How often do you pay attention to what’s right in front of you?
For most of us, when we are in our comfort zone, we tune out.
We stop noticing things in our environment… even when things change.
We stay nestled in the safety of the familiar, numbing our senses with activities that don’t actually enhance our lives.
We miss what’s right in front of us.
A new bird species recently appeared near my home.
If I hadn’t been paying attention, I probably would have missed it.
If I wasn’t practicing being present in the moment, I never would have noticed a new bird.
But I did.
It brought me a great lesson. I share that lesson in this episode.
So, I’m wondering, what are you missing simply because you aren’t paying attention?
What’s slipping by you simply because the world has taught you to stop looking?
What are you sacrificing to stay within your comfort zone?
The price is probably bigger than you realize… and probably something you wouldn’t intentionally choose if you were more aware.
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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos. What an unfamiliar bird taught me about staying present. That's what we're talking about in episode 104. Hey there, I'm Cari Wise, after graduating from veterinary school over 20 years ago, struggling to create balance and failing to protect my mental health and emotional wellbeing, I finally ditched all the rules and forged my own path forward. I used my professional education in ways I didn't even know were possible. And through that journey, I developed a deep sense of who I am, a brand new set of skills, and a clear understanding of what I'm meant to contribute to the world. Each week here in the Intentional Joy Podcast, I'll share what I've learned along the way in order to help you develop your own deep sense of personal identity and connection with yourself so you can live an empowered life on your terms too. This is what I call aligned living, and it begins with intentional joy. So if you're ready to claim this for yourself, let's go. Hello, my friends. Welcome to episode 104. Today you're getting a bird story. For those of you who love to hear my tales of the birds around my house, you're gonna enjoy this episode from those of you that don't love that. This one just may not be for you. So stick around or not. I'm gonna tell you about this new bird that showed up at our house. So we live here in the Midwest, for those of you who haven't been listening to the podcast for that long, and I've had the opportunity over the now, gosh, going on eight years that we've lived here to really experience a wide variety of birds on our property. It's been quite a ride, and I have documented this a few times on the podcast, usually talking about the blue birds. Well, this story today is not about bluebird. Over the last several weeks, I've noticed a different bird on the feet or outside the window that I watch from my office chair. And as I've noticed this bird, I've been very curious about it because it kind of looks like some birds that are there, but then it kind of doesn't, it kind of looks blue, but then sometimes it looks yellow. And it's been a little bit confusing because that sucker moves pretty darn fast. I've often tried to grab pictures with it from my phone, but the quality from inside and through the screen is just really crummy. And when I'm in the kitchen and I'm looking at that same feeder and I see it out there, I just can't ever seem to get the right angle. But I've been able to study this bird now, like I said, for several weeks. And there's a few things that I have been able to notice, even though I haven't been able to catch it on camera. One of it, one of the things that I've noticed is it's size. It's a really small bird. It's the size of, you know, perhaps a house fence or a yellow fence. And yeah, those are actually two different birds. I've become quite the bird nerd over the years. And so it's a small bird like that and it's often is standing on the feeder upside down. Now, that's a curious thing as well, because that's the kind of behavior that you would expect from a white breasted nut hatch. Now we have white breasted nut hatches around here, and they're pretty big birds. They're about the size of a cardinal, and those birds, they'll kind of flip to the feeder and then they'll flip off. And oftentimes I'll notice those on the tree walking up and down the trunk of the tree. They're really fascinating to watch because they're very speedy and they often just like to walk downward and they're kind of upside down a lot of the time. And so that familiarity with the white breasted nut hatch was something that I noticed in this bird. But this little bird was just too small to be one of those. As I studied its beak, it had a really unusual pointy beak, again, much like a white breasted nut hatch, but my brain just could not comprehend this because it wasn't a white breasted nut hatch. There was just no way. It's not the right time of year for juveniles. It's not the right color. It just didn't make any sense. And I couldn't get a good enough picture to use one of my cheater apps to identify it. So after a few weeks of watching this bird, and actually over time there was more than one, there's, there's probably two or three at least that have been coming around quite frequently. I became determined to get some pictures, and in doing so, I had the opportunity to just keep examining and examining it more closely, but from a distance and know the pictures still have not come to fruition. But I did get enough information for me to start to search my resources in a different way. I started searching, different colors of birds, different kinds of birds, and finally I came across what it was. Turns out there's a bird called a gold breast, didn't nut hatch. So where my mind was trying to draw a conclusion that this was a white breasted nut hatch, I, it just wasn't. And I knew that it wasn't, but I didn't even consider that there was another variation of of that type of bird that was smaller and had a slightly different color. This gold breasted nut hatch is absolutely what this tiny little bird is, and it is very quick as I read through. It's it's description and you know, very flitty in and out, a very kind of, if I had to like put anxiety in a bird, that's what this bird would remind me of, just by the way that it flips around and it's in, its out and it interacts and it runs off and it's just, it's just fascinating to watch. And the entire experience really reminded me of how important it is to stay present even in your most familiar environments. My friends, the world is changing all the time. And when we don't pay attention to what's happening around us, we miss so many of the experiences that we're meant to have that I was supposed to identify a new species of bird out here