Lessons Learned From an Eagle

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  • Yesterday morning a bald eagle came to visit me at our home on Flathead Lake in Northwestern Montana. I saw him on a tree just off our deck, as I opened the door to let our dog, Koda, outside. It was a chilly morning and I was still in my robe. Not wanting to miss this opportunity, I quickly grabbed my camera and ran back out to the deck, only to find it covered with a thin coat of ice. (I almost went flying.)

    It was disconcerting how this eagle just sat there in the tree looking at me. I was freezing as I  wasn’t dressed for the weather, but I couldn’t bear to tear myself away from him.

    In the 20 minutes or so that I spent with the eagle, I felt as if he were there to remind me of wisdom I’d forgotten or to teach me something I needed to know.

    My first view of him was as the sun was still reaching this part of the lake.

    Here are some quick things I learned from the eagle:

    Be ready for SURPRISE in your life. Magic can appear around the next corner, just as I didn’t expect to see him.

    Take the time to allow childlike WONDER to be a part of your life. Soak in the magnificence.

    APPRECIATE the beauty and joy in the world around you and more will be given to you. The more I kept saying “Thank You” to the eagle, the longer he stayed.

    Live in a state of AWE at the magic in each individual moment. The beauty is always there if we pause to find it.

    EXCITEMENT is a good thing! The thrill of being so close to this eagle kept my mind off other things (like being cold) and helped me to focus just on the moment.

    VISUALIZE what you want. I saw the perfect shot in my mind and knew that he would turn his head  to give me the perfect angle – and he did.

    PATIENCE is important when you’re waiting for something that you can’t control- like the sun. I waited more than 10 minutes in the cold for the sun to light the bird’s perch to make my photo beautiful- and it was worth the wait. The photos before the sun arrived don’t compare to the beauty of the natural light.

    CHALLENGES are a part of life. When the camera battery died, I was worried that he’d fly away if I left for a minute. I practiced HOPE and FAITH that that he’d stay right where he was as I ran back inside for a new battery- and he did!

    I was very GRATEFUL that he waited for me and was so happy to get this shot when I returned.

    ABUNDANCE is there for us, if we only believe it is. This eagle stayed and  posed for 37 photos!

    I felt such a feeling of CELEBRATION at the success of this morning. I knew some of these photos were going to be amazing.

    I was very GRATEFUL for the experience and LUCKY to be able to share it with people in cities around the world who may not be lucky enough to see an eagle out their back door.

    This eagle reminded me to LIVE IN THE MOMENT, for when we do, we can find beauty all around us.

    As our photo session concluded, the eagle took one last look at Koda and me and flew off across the lake. As he left, he reminded me that no matter how good or how bad thing might be, nothing is permanent. LIFE IS CHANGE and is in constant flow, but there is beauty if you just pause to find it.

    Today, go look for your eagle. I don’t mean this in a literal sense, but rather, look for the beauty around you and see what you can learn from it. Take the time to really pause and ask yourself what you too can learn from the situation.

    If you are inspired to share it, please feel free to comment below. Thank you for being such an important part of our community.

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Sherie Smith
      Sherie Smith says:

      A beautiful and spiritual way to start Monday morning! The photos alone would touch anyone who loves nature. But your writing allows a glimpse into your heart, just as the eagle allowed you a glimpse into his soul. May this eagle-spirit always lead and guide your life. Thank you, Gail, for sharing your magnificent world with us.

      Reply
      • Gail
        Gail says:

        Dear Sherie,

        Thank you for your kind comment. I agree- I don’t know how I could live in such beauty and not have it touch my heart. I’m grateful that I was able to share it with others too.

        Enjoy your day!

        Hugs,
        Gail

        Reply
    2. Haroon Riaz
      Haroon Riaz says:

      Unless you believe in all that, you can never be a good photographer, and a person who can appreciate the beauty of nature. But let me say, amazing work. The next moment in your life could offer you something magical.

      Reply
      • Gail
        Gail says:

        Dear Haroon,

        I not only believe in all that- it’s how I live my life. And, I love photography so I guess it’s a good combination too.

        I’m off to go capture the magic of the next moment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
        Hugs,
        Gail

        Reply
    3. Courtney
      Courtney says:

      I absolutely love this story! Thank you so much for sharing these important life-reminders. It’s truly amazing what we can learn from the natural world, if we just listen, isn’t it? Lately I’ve been noticing this more and more, and I’m so happy to have found your wonderfully inspiring blog.

      Reply
      • Gail
        Gail says:

        Thank you Courtney. Nature always seems to have the answer, if we just listen. I appreciate your kind comment.
        Hugs,
        Gail

        Reply
    4. Amy Starr Allen
      Amy Starr Allen says:

      Awesome post, Gail (as usual). So well said, and exactly along the lines of a conversation a few of us were having last night… the eagle is a perfect reminder of the abundance and grace that is life, when we trust that it is all taken care of.

