Last week, I got locked inside the chicken coop. Not my finest moment. I stepped in the coop to check on the chickens’ supply of food, water and any potential eggs. The wind pushed the door closed and in an instant, I was shut in the coop. There was no clear way to get out, and I didn’t have my phone.
It really wasn’t that bad. There is a window, and I could sit on one of the roosts. I wasn’t too cold either. Luckily my mom was inside with Jaxson, so I didn’t need to worry about his safety and I knew Chris would be home before dark. At that point, I figured I could make enough noise to get his attention, and I would be freed. So I was at peace with the fact the I was stuck inside a coop by myself with the company of some chickens.
At first I sang some songs at the top of my lungs. Why? Because I love to sing. Singing these songs made me happy and passed some time. When I had sung everything I wanted, I was left in the quiet with my thoughts. I was trapped, there was nothing else to do except reflect, meditate and ponder. I have been derelict of having quiet time for reflection, and now I had it. I had no distractions to keep me away from my thoughts. This was a true blessing. A blessing that needed to happen.
Sitting in quiet with the occasional cackle of a chicken, a few thoughts/realizations/insights flowed into my mind. My first realization was that I need to be more grateful. When this first thought came to me, I sneered. Me!? More grateful!!!?? I’m so grateful. How can I need to be more grateful!!!!???
Well, before being trapped in the chicken coop, I was focusing some of my challenges instead of solutions. I am so grateful for my family, but I tend to lack gratitude in other areas of my life. I focus on what I could do if I had more land, when I would feel so much better if I focused on the fact that I have 2.25 acres. I can have chickens, I can have a huge garden and oodles of trees. And eventually, I can add goats and honey bees. I have a lot more possibilities when I have a grateful heart. I see possibilities and feel empowered, instead of seeing barriers and feeling like a victim. This change, I wove into my life right away. And when I find myself feeling down, or overwhelmed, I bring my attention back to gratitude. This helps me to refocus my lens. I have seen a large change in my life since I cleaned off the lens in which I view the world.
My second insight was that I need to devote more time to being in the moment. The advent of smart phones have allowed us to have our minds distracted every second of every day. If we have to wait at the doctor’s office, we pull out our smart phone. If we are waiting for a class to start or waiting for the train to come, we pull out our smart phone. We play with them until we go to sleep at night and check them first thing in the morning. While I think smart phones are a very powerful tool that have a positive place in society, we need to handle them with care. We need to be there for our friends, our families and ourselves. Constantly allowing ourselves to be distracted from the “now” impedes our abilities to enjoy the moment and enjoy those who surround us in the moment. I know this has been my weakness. I am working on being in the moment with my loved ones and with myself. I am also working toward giving myself some time to be alone in my thoughts.
These realizations have positively changed my life since my time locked in the coop. I am very thankful for this hour I had to myself. My time in the chicken coop allowed me to review and rethink some of how I handle myself. And it allowed me to realize we need to install a mechanism inside the chicken coop so that I can open it from the inside.