Ok, so, flamingos. I had an epiphany about them. And about us. And it goes like this:
I was staying at a beautiful resort in Cabo San Lucas. It had impeccably manicured grounds with koi ponds, turtles, and flamingoes.
The flamingoes wandered back and forth, posing for photos and calling out to tourists and each other. They were incredible to watch. But, after a few days there I noticed they seemed bored. One of them kept blowing bubbles in the water, dragging the top of his beak back and forth, back and forth. The behavior seemed a bit neurotic and reminded me of a bear I saw in a zoo; the bear was pacing back and forth across the front of his area, and every time he got to a wall he did a really weird, neurotic head flip. Walk ten steps, head flip, walk ten steps, head flip. It made me cry and have to leave the zoo.
When I saw the flamingoes doing something similar I realized these animals are us. When we are caged in by the limiting beliefs we have absorbed. The flamingoes should be able to fly away, but their wings are clipped. So they have forgotten who and what they are. They have been conditioned to believe they are not winged creatures with the whole wide world to explore. Now they only know walking and sleeping and blowing bubbles. It breaks my heart. The humans do this to them, for their own entertainment. And the humans also do this to us.
The adults who raise us have forgotten who they are, and since they have forgotten about their own wings, they clip ours when we are young. They teach us the world is small, and difficult, and cruel. They tell us not to dream. They tell us to “be practical.” To “face reality.” Every time we try to fly they pull us back down to earth. Until we stop trying. Until we forget the Truth of who we are: Magnificent Winged Beings. Made of Light. Made of Love. With the energy that creates worlds running through us. We are not meant to create such small cages for ourselves. We are meant to fly free.
We are taught to pick one person and hook to them until we die. Pick one house and live there until we die. Pick one job and do it until we are too old. In this paradigm we are the flamingoes pacing back and forth. Bored, bored, bored. And then depressed. And then neurotic. And then medicated. And then sick. And then dead. Having never truly lived.
Imagine if the flamingoes remembered who they were. Imagine if their Innate Gift of flight was restored. Imagine how shocked they would be to discover their ability, their magnificence. Imagine how much fun they would have exploring the world. This is what happens to us when we wake up, when we start questioning the fear-based and lack-based and illness-based and scarcity-based paradigms we have bought into. This is when we discover our wings have been clipped. The Buddha said, “With our thoughts we make the world.” We return the gift of flight to ourselves when we shed these limiting paradigms. And with each one we shed, our feathers grow. Until, before we know it, full blown flight returns. And this world becomes large again, it becomes awesome again, it becomes fun again. One miracle after the next, moment after moment.