outside my house was absolutely part of my plan. It was help there to help remind me to stay aware of what's going on around me, to help me remember that what I believe, what I've learned is never gonna be the full extent of it. There's always going to be more for me to learn. There's always gonna be a new opportunity to believe something different when it's time for me to do so. And the same is true for you. When we get stuck in our routines, when we get comfortable, we start to miss out on our lives. This is a very programmed response. It's a conditional type of experience. This comes from that part of your brain that really just wants to keep you safe. And as long as you're comfortable, you're safe when it comes to the most protective aspects of your being. But for instance, playing it safe is not what you're here to do. You're here to experience everything that this physical world has to offer you. It's going to require you to step outside of your comfort zone. It's gonna require you to feel uncomfortable sometimes. It's gonna require you to not accept your comfort as the maximum impact that you're ever gonna have. That's not the goal, that's not the point. And so if you can just start by paying closer attention to what's happening around you, even in your most comfortable environments, you're going to find opportunities to learn. You're gonna find opportunities to grow. You're going to find opportunities to create an entirely new perspective. You're also gonna notice how your brain is really good at drawing conclusions based on the information that you've already been privy to, and that it automatically eliminates everything that you've never considered before, all of the pieces of information that's never been part of your consciousness, that really restricts your awareness to a very narrow lens. And what we focus on, we create, we must intentionally stay present moment by moment if we want to fully experience our lives. And in our modern world where it is so busy so much of the time, that's not an easy feat. There's always something vying for your attention. And with all of our mobile devices and entertainment in the palm of our hands, it's very easy to fall into social media in YouTube, videos, text messages, emails, all of that, and miss what's happening right in front of you. Friends, I'm not judging any of that stuff. I'm one of the biggest tech geeks there ever is. But I've also had the beautiful gift of becoming quite obsessed with the birds. And that's simply because I've been able to live in an environment where they were around and I noticed them. And as I started to notice them more, and I started to then kind of cultivate a relationship with them by hanging up bird feeders and making sure they were full and all the things that might cause my husband to call me a little bit of a crazy bird person. And I'm quite all right with that. That's given me an opportunity to become aware of things that I never would've noticed before. These relationships between the birds, the entire drama around the blue birds, and yeah, I say drama cuz so much of that was self-created, but it wasn't entire, entire experience that I had that if I had never looked up, I wouldn't have had at all if I had never noticed, it would've never been part of my journey. And so as we look up and look around, even starting where we are in our lives, in the most comfortable aspects of our environments, there is something for you to see there. Those things you never noticed before. Those are little signs and signals that you're not alone in this world, but there's much more for you to explore. There's much more for you to experience. And as you give yourself the opportunity to look beyond your comfort zone, that also gives you the opportunity to expand what you believe is possible in your life that creates an opening for your dreams to start to flow back in, for you to start to consider. And it'll give yourself permission to pursue something different than what you have, my friends. You don't have to be miserable to pursue something different. You just have to want to pursue something different. That's the only thing that's needed. And there's nothing selfish or irresponsible about pursuing a dream. Even if your physical mind offers you the perspective that it's not necessary, that it's indulgent, that you shouldn't do it, of course your physical mind is going to offer you that perspective. We have to remember its entire purpose is to keep you safe. And if you're comfortable right now, then why on earth would you rock the boat? Why would you risk that? That's gonna be the train of thought that your mind will offer you. And I have the answer for you. The reason that you would quote unquote risk. It is because you were made for so much more in this lifetime than just existing and staying comfortable. You are a powerful human being. You have hopes and dreams within you that you may have pushed down and pushed away because somebody along the way told you it was irresponsible or it wasn't impractical, or that it was just indulgent or it was selfish. I want you to set that judgment aside and I want you to go back to what lights you up to, what interests you to what's calling you now. Anything that you pursue in the future does not negate anything that you pursued in the past. You were never supposed to do. Just one thing in your life, obtaining that degree, obtaining that status, having that relationship, having those kids, creating that family, whatever it is, having a home, paying it off, whatever it is, the big goals that you've achieved so far, yes, pat yourself on the back, be happy about those and keep going because that's just the beginning. There is no end to this journey. That's why you can't see the other side. But I promise you that the journey was always supposed to continue. We all start somewhere and all along the way we learn things about ourselves. And even in our most comfortable moments when we're taking a a beat to just be and relax a bit, if we forget to keep looking around, if we forget to keep staying present with what's happening, we stop making progress, we stop growing and you're never supposed to stop growing. So remember my story the next time you look out your window and see what else is there? What is out there that you haven't noticed before? Where did it come from? What might it be trying to tell you? Because as soon as you start to ask yourself a question, what is the significance in this thing that I am experiencing? I promise you that you will have the answer. And that answer is going to be one of encouragement. It's going to be one of empowerment, and it's going to be one that will motivate you to move forward toward your dreams in the future that you want, if you'll let it. All right, my friends, that's gonna wrap it up for this week. I'll see you next time.