options and outcomes are.
a. If I knew what to do, what would I know? What would I do?
b. What if it were different now?
c. What are the possibilities I’m not seeing?
3. Thirdly, let go. Breathe. Relax. Notice whatever you notice. And allow whatever happens to happen.
4. A fourth tool is to watch for signs that answer your open-ended questions. Allow new awareness, options and solutions to come. Don’t think about them. Don’t try to figure them out. Let the signs come to you. And notice what pops into your awareness.
Your Heart-Song Can Change the World
To gain clarity on just how much you’re living life “your way,” you might ask yourself, “Where might I be parroting “recorded” tunes I heard somewhere else, similar to the way the mockingbird imitates other sounds? And where am I singing original songs that are divinely me?”
People who uplift the world don’t have “the answer.” They don’t know exactly what to do in order to live their dream. What they do have is their own unique sound deep within their hearts … and they share that heart-song with others. When they “sing their own song,” they end up living their dream, and their song changes the world.