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It was a dark winter's night. The snow was falling softly on the ground. Ms. Owl was perched on the top branch of the tree-working late as usual. All the other branches were empty because her co-workers had gone home. Once again, she was the only one left.
Her face appeared majestic in the moonlight. She had a few more gray feathers than when she started at the company seasons ago, but her warm, friendly demeanor hadn't changed. She was proud to work for Owl USA, one of the oldest information providers, as an assistant to Boss Owl. Her willingness to help without complaining made her well liked by the male officers at the corporate roost.
But looking more closely: she seemed tired-no, not tired-a bit sad. Something was wrong. A significant birthday was coming up in two days, and life felt bittersweet. She didn't feel like celebrating, even though she had a lot to be grateful for.
Back at her nest, she was raising Oohie, whom she adored. Unfortunately, her mate, Mr. Owl, wasn't home much, working the night shift at the airlines. So the brunt of the nest work fell on her. She tried to manage it all, but at what price? Her eyes had lost their sparkle.
As a female bird, she was notorious for putting herself last on the list-rarely taking time out for self-care. Although she did get her nails clipped every few weeks, it just wasn't enough. When was the last time she shared a meal with a friend to talk about frivolous things-like exotic migration spots, the latest store sales, or new reads for a rainy day?
She was about to call it a night-pack up and fly home-when she looked under her briefcase and saw an envelope. Just one more piece of mail to handle, she thought.
...from Chapter Four
Ms. Owl woke to the sweet sounds of the birds and a magnificent view-the sun rising and the sky painted shades of pink and gold.
She had a bite to eat and went straight to the Quick Coach seminar. The gilded perch was already packed with other birds-all were eager for the session to begin. Ms. Owl didn't know anyone and felt awkward. She was beginning to have second thoughts about whether this was right for her.
All of a sudden, a brown and gray-feathered eagle swooped down to the perch. She fanned her tail feathers and strutted to the front of the crowd with confidence. She looked directly at the birds.
"Many of you have come here to recharge yourself and get your sparkle back. You'll do that by taking a good look at situations that get you off track. I'll give you strategies to handle these challenges. But the real trick is keeping your sparkle when you get back home. I encourage you to make friends here because they will be a great resource for you when you return. "
Ms. Owl felt the stirrings of hope. She had been running on empty for weeks. It pained her that she no longer felt enthusiastic about work or even about being with Oohie. That's exactly it: my life has no sparkle, she thought.
The eagle set some ground rules. "If you have something to say, say it. And be as truthful as possible. Your contribution is important."
It wasn't at all like Ms. Owl to start first, but her anxiety compelled her to. She blurted out, nervously, "You've put your finger on it exactly! I want to feel excited about my life again. Much of the time, I feel exhausted."
The eagle responded, "You are aware of the problem; that is key!" And she wrote on the board:
Knowing that there is an imbalance in your life is the first step towards changing it