This summer, at my home in Santa Fe, I had the honor of witnessing the cycle of life with three sets of nesting birds and their babies, right outside my kitchen window.

I saw the eggs being laid, the attentive mothers sitting on the eggs all day and night through the wind storms, rain, and blazing sun.  I saw the brand new babies in the nests, the mothers and sometimes fathers gathering food for the babies and funneling it down their throats.

I was amazed by the attentiveness and dedication of these parents, who taught their babies to remain in the nests without making noise, who trained them to recognize the sound of their voices as they approached, and who squalled and attacked whenever there was a predator.

birds-002These parents paid attention to every detail of their babies’ lives, even removing “poop” from their bottoms and flying it out of the nests.

They instilled a sense of safety and confidence in their babies – leaving them alone for long periods when the babies began exercising their wings and moving about in the nests.  The parents remained close, but they did not hover or hamper the babies’ growth process.

It was a great joy to watch the “maiden flights” of each little bird; tentative and short at first, but increasing in distance each day.  When they flew, they were accompanied by the parents, who dutifully returned them to the nests and fed them throughout the day.

Finally, the day came when they left the nests for the last time.  The probability is that each of these birds will return to these nests next year, to have their own babies.  SUCH A JOY AND HONOR!

I found myself pondering on the life of these birds and envying their natural instincts to nurture their babies.  They just intuitively knew what to do: how to make a nest, how to keep the eggs warm, how to put their own needs aside and focus on the babies, what kind of food to feed them, how to encourage their growth and development.

I compared those qualities with the life of humans, who, too, are dependent on their parents to meet their basic needs and encourage their development.

I realized that humans are much more complicated than animals, having psycho-social as well as physical needs.  In my book, Creating A Healthy Life and Marriage, I identified these five basic needs:

  1. Being loved, just because you are part of the family
  2. Being accepted for your own unique identity
  3. Being safe – body, mind, emotions and spirit
  4. Receiving patient and age- appropriate guidance to learn and acquire skills
  5. Receiving appropriate boundaries and consequences for behavior


Unfortunately, many human parents are ill-equipped to raise their children and children leave their families with emotional and psychological problems and do not thrive.

The future for these children, however, need not be bleak.  I know without a doubt that THE SAME CREATOR WHO MADE THE ANIMALS AND PLANTS throughout the world is INTIMATELY CONCERNED WITH EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES and is WAITING PATIENTLY FOR US TO ASK FOR HELP.

birds-003Once we issue that request, THE SPIRIT will come into our lives and direct us to the people that can help us grow and heal. In my thirty-plus years of doing holistic psychotherapy with clients, I have seen hundreds of amazing transformations, and healing, of body, mind, emotions, spirits, and relationships.  And I have experienced it myself.