There have been times in my life where I have asked advice and I have heard “Follow your heart” as the reply. To become proficient in my work I have tried to dissect and study every acute feeling within me. I try to discern what is coming from the heart and what is coming from the mind. I have tried to let go of my mind, follow my intuition, and see beauty in the not-so-distant future.
Everyday I tell animals, “The smartest animals in the world are conscious of their behaviors. If you want to be one the most brilliant animals in the world, you have to know what you are doing at every moment and why.”
I am at a crossroads in my life. Much is at stake. I want to take a chance and travel one way, but branches have been falling in front of me. The other path is clearer. There is a possibility that the branches are a test, and will remove themselves if I keep walking, but there is also the possibility that the falling branches are warnings, and that if I don’t change direction quickly, larger limbs will fall and I could become injured. I am aware that both paths will reveal magic and beauty, and needed lessons to learn, but one could contain unnecessary hardship.
Yesterday, a red-shouldered hawk landed with a mourning dove in his talons just outside my window while I was working. When I went outside to get a better look he just sat on the dove and stared at me. I told him my property was a no-kill zone. He didn’t move. The dove was frozen beneath him. I went to get my camera, and when I came back out the hawk sharply gazed at me and hopped off the dove to the ground. To my surprise the dove was alive! She fluttered, disoriented, and then flew, fast and graceful, across the street dropping feathers in her wake. The hawk took flight and followed her trail.
For some reason I now turn to them for advice. How should I decide which path to travel?
Mourning Dove: When the hawk held me down I heard him wonder, “If I kill her will I be punished? Death should not happen on or over the land inhabited by the one who can speak to the animals, if that is her wish.” He did not kill me. He became conscious and alert to the rhythms of divine judgment. Yesterday, I wanted to feed on the seed you leave for us beneath the purple flowers, but something inside of me told me not to go there. I ignored the feeling, because I have always felt safe on your territory. It was my fault I came upon danger. I was warned. I should have stopped, thought, and gone elsewhere.
When I am troubled by which way to go I look up, then I look within. I feel a gentle stream of energy that will inform my direction of travel. That is the way I always try to choose. If you feel heaviness when you walk, meditate: Find that stream of energy and change direction.
Hawk: You have told me before that I am not allowed to hunt on your land. I felt a strong sense that I should not go for the dove, but she was tempting in her plumpness and I thought I could keep it a secret from you. When I landed with her in my talons, it was your eyes that met me first. I immediately saw your sadness and I felt like I had dishonored you. I still wanted the dove, but when you wanted to capture the memory on camera I realized I did not want that moment to be saved. I let her go so you would see I am capable of hearing you. I flew after her because that is where I was being pulled. I saw her huddled in the bushes and I left her there because I knew if I went after my temptations, somehow you would know she had been killed.
My advice to you is: Follow your heart’s path on territory that you know will not hurt yourself or someone else. It is not bad for me to hunt mourning doves. I just needed to respect my inner knowing and your sacred territory.