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A Pelican, A Gator, and An Elephant April 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Magick & Mystery, Spirit & Ego.

The pelican leaned back and relaxed as he spoke with his friends, flip-flops flapping in time with the Eternal Now.

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“When we reflect on our lives, and what we want, the goal behind most other goals is simply happiness.  We want to be happy. But, we have a tendency to look for happiness in all the wrong places.”

The gator nodded, her agreement impossible to miss given her prominent jaw.

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“We look for happiness outside of ourselves, instead of looking within.  We look for acceptance and approval from others, rather than accepting and approving of ourselves.  We get caught up in daily dramas and lose touch with the present moment.”

The elephant, resplendent in his attire as self-appointed court jester, laughed in agreement.

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“It’s Ego that gets in the way!  It pretends that its defending us from the unwarranted attacks of others while acting the part of the Trojan Horse.”

His stalwart companion neighed support, choosing to ignore the disparaging comparison between Ego and his distant kith and kin.

Seeing all eyes upon him, the pelican reclaimed the floor.  “Ego is a story-teller, spinning webs and stirring up conflict by encouraging us to look to others to define our selves and delineate our relevance.”

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Pelican reached into his pocket and pulled out a sheet of paper, worn at its creases.  He glanced over his bill at his companions before continuing.

“In Power, Freedom, and Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness, Deepak Chopra explained the distinction between Ego and Spirit in a way that really spoke to me.  Here’s the passage:

Behind the curtain of your intellect and emotions is your self-image or ego. The ego is not your real self; it is the image of yourself that you have slowly built over time. It is the mask behind which you hide, but it is not the real you. And because it is not the real you, but a fraud, it lives in fear. It wants approval. It needs to control.

The ego is the prison you have built around your-self, and now it holds you captive within its walls. 

And how do you break free from captivity? You break free by choosing to identify with your inner self, the real you.

You know you are free when you feel happy and at ease instead of fearful and anxious. You know you are free when you are independent of the good and bad opinions of others, when you have relinquished the need to seek approval, when you believe that you are good enough as you are.

You know you are free when you surrender to the moment, to the what is, and trust that the universe is on your side. You know you are free when you let go of resentments and grievances and choose to forgive.

As the pelican refolded the sheet of paper and stuffed it back into his pocket, a transvestite bullfrog (in full regalia) hopped over to join the conversation.

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“I overheard what you said about Ego.  I agree.  Now that I use an internal yardstick to measure my worth, I am happy.  I no longer get offended if THEY don’t approve of my lipstick.  I don’t feel the need to defend myself if THEY criticize my weight, my attire, or my life choices. What THEY think of me is none of my business.  I don’t need a signed permission slip from THEM to live MY life.”

With that, the bulging bullfrog (and his bulbous gilded lips) morphed into a Golden Egret.

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As the transformed frog lifted off the ground to soar on an unseen breeze, it tossed out a golden nugget for the pelican, gator, and elephant to digest:

The key to lasting happiness is to identify with the unchanging essence of your inner self, your source.  Then you no longer look for happiness because you know you already have it.

This happiness is true bliss, and it follows you wherever you go.*

Aah . . . that’s better!

* What is the key to lasting happiness?, Power, Freedom, and Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness



1. Don - April 7, 2015

Wonderful Nancy. So creative and the words profound. I love the way you did this using those marvellous images A joy to read.

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Thanks, Don. I had a blast putting this together . . . using this fun sidewalk statuary as a springboard to amuse my muse.

Here’s to the wise pelican within!

Don - April 7, 2015

I can imagine.

2. Pix Under the Oaks - April 7, 2015

OhMyGosh Nancy you don’t know how this makes me raise my right eyebrow this morning and hits home a bit… 😀 Such a great post… love your words! I am not going to tell you that I miss your daily posts because that wouldn’t be fair… 🙂

Pix Under the Oaks - April 7, 2015

Are the bronze sculptures on AMI?

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Thanks, Pix! After coasting for 3 months, I still don’t miss the “daily grind,” BUT . . . this was FUN to write.

We found these amusing critters living on Beach Dr. in St. Pete, overlooking the pier.

Pix Under the Oaks - April 7, 2015

Well I haven’t posted in over a month and I am not missing it so I understand. We have not spent much time in St. Pete.

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

We’ve only been to downtown St. Pete 2-3 times. A few weeks back we had lunch at Moon Under Water and spied these intriguing creatures on our after lunch walkabout. Each made me laugh louder than the last.

I bet your fans, followers, and friends are waiting to see the Tiny Ten decked out in its Spring finery. :mrgreen:

Pix Under the Oaks - April 7, 2015

Spring is not with the program just yet!

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

She is being LA~ZEE!!! 😎

3. Jill Weatherholt - April 7, 2015

“It is the mask behind which you hide, but it is not the real you.” Love this! Actually, I loved the entire post, Nancy…thank you. The pictures are great too! They made me laugh. 🙂

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Thanks, Jill! Glad you got a laugh out of these wise critters.

Once we see the Ego for what it is (a flimsy mask with an overrated sense of its own importance) we spend less time defending it and more time living, loving, laughing, and learning

4. L. Marie - April 7, 2015

That was profound and absolutely hilarious. I laughed out loud!
Loved this:
“The key to lasting happiness is to identify with the unchanging essence of your inner self, your source. Then you no longer look for happiness because you know you already have it.”

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Yay! Glad you enjoyed this, Linda. I had a blast putting it together.

Once we see that Ego is just an image pieced together from the various roles we play, we spend less time worrying about our reputation with others and more time enjoying life.

L. Marie - April 7, 2015

So true, Nancy!!!

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Here’s to living, loving, laughing, and learning!

5. http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com - April 7, 2015

Absolute perfection in every way!

