It has been said that attention is the most basic form of love.
Lately I have been giving a lot of attention to those I love. My daughter, Grace, graduated with honors yesterday from the local community college. We enjoyed a beautiful special ceremony last night at the school just for those in the Honors Program.
I am blessed and grateful I am the Casting Director for IX Productions. Auditions are being held here in Kansas City for their next film and we are expecting a large turnout. So I have been preparing for this weekend’s auditions as well as helping Grace through her final days of school.
I have also been extending my attention to my own future classes, my retreat, and my own studies. It is never ending all that we can do, be and learn. I love giving my attention to all of my callings, my family and my students.
However there are others I love who have felt my lack of attention.
So as I opened the curtains in my living room this morning I was greeted with a cold, hard stare.
My favorite dove couple sat on the ledge of the porch looking in the window at me. And boy, they were not happy with me.
I had been so busy this week taking care of other business, planning future events, celebrating Grace’s graduation and preparing for casting this weekend, a whole week slipped by very quickly.
A whole week with an empty bird feeder.
Most mornings I like to go out on my porch and fill the feeder first, before taking care of anyone or anything else. I put fresh birdseed out in the feeder and on the ledge and maybe a few peanuts for the squirrel. (Even though the chipmunk gets them and stuffs all of them into his mouth before the squirrel can get to them.)
It is so important to me to center myself in nature first each day. I greet the day, meditate and spend as much time outside as I can when the weather is decent.
I ran out of birdseed sometime last week, and I thought I would pick up more birdseed that same day. But now the doves were reminding me it had been a whole week. The week slipped by and my routine had also slipped too easily away.
The stern look from the doves helped me wake up and realize I was getting caught up in a busy pace that is not what is best for me.
I have been doing so much for so many that I didn’t realize how much time had passed since I took care of my winged friends.
They are such an important part of my life. That is why I usually take care of them first. It is through nature that my cup gets filled.
When I neglect that which fills my cup, I am not taking care of me.
A simple task such as feeding the birds is like a lifeline that reminds me not to neglect the ones I love. Ever. And most importantly, not to neglect me.
Although my list of things to do was growing, I put the birds first on my list today.
I threw on my Micky Mouse t-shirt and a pair of jeans preparing with minimal wardrobe or makeup concerns to run over to Ace Hardware to pick up some birdseed. Before I could get out the door Grace was asking me to help her with a job application.
I said, “No, I can’t right now. I have grumpy doves I need to feed first.”
Later, after the doves and the cardinals and the chipmunks were happily eating I sat down and got back to work. Grace sat down and I helped her with her application, got my website updated, took another reservation for the retreat and went over the notes for auditions tomorrow.
Tonight I will re-read the script to prepare for casting the next film tomorrow. I will say my prayers and send out healing to those in need.
And as I write this I hear the doves cooing happily outside my open window.
Don’t neglect what you love. Take care of you and connect with what you need. First.