Let’s play a game.  Look at your left shoulder. Go on. I’m not looking at you. See it? Sitting on your shoulder is a giant Black Parrot. And this nasty bird does not negotiate.

Chocolate bribes, pyjama pants and rose bouquets? Nope. The Black Parrot is like Terminator. He won’t quit until your Work is <gulp> terminated.

Every time you doubt, procrastinate, give up or get down (I mean, we are living through a global pandemic!), your Black Parrot squawks in nasty glee.

Here’s the good news.

Every storyteller/change-maker/daredevil/kind heart/lighthouse/leader (YOU!) has a Black Parrot perched and poohing on their shoulder.

Whether you call this bird your Inner Critic, your “I’m not good enough” voice, your well-polished Imposter Syndrome, your writer’s block, your fight-or-flight or your favourite form of Resistance (e.g., binge watching, ice cream bail eating), know this: the Black Parrot’s arrival signals kick-off season to inner transformation.

Want to feel stronger, kinder, braver, more resilient, creative, confident and calm? Great.

Here are three steps to help you take command over your turd bird so you start feeling better fast.

Celebrate.  The only time your Black Parrot pays attention is when you’re falling from the nest and being forced to fly. (And yes, we are all falling and flying these days.) Your Black Parrot will NEVER tell you to get off the couch, put down the fork or hold your tongue. Black Parrot squawking? Good. You are definitely bringing Light into the world. Yay!

Accept. You probably have an idea, a dream or a solution you believe matters. Let’s say it out loud: you matter, your ideas matter, and your stories can help and inspire others. “What is to give light must endure burning,” said the wise woman. Good. The bigger the Parrot, the bigger the Work, the brighter the fire. Burn, baby, burn. What’s mightier than a Parrot? A phoenix rising.

Move. Did you know it’s easier to navigate a moving car than a parked car?  Most people live at the starting line, on “get ready,” but they never hit “go.” When you do your Work, you’re in the race, out on the field. Every time you take a creative risk, whether by being more vulnerable, saying a clean “no,” or practising self-care, you grow more powerful against fear and anxiety.

This pandemic will end. And we will be changed. Our Black Parrot is always inviting us to transform our fears into new creations of growth, Service and community. Celebrate. Accept. Move. And repeat until you’re flying in bright blue skies.