April 23, 2012

Karla’s Korner: Lessons From a Woodpecker….Change is Good

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Lessons From a Woodpecker….Change is Good

Recently I decided to take a break and sit outside in my screened porch with my husband and just “chill”. It was Saturday afternoon and we were anticipating rain and cooler temperatures. While we were watching the birds and squirrels dart through the yard and trees, we noticed a woodpecker land on the pole that houses a big bird feeder. We enjoy the birds and keep the feeder filled year round so we can watch them. A few days ago I hung a suet brick underneath the feeder to give the birds a treat. As we watched the woodpecker bang his head and beak against the wooden pole we talked about how rough it must be to be a woodpecker having to bang your head on a hard wooden object every time you wanted something to eat. As powerful as they are, I can only imagine how difficult it is to have to do the job of a woodpecker. As we sat there watching, this little feathered creature happened to hop up on the suet basket and peck the contents through the screen. Hmmm, it appeared that he (I am assuming it was a boy, although I can’t be certain) really enjoyed the soft, sweet suet. It appeared that the woodpecker decided to change up his routine and try something new. The dog barked, the bird flew away and we were left pondering what he might have said (if he could talk) about the new found treat. Moments passed and the woodpecker returned and began to hang upside down on the basket and take a few more tastes of the sweet suet. Change was good.

As odd as it may seem, our lives can in fact be similar to the woodpecker. We stay in the same routine day in and day out. We are all on some sort of schedule often times doing the same thing over and over every single day of the week. Grant it we might have a slight change in plans or schedules on the weekend, but more or less, we are creatures of habit. I find myself cooking the same meals more often than not, fearing that if I try something new my family won’t like it. I clean my house on the same day of the week, do laundry on the same day of the week and even write my Korner articles on the same day of the week. Habit or insanity? One of the first things I learned in my 12 step program was the definition of insanity; doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Let me be the first to tell you that the results are always the same. Getting stuck in the routine or habit of doing the same thing over and over again is quite easy. Staying within the safe confines of what we know allows us to remain steady and somewhat in control of everything we do. We embrace the familiarity of life and become complacent with the world around us. After all, quite often we create a world around us that is comfortable and non-threatening. Fearing change, we would rather stay put than venture out.

A little over three years ago I decided that what I was doing in my life was definitely not working and that I needed to figure out how to change. It was a slow and at times painful process, but the end result is what I like to think of as a better me. One of my biggest fears was speaking in front of adults. As a teacher I had no fear of little people, it was the bigger ones that scared me to death. As part of my therapy, I enrolled in a lay speaking class through my church and began to share messages or sermons with my church family. The first time was a bit scary, but after I embraced the opportunity, I felt as if I had a huge weight lifted off of me. Change was good. With each discovery or issue that I decided to tackle within my personal life I would strive to change, re-create, fix or eliminate I would feel that sense of liberation or freedom. It has been nearly three years since I walked into a group of mostly strangers, sat down and began the journey that I am on today. Much like the woodpecker from my backyard, I was constantly banging my head against the “hardness” of life and not really getting anywhere. Staying put was no longer an option and as difficult as it was I had to make a change. And for me, change is good.

What is it in your life that has you feeling like you are banging your head like the woodpecker? Life is tough, there’s no doubt about it, however, sometimes all it takes is a little change. For me, it was a 12 step program and taking baby steps toward my own personal recovery. For others it may mean taking on a new job doing something you have never done before. Whatever it is that is holding you down or keeping you in a rut, think about changing it. Just like the woodpecker whose curiosity led him to the suet brick and a sweet soft surprise, you too might find a sweet reward if you step out of your comfort zone and make a change. I know I am glad I did…and I believe you will too.


Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles here.

Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

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