A modern day parable #1

A big thank you goes to the wonderful Australian Magpie for allowing this story to be told. It is a story about parenting that I have to share.

I was working with a client recently who among other issues had an ongoing problem with her children. She was telling me that her children were always getting themselves into trouble, they had emotionally difficult relationships, and she was constantly at their beck and call. I asked how old her children were. Her answer surprised me somewhat. They were 26 and 28 years old. I felt compelled to tell her about a nature event that I witnessed several years ago.

I was living in Marrickville in Sydney at the time. I had a small garden that was visited by an array of indigenous and exotic birds. I had a bird feeder and I would often chop up chuck steak to feed the local magpies. One particular day I notice a female magpie on the bird feeder while her baby was in a tree about 30 metres away. The mother flew off to the crying baby to quieten its squarking with a mouthful of meat.

After a few more days of this behaviour the mother changed tack. She stood on the bird feeder and called the youngster over to the fence. She then proceeded to feed it.

A couple of days later the mother was on the bird feeder calling to the baby bird to fly to the bird feeder. It was an ugly landing but the young bird soon got the idea. The pattern of change continued with the mother’s next trick being to sit on the fence and beckon the baby to feed itself. The mother then moved further away and was soon sitting in a faraway tree, just observing her youngster, making sure that it was safe, but also making sure that it had the ability to fend for itself.

Within days the mother bird was nowhere to be seen. It was then my turn to withdraw so that the young magpie didn’t become dependent on me. I only put food out 2-3 times a week, and then less so until I knew that the baby magpie was independent and caring for itself.

My hypnotherapy client reported back to me that she had a lovely conversation with her children letting them know that she won’t be a ‘smother’ anymore as she realises that she is holding them back. Not only does she feel a weight has been lifted from her shoulders but she said her children laughed and said a big thank you.

It is beautiful what nature can teach us. We only have to stop and observe and it all makes sense. In this case the magpie taught me that parenting is all about nurturing, protection, feeding, encouraging, supporting, educating and then being brave enough and having the instinct to know when it is time to step aside, trusting that you can now let the offspring stretch their wings and fly.

If you have problems trusting yourself … letting go. If you take on board everyone else’s problems to the detriment of your health and well-being, then maybe it is time to do something about it. Call Brett 0403 335751 at Cameron Hypnotics at The Junction to start the change process. Enjoy everything that life has to offer.