Where’s your Birdie?
This is the question I am going into the New Year with!
No, I haven’t suddenly landed in an episode of Wacky Races with Dastardly and Muttley trying to ‘catch the pigeon’ nor have I lost my cockatiel, (long since dead much loved rescue bird, Custard). The birdie is metaphor for attention, spirit, direction, focus …
‘Forward and Up’, Cartoon by Kirsten Harris
Years ago I attended a lecture and then read about a wonderful horsemanship theory called Birdie Theory, by Dr Deb Bennet. The concept is that the birdie is the horses attention, and that it is an extremely good idea to know where the horses birdie is at all times. For example a horse that is unwilling to go forward may have left his birdie back in the stable and you may have to go and retrieve it, or equally a horses birdie can fly miles away, his attention caught by something in the distance. Where the horses birdie is, is where his body will want to go. Does this sound Alexander Technique familiar?
The birdie is attached by a ‘golden thread’, and you do not want to snap the thread. That is then cruelty. Your job is to be aware and understand how to connect with the inside of the horse, moment by moment and get his birdie with you. A job in the ongoing present. Patience is required.
‘Good Boy’ Cartoon by Kirsten Harris
I started thinking about Birdie Theory in relationship to a friend with a family member with mental health problems the other day, wondering if this concept might be of help.
But then it struck me that it would also be useful for me to reconnect with my birdie as the year comes to an end and consider where my birdie is. Have I caged it in any way? Am I clipping my birdie’s wings? Am I losing my birdie at times? Or abandoning it? Where does my birdie want to fly into the new year? How high does my birdie want to fly? How far? Does my birdie need a bit of attention? …
‘Believe in Yourself!’ Cartoon by Kirsten Harris
Thinking of a birdie leading the way forwards and upwards into he flow of life feels like a really helpful concept for me to see my New Year’s Intentions as not so much a ‘to do’ or ‘to achieve’ list but more as New Year Attentions – a reconnection and renewal of where my spirit is going to be in 2019.
And now searching for an image for this blog I realise a bird had been appearing in lots of drawings over the past few years and that I feel inspired to develop this birdie character in my artwork too into the new year. My birdie is happy finding a birdie! Where’s your birdie?
Hope this is helpful and wishing you a very happy new year
www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – artwork, prints, cards
www.kirstenharris.co.uk – Alexander Technique and Horsemanship – Walking with Your Horse Lessons in Alexander Technique
Air Bourne by Kirsten Harris
Oil on Canvas
100 x 150 cms