How a Coyote learns a lesson in Focus from Red-Tailed Hawk
One of the most difficult things for me, during Journeywork, is to maintain my focus on the images that are flowing through my head, and to follow them to their logical (or bizzare) conclusions.
Working with Coyote, who likes to flit about as much as I do, it's doubly hard. On the one hand, I've gotten very good at splitting my attention in at least five different directions. I can hear one animal in part of my head, see a shadowy intrusion inside a client, hear my teacher's voice singing her sacred songs, blink and visualize my hands into paws with claws, and listen to my client's questions.
However, on the other paw, when working with Bear, he is very specific about the level of intense focus I need for certain workings. It can be dangerous, if I am not paying full attention, and I can lose myself, or a part of a client that I am bringing back.
I am not the best person for fully focused mediation, preferring activities that keep both my body and mind busy on a task. So when I supported friends at an archery contest, I immediatley saw this as a way to learn intense focus. In a funny synchronicity, my mother told me that she used to practice archery for almost seven years! I took that as my "Aha!" moment (my Two-By-Four from the Universe) and purchased a bow and arrows.
Upon driving up to Lancaster Archery in PA, I saw numerous birds of prey fly by the car. They were all Red-Tailed Hawks:
|from Pat's Backyard Bird Cam|
Red-Tailed Hawks have famously focused vision and intense concentration. They also have the easily-recognizable screech used in countless ads and movies (the sound I sometimes make when I don't want to wake up).
I saw the same large amount of Red-Tailed Hawks driving back to Maryland, after purchasing my bow, and so I decided to ask for the Hawk's blessing of my endeavor, and of my bow. I painted a small image on the arrow rest, and have named my bow Red Hawk, in honor of the new relationship and skill I hoped to have with him.
I've been at the range for a little over two months, practicing this new skill. And it is hard. I am not using sights, only instinct, pure focus, and the visualization of the Red-Tail Hawk next to me. I'm not really hoping to ever hit a bull's eye, or hunt, as this is a purely meditative and magical practice.
But I have noticed an increase in my ability to focus, both at work, and at tasks at home. In my Journeys, I've found that I can bring myself back to my visions quicker (if I start to meander), and they are clearer and more grounded in my senses of taste, smell, hearing, touch, and vision...
Ok, now I'm taking the keyboard away from Monika-- she really just wanted to show off her "Katniss" impression!!! <-- Coyote, duh.