It was one of those days that I sat down in front of the TV for no other reason than to allow my brain to rest, veg out a little while. When I am in this space it does not really matter what is on and I sometimes do not even make the effort to flip through the channels. What I watch is less important than the fact that I am not doing a task, planning a task or worrying about the next six tasks on my never-ending to do list.
That is how I happened across the Turtleman. If you do not know who the Turtleman is, the simplest explanation is to say that he is a critter wrangler.
The surprising thing about it was at the end of the day I found I learned a thing or two from watching him and none of them had anything to do with capturing a racoon, possum or a turtle. I thought I would share them with you today.
1. If you can name it you can tame it.
He always gives a name to the rascal he is attempting to capture and relocated. He would give each creature a name based on the situation and what he could detect of its personality based on the reported behaviors and clues that it had left behind. It reminds me of something I ran across once while studying different cultural practices. There was a recounting of a practice in a particular Native American tribe that a particular wise elder did the naming of all the children. This was based on the belief that in order to properly name something you must have a real understanding of it.
When you think about any process of self-improvement you see that you must first acknowledge and name the problem before you can begin the work of solving it.
2. You can decide to be happy.
The Turtleman seems very happy yet he has very little in the way of material possessions. His home has no running water and he doesn’t even have a full set of teeth, yet he is happy. Happiness really is a state of mind, not a destination.
3. One path to happiness is through service to others.
It appears that the Turtleman’s standard fee for capturing and relocating a critter is $65. That includes a house call, a crew of one or more helpers and no charge by the hour. Often it seems that he is not paid in money but in handmade goods from the hands of appreciative children or other non-monetary compensation such as the honor of waving the starting flag at the local speedway.
Much of his payment is from his joy from alleviating the suffering of others, both people and animals.
4. If you follow your bliss you will be successful.
Success is relative so everyone’s success will look different but success is living a life doing what you love.
5. Celebrate your victories.
The Turtleman loves to dance. It is very difficult not to feel joy if you let yourself dance with abandon. It is the body’s way of expressing joy. Give yourself the gift of dancing like no one is watching.