One of the things I’ve learned at the horse rescue where I volunteer is how to walk and carry myself. Yes…I was taught how to walk again and we spent time walking in circles to practice. You would think I would have had that one down after 40-some years! What I learned was I had still not broken a habit of looking down when I walk. I’ve had this habit forever and sometimes chastised myself for it. People with low self esteem look down…people without vision look down…people with poor posture look down…blah…de…blah…blah…blah. These are actually the thoughts that I beat myself up with for having a “bad” habit. I even walked around with a book on my head as a teenager. Stand up straight…look forward. Oh, yes I did!
Now…horses follow the energy toward where you are looking. When you look down while leading a horse, the horse stops because he thinks you want to go, well, to the ground! Looking forward in the direction you want to go is essential for getting a horse to your desired destination. No looking forward, no moving horse! When you have 35 horses to feed and two people to lead them in on line, you learn quickly to break the habit of looking down. It’s dinner time for crying out loud!
My habit of looking down returned, however, on a walk along the lake a couple of days ago. It was a gorgeous fall day. I was walking along, looking down, not noticing the beautiful, expansive views around me. However, while looking down, I noticed a small, white feather. I picked it up to save it as a contribution to a friend’s feather collection. I asked the universe to send me another feather for her husband. About 5 minutes later I found another feather. This one was large and black.
After examining the feathers, I noticed that the black feather had a small curved white area at its base. Curious, I matched the feathers at the base of both quills and the white feather matched the white pattern on the black feather perfectly! Looking down while I walked had produced such a unique synchronicity.
There are times in life where looking forward is essential. We need to have vision and plans. However, there are also times when we need to be absolutely present to the moment in order to see these types of synchronicity. Many times we are so busy and preoccupied with the future and getting things done that we don’t really get to appreciate what is right under our nose. To me, looking down that day symbolized being in the present. I’ll never forget that lesson. Life is about finding a balance between looking forward and looking down.
Each of our lives has a larger picture that we cannot see. No amount of planning and controlling or foresight will stave off something that is a part of that picture. It’s like a big puzzle. We get little bits and pieces along the way. Some may be light and some may be dark. But when added to another piece minutes, days or even years down the road, bit by bit it becomes a beautiful portrait. I could never have planned or predicted that the perfect fit for that little white feather would show up 5 minutes later during my walk.
Sometimes, it may feel like you cannot find the next piece to your puzzle. All plans are void and you feel stalled out. It may be that you just need to stop looking forward for the moment. Take a look down. Be present. Be open to the mystery of life. The piece you need might just be right under your nose.