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Thanks so much! I had a ton of fun preparing this post for posting ~ including the initial discovery of these crazy critters on Beach Drive in St. Pete.

6. viviankirkfield - April 7, 2015

Forgive my absence, Nancy…I’ve been writing quite a bit more…and blogging quite a bit less. 🙂
Yes…this is so true. Happiness is within…and if we look to others to make us happy, we are bound to be disappointed. What an awesome post…and the photos are ‘da bomb’!!!!

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Hi Vivian! No worries, mate. I’m in the same boat ~> spending less time blogging on SLTW and reading elsewhere. Due to time constraints, I’ve veered away from blog posts focused on picture books. Glad that you’re happily engaged with your writing. Thanks for stopping by!

7. anotherday2paradise - April 7, 2015

Wow! Nancy this is such an amazing post. Those sculptures are fabulous, and the wisdom you’ve woven around them is really brilliant. I loved every word. xx

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Thanks, Sylvia. So glad you enjoyed the post and its featured critters. I fell in love with these guys as we wandered down Beach Dr. in St. Pete ~ they inspired me to spin a bit of synchronicity and mystery around them.

8. Silver in the Barn - April 7, 2015

I hope whoever sculpted or otherwise created this figures will see this post and be surprised by the wisdom hidden in his work. Excellent message, Nancy.

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Thanks, Barb. We got such a kick out of seeing these Sidewalk Sculptures in St. Pete. Maybe someday we’ll bump into the artist.

9. reocochran - April 7, 2015

Okay, you outdid yourself, Nancy! First, the humorous conversation with illustrated sculptures for the images was priceless. Then you went ‘deep’ and got to the ‘meat’ of the subject, with Deepak Chopra! Wow, loved this post and thoughts are rambling around the crevices of my brain. Hope it helps get the cobwebs out of there!

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Thanks, Robin. So much of what we do stems from the desire to feed Ego’s insatiable appetite for approval, applause, accolades, acknowledgment, and acclaim. Once we realize that Ego is a broccoli head, that incessant need for external validation dissipates and we become more confident about our choices.

10. Tiny - April 7, 2015

Your muse really had fun with these fancy critters! And the message is profound. Pure wisdom for the heart.

nrhatch - April 7, 2015

Thanks, Tiny! Once we learn to ignore Ego’s need to impress others, we are free to be as we are.

11. Behind the Story - April 8, 2015

Masterful, Nancy. Your thoughts, those of Deepak Chopra, and these wonderful, fanciful sculptures come together to make a delightful post. May we all strive to find happiness by identifying with the unchanging essence of our inner selves.

nrhatch - April 8, 2015

Thanks, Nicki. We spied these fanciful sculptures on Beach Dr. in St. Pete after lunch at Moon Under Water. Each seemed so comfortable in his/her own, um, skin ~> the way we could be if we stopped trying to prove something to THEM.

Here’s to our unique inner sparks!

12. NancyTex - April 8, 2015

Hi NH, I’m sorry I’ve been a bit absent lately. Have been dealing with some medical drama; in and out of hospital this past week. Your posts have made me smile and think though, so thank you for that!

nrhatch - April 8, 2015

Hope you’re on the rebound from your medical drama and are now getting settled into your new digs. Spending time in hospitals is NOT Zen . . . or Fun. Best Wishes for a quick recovery.

NancyTex - April 8, 2015

No such luck yet. I may write a book about this. There’s that much to tell.

nrhatch - April 8, 2015

I’m sorry you’re having to deal with health issues, especially so soon after your move. When you’re ready to share, you can write that “tell all.” Til then, hang in there, NT. We’re cheering for you!

13. Naomi - April 8, 2015

Fabulous post Nancy! Love your wisdom as always, wrapped in a great story and photos 😀 I couldn’t have dreamt up these characters if I’d tried, especially not the mutating transvestite bullfrog!

nrhatch - April 8, 2015

Thanks, Naomi. Before writing this post, I’d never considered what a transvestite bullfrog might look like . . . before or after morphing into a heron.

But it seemed the most expedient way to explain a bull-frog wearing gold lipstick. :mrgreen:

14. Anne Lene - April 8, 2015

Awesome! Wonderful written, Nancy. And so wonderful creative with your characters… Love it…

nrhatch - April 8, 2015

Thanks, Anne! Hope you’re still enjoying your “packing party.” I think it’s a great way to clear our the clutter that has infiltrated your space.

Anne Lene - April 9, 2015

Yes, its a great way to get down to the nitty gritties, the items we normally dont “see” when we just declutter shelf by shelf, drawer by drawer… since it gives you a aha on how much sruff one has combined… But I have to admit, I’m a bit “over it” as I really cant stand having thing stacked in boxes 😉 but thats not stopping me… I will finish this packing party now that I’ve started it 😉

nrhatch - April 9, 2015

Your loss is your gain!

15. Three Well Beings - April 10, 2015

Fantastic, Nancy! This is so creatively composed and the animal statuary is incredibly fanciful! I enjoyed a little wisdom from Deepak as well. I always learn from him! This was a great read!

nrhatch - April 10, 2015

Thanks, Debra. I enjoyed cobbling together these fabulous critters with Deepak’s thoughts on Ego ~> when we see what an insidious beast it is, we more easily slay the dragon and begin to live happily ever after . . . on a moment by moment basis.

16. jannatwrites - April 15, 2015

This was a great story (how creative to have a transvestite bull frog morph into an egret 🙂 ) I like the last ‘nugget’ of wisdom. Happiness isn’t all that elusive if we’re looking in the right place

nrhatch - April 15, 2015

Thanks, Janna. My favorite thing about fiction ~> lessons we can apply in “real life.” Once we learn to ignore Ego’s insatiable need for approval, applause, and acclaim, life is smoother sailing.

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