Today on my run I was struggling. Running has become difficult most days. It is difficult to run well when your mind is racing. Usually my running is an escape from daily life and after a run my mind feels clear, but lately even running can’t clear my mind. I sometimes wish that I could go back to the carefree days of being a student. Real life is full of responsibility. I know that is an excuse; my real problem is the fact that I can’t make up my mind and I am struggling with decisions.
I feel that I am at a fork in the road and there are several different paths I can take. I have tried going down one path that looked like it might be perfect, but that path seems to be leading nowhere and has left me feeling anxious and disappointed. Now I need to decide between a path that is uncertain but possibly full of opportunity and another path that helps solve my problems but only temporarily.
I try to see the ‘glass as half full.’ I know I have been blessed with so many opportunities. In this bad economy I have been very lucky. I am ambitious and like to be productive. I don’t, however, like feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. For 6 months I was so overwhelmed with work that I sometimes did not have time to think; now I am frustrated. Every job has some frustrations, but I want to do something that I enjoy and that brings be joy and satisfaction most days.
This morning on my run I was thinking about all of these things and my mind was racing. I was about to give up and turn around to go home but I decided to keep going. At that very moment, something caught my eye and I turned my head. Two feet away from me on a fence post sat a hawk. She was a beautiful creature with glistening brown, black, and grey feathers and eyes full of wisdom. I was startled at first, then looked her straight in the eyes. For about two seconds our eyes locked before she flew away. I wondered where he had come from. I had not noticed him as I approached and he must have seen me coming. As I finished my run, I contemplated my chance encounter with the majestic hawk.
At home, I typed in “hawk symbolism” into Google search. Here is what I found:
The hawk brings with it many different meanings. “If the hawk totem has entered your life recently take a moment to stop and reflect.” The hawk is a symbol of awareness and reflection. If the hawk totem has entered your life you need to stop and reflect on your current situation. The hawk is also a symbol of insight and vision. This means stop doubting yourself and your vision and assert yourself. The hawk represents initiative and decisiveness as well as caution and maneuvering. “The hawk spirit can alert us to those times when we should not take action because we do not yet have all the information we need. Be patient and fully examine the breadth of your decision making, once you have enough information Hawk will guide your decision making.” Hawk will guide you towards a more favorable path.
After posting about my encounter on facebook, I receive a message from my uncle. He explained that shortly after my grandmother’s death, all of her children went for walk in the field behind her house. While they were walking they spotted a red-tailed hawk circling around them in the ski. He said the hawk circled for a long time before it flew gracefully into the clouds. Now, when they see a hawk, they say it is their mom, my grandma, watching over the.
Here I sit at a fork in the road, my mind continues to race, and the image of the hawk keeps coming back to me. I think of my grandmother. I think of her house in Vermont and the field behind the house, and I picture a hawk circling above. Is my grandmother trying to tell me something? Is there some other reason for the hawk? I wish the answer were a little clearer, but I may be over-thinking it.
Perhaps the hawk was there to tell me I should stop worrying so much. Maybe if it were my grandmother she would tell me to have faith that whatever decision I make will be the right decision. She would tell me that the best thing I can do is to stop doubting myself and be thankful for all of the gifts for which I have been blessed.
The next time I am on a run and want to give up I will keep going, because it is in that moment when you feel like giving up that something wonderful might happen.