Circle Wisdom: When Doing Nothing is the Best Thing You Can Do by Tanya Geisler

Chickadee Wisdom

On Wednesdays I co-work with my brilliant friend Tanya Geisler. Last week, as we sat chatting over coffee, a little bird flew into the window. This wee one, Tanya, her cats and I shared this tender time together and from it Tanya took this beautiful lesson which she’s generously allowed me to share with you. There is so much wisdom for us to share in the circle.

Mid-sentence, she gave a gasp. A look of horror flickered across her face as she said: a bird just flew into your window.

We ran over to the front window of the house, in the direction that she’d been looking.

There, on the table on the front porch, a little chickadee with wings and legs splayed at odd angles lay very very very still.

My heart just about exploded as I looked over at Jamie and saw the worry, sadness and helplessness in her eyes mirroring my own.

He’s just in shock, I said, the tremble in my voice betraying the confidence my words tried to convey.

We drew the curtains to keep my three indoor cats (stirred by their primal hungers) from frightening the poor thing further and ran through the checklist of options available to nurse it back to health. But approaching it with offers of food, water or bed would just exacerbate whatever panic his wee heart was already subjected to.

In the absence of knowing what to do, we did the best thing we knew how.


(Not entirely true. I know at least two prayers were sent up.)

We pulled ourselves back to the conversations we usually have during our Wednesday co-working sessions: product launches, strategies, SEO, next steps. But it was flat. None of it mattered. Our hearts and minds were out on the front porch willing the sweet bird to gather its strength, its will, its determination to get it together as only it could.

We took turns stealing glances out the curtains, giving updates every couple of minutes.

He’s still just sitting there.
His legs don’t look right.
He seems to be breathing!

The reports became increasingly more positive.

He’s blinking.
His left wing is facing the right way now.
He’s looking around.
He’s sitting up much straighter.
Did he always have that seed in his mouth?

And then a micro-shift towards impatience.

Why isn’t he flying off? He seems fine now.

And finally,

He’s gone!

Hugs and hoots. (And disappointed cats.)

Sweet relief.

You feel it too, right?

You know that place. Of worry, frustration, fear and then impatience.

As Fixers, it’s painful for us to sit by and wait for things to mend and heal on their own. And then excruciatingly painful to wait for them to take off in full and glorious flight.

AND? Some things just aren’t broken. Just stunned.

Give it time.

Waiting for news from the doctor?
Give it time.

Your book sales?
Give it time.

A visit from your muse?
Give it time.

Your love to be met?
Give it time.

Can you trust? Can you accept? Can you imagine that it’s all happening exactly at the speed with which it’s supposed to be happening? That divine timing is not yours to control?

You’ve said your prayers. You’ve examined the options.

When there’s nothing left to do, do nothing.

It will fly when it’s ready.


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