Parrots don’t come into our lives with the innate ability to understand us as humans, and living in our world is often quite perplexing to them. While they DO have an amazing gift of feeling FOR us and sensing our emotions, their knowledge of “who” we are as individuals only comes from spending a large majority of their time quietly observing us and the world around them. We can also benefit just as much from observing them as well.
Here are a few ideas that you might enjoy “stealing” from your parrot.
1. Eat Like You Mean It
The simple act of a parrot enjoying their meal is a combination of circus antics and wearable art… in NO particular order.
Every morsel is relished so much that sometimes it can be difficult to locate the bird behind the food-covered beak.
In our fast-paced world, we have gotten used to eating quickly as we hurry through our day. I know myself that there have been been times that I was in such a hurry that I wasn’t sure if I actually ate something or just imagined it. Where is the fun in THAT?
We all need to take time — no matter how short — to enjoy and celebrate our unique ability to take simple ingredients and prepare a meal just as much as we should enjoy making it disappear off of our plate.
And if you have to throw a little bit of food around during that celebration, then so be it!
2. Be Fascinated
Give a parrot a bird-safe toy and what happens? Everything about that toy, no matter what shape or size, is an experience in sight, sound, taste and touch. That one bird toy gets turned over and over, shaken, thrown, retrieved, licked, beaten up, dunked in water, dunked in FOOD, tucked under a wing, KISSED, snuggled and talked to. And all THAT usually happens within the first five minutes!
Thanks to my parrots, I have learned the art of being fascinated by the simple goings-on throughout my day. The daily swordplay that my little hummingbirds have over their “territories?of nectar-filled feeders is just as fascinating as watching snow fall.
We truly live in a fascinating world… if we just look a little closer at “the small stuff.”
3. Enjoy Quiet Time
There are times when my parrots are busy playing, singing, squawking and chatting. Then there are the times where they are quiet as mice. These quiet times don’t necessarily always involve naps. Sometimes they are spent quietly staring out a window, feathers fluffed up, contentedly studying the world.
We can also benefit from taking time to sit quietly. I like to call it “Soak Time,” where it’s OK to have random thoughts… or no thoughts at all.
A few moments of quiet time allows our thoughts to file themselves away where they need to go.
Or maybe our quiet time needs to just involve watching the sun come up or the stars come out, appreciating their existence and nothing more. My parrots watch the sun come up every day, quietly at first, then with much celebration.
When is the last time you quietly celebrated a sunrise? I prefer mine with a cup of coffee.
4. Take A Nap!
And then there are naps. Oh, the glorious, wonderful NAP.
Naps are something we loathed as children and yearn for as adults. Our parrots make it look so effortless and easy — one minute they’re wide awake, the next minute there’s a beak sleepily tucked into feathers and eyes contentedly closed.
One afternoon while it was pouring down rain, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. I wanted to take a nap so badly, but felt like there were too many other things I “needed to do.”
I decided to indulge myself “for just a minute” and lie down on the couch, which of course was surrounded by my parrots Thor, Petrie, and Fred. All of them had been happily chattering to themselves, until I lay down. All the sudden, there was complete silence … sort of.
My Moluccan cockatoo hen, Thor, quietly ground her beak, with an occasional softly whispered, “Hi Thor” Fred, my male Alexandrine, who is always looking for an excuse to sleep, crawled into his “nap tent” and was silent. My timneh Grey, Petrie, who normally can’t resist a moment without sarcasm, sat quietly watching nearby with his feathers happily fluffed up.
I would have never thought that listening to a whispering cockatoo softly grinding her beak would put me soundly to sleep, but I was out in less than a minute. Surrounded by my ever-watchful flock and their oddly peaceful parrot-sounds, I found that blissful “nap?that I had long been searching for.
5. Be Silly!
Sometimes it? really OK to be a little silly and spontaneousŠas long as it does not involve the front page of the newspaper or jail-time. Our parrots do silly things all the time, which is one of the many reasons why they are so endearing to us. They are simply unafraid of being themselves.
So go ahead: Sing at the tip-top of your lungs, no matter how off key, or dance like no one is watching — except for maybe your birds, because chances are, they’re going to be singing and dancing with you.
There is something very uplifting about simply being silly on occasion. More than likely, your parrots will be happily celebrating life right along with you. YOU, on the other hand, get to enjoy the small taste of freedom that our parrots share at simply being able to express themselves without worry of what the rest of the world thinks.
And for those that might have a “less-than-spontaneous” opinion about all that silliness, well, a well-aimed juicy grape flung in their general direction might just be in order.
6. Lighten Up!
The truth is that it is utterly impossible to be a deeply serious person and live with parrots at the same time. At some point, it’s just easier to laugh about the sweet-potato-and-mango wall mural that your parrot has “created” for you, or the parrot poop you discover on your shoulder just as company arrives, than to be overly upset about it all.
Our parrots are very much like the children we used to be before we were told to put on our big-people-pants and grow up. A parrot’s view of the world is very childlike in its simplicity and wonder. Their time is not clogged by an endless daily to-do list, but rather with decisions about what makes them feel happy, safe and secure.
The best idea that we can possibly steal from our parrots is to treat life like they view their world every single day: Find joy in the simple things, be fascinated by the world around you and celebrate every moment with who and what’s in it. Why? Because today is really all we have.
Perhaps our parrots really know a lot more about life than we do.