      And what a spectacular view from your home!!!

      Reply
      • Gail
        Gail says:

        Thanks Amy. Glad you liked it. I’m intrigued by your website… I’ll have to go check it out. Thanks again for sharing your comments.

        Hugs,
        Gail

        Reply
    5. Raven Hawk
      Raven Hawk says:

      Incredible blog. I come from a different yet same view point. Eagle is my Spirit Keeper. Walking the road of the Indian (and other things too), I connect with eagle. Eagle can teach us many things. Eagle represents illumination and is the messenger from all that is.

      You were in a spiritual state with the eagle. You were on with him/her and received the wonderful blessings of eagles medicine. I do not want to repeat your blog, yet you said it so well what eagle represents and the wonderful lessons you learned.

      I go to the lake to be with Eagle every summer. I would talk with Spirit and receive the answers I needed. I would notice all that was around me, the dragon flies, the flowers, the bees, the animal tracks, the other birds, how they would fly or swim in the lake. Every time I would go, things became more clear to me. Like peeling an onion, many layers to revel. Everytime I asked a question, eagle would answer by giving me some of their medicine (eagle feathers). I received some of the most beautiful feathers one could ever imagine. I GAVE MY THANKS constantly like you did. I gave tobacco (Indian tradition), I gave my prayers. The feathers would represent I was on track with Spirit. I would ask something, answer it myself (for we are apart of Spirit and Spirit is apart of us), and just look down and there it was, a feather. I would get blown away each time at the incredible presence of Eagle.

      Your blog is incredible. The pictures more so. Just looking at eagle I can feel the presence of them. Thank you for your wonderful insights into what you learned.

      Nature CAN TEACH us everything we need to know if we are WILLING to just listen and learn.

      THANK YOU for your inspiration. Your insight, your intuitive knowlege. It is so appreciated.

      Reply
    6. pat
      pat says:

      And should we not also honor the tree the eagle is sitting in. The tree looks to have lived a long useful life and honors the eagle. And more important, we should give honor to the mind and heart of one human that seen the spiritual significance of the moment and wrote about it…So that we might be able to appreciate it……Thanks Gail

      Reply
      • Gail
        Gail says:

        Dear Pat,

        Thanks for your insight. I could write an entire blog about a tree that is outside my window. Because of your prompting, perhaps I will do just that, so thank you. 🙂 There is such great wisdom all around us, if we are open and pause to simply listen.

        Hugs,
        Gail

        Reply
    7. Rebecca Steelman
      Rebecca Steelman says:

      OHH GAIL !! You know I had to come upon this blog of yours today! So, so wonderful! Withe me being an Eagle lover and having done some Eagle drawings which you have seen, I have to tell you how great your shots are of this beautiful, majestic creature. Such inspiring thoughts you have written as well on your eagle’s visitation and Presence in God to your gorgeous surroundings at your lake home. Thank you so much for sharing, and I will DM you on a proposal to do commission Art Piece of your fave shot of her. : ) Hugs! Rebecca

      Reply
    8. LT
      LT says:

      I began talking with trees back in Washington when I would go on hikes and always get answers to my questions. I started a book, Lessons from the Maple Trees, then I moved to the redwoods where I got a different perspective and answers not only came into my mind; but, also through dreams and visions, After moving to Montana I discovered a trail with cedars and they not only have answered some of my deepest fears they also sing to me and reach deeply into my soul.
      I once had a vision that I was surrounded by a group of people where I lay in the circle and an eagle hovered overhead screeching and called out to me in my mind,’ You are now Eagle Dancing’, right before the vision of the eagle their were cartoon flowers that opened up quickly like I was seeing time move very fast. This spring is coming on quickly and I feel as though my name is beckoning me to seek higher vision and move out into the world, thank you Gail for the reminder this morning!

      Reply
    9. Jessica
      Jessica says:

      Wow! This blog was like a friendly reminder for me. Thanks for posting it. BTW- your pictures are breath taking.

      Hugs,
      Jessica

      Reply
    10. Gail
      Gail says:

      Jessica, thanks for your kind words. Glad you liked the photos.

      Laura, great to see your comments here too. I love that you talk to the trees. Is you trail with cedars at Avalanche Creek in Glacier? I love the energy of that trail too! I greatly enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

      Big hugs!

      Reply
    11. Faye
      Faye says:

      Wow! God spoke to me as I read your blog. I strengthened and encouraged by your words and photos. May God continue to bless you as you see beauty in His creation and share it with others.

      Reply

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