The Chicken Yogi Way
What is the Chicken Yogi Way?
Chickens aren’t just the closest living relatives of T-Rex, they’re also emblematic of what we deal with. After all, chickens are overlooked. They work hard for us, providing us with eggs (and sometimes meat). Sadly, many live in conditions that are far less than ideal. Think about the stories that are told around chickens, the ways we project things onto them, without accepting them for who they are. And yet, they continue to be chickens, crowing, living their truth, doing what they do, and when we look at them, there are lessons to be learned.
So what lessons can we learn?
1. Be present in the moment.
Chickens live in the moment. They don’t worry about tomorrow. They don’t have any regrets over yesterday. They get out there, eat, drink, do chicken things, and live each moment to the fullest. It’s something we need to remember. The first precept of reiki is just for today, do not worry. When we live in the moment, we’re not worried. Worry is a concern for something that might never happen. Focus on what IS happening. That way you can truly enjoy each moment.
2. Don’t be afraid to make some noise.
We often make ourselves “small” or “quiet” so we’re not taking up space or causing anyone to notice us. Perhaps this comes from childhood programming, where “children are to be seen and not heard”. Or maybe we’ve been taught that it’s not safe for us to draw attention to ourselves. This happens in a myriad of ways and is something we don’t even know is happening.
Do chickens care if they make noise? Hell, no. They crow from first light to dusk. When a hen lays an egg, she does an “egg song” that’s loud and announces to the whole world she just pushed out an egg and is proud of it. They squabble and cluck and chatter amongst themselves. They don’t stop to think if they should be playing small or staying hidden.
We shouldn’t either. Your voice is needed. Your presence is needed.
3. Always return to your resting place.
Chickens are pretty good about returning to their coop for shelter at night. They know evil raccoons or other predators stalk our urban and rural landscapes looking for some tasty chicken take out. They go into their coop, settle on their perches, and cluck themselves to sleep. We need to remember to return to where we rest. Now that many of us work from home, it’s doubly important to make a time or place in our home where we unplug, rest, and rejuvenate ourselves. Resting is important. It helps you feel safe. It’s within these resting places that we process the things that happen to us during the day and we gather our strength for tomorrow.
4. Chase opportunities.
If you’ve ever watched a chicken chase down a grasshopper or run toward a freshly filled food bowl, you know they’re not shy about going after the things they want. They’ll even fight over the best parts. I’m not saying we should fight. But what I am saying is that when we see something we want to go after, to go for it. We deserve all the good things that come our way. So why not seek them out? Follow those dreams.
5. Ruffle a few feathers for important things.
Whether it’s after a good dust bath or because someone is in their space, chickens aren’t afraid to ruffle feathers. And we shouldn’t be either for good reasons. Again, this goes back to number 2, where we’re taught or we’ve believed we need to stay small and not take up space. So we don’t speak up about injustices. We let bad things happen to us. That’s not the way things ought to be. I’m not saying be a bully or belligerent, but if something matters, if something is important, and it’s affecting you–speak up. Ruffle feathers. Especially if you aren’t being paid your worth or someone is not respecting you or your boundaries.
6. Don’t be taken for granted.
Finally, don’t be taken for granted. Now there’s very little a chicken can do about this. It’s up to us to change our systemic issues that cause us to see them (and many other creatures and resources) as things to be used and discarded, rather than unique individuals. You do have a say in things. You can look out for your own health. So don’t be taken for granted. If you’re being used, if someone isn’t respecting your boundaries, if someone is standing between you and your dreams, let them know. Speak up for yourself. Ensure that you surround yourself with people who see your unique exuberance and who know your worth.
The Chicken Yogi Way isn’t some kind of dogma. It’s not a religious belief. It’s some food for thought and a fun way to remind ourselves of things that can make our lives better.
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