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January - Eric's Got The Answers

December Decisions with Barry Blue December 1, 2017  |  Interview by Louise Dog

Got a problem? What do you want to know? Need some advice? Google isn't necessarily the best place to go to to solve life's problems. Sure, there are practitioners that deal with every sort of mental and physical malady. But

I know one bird who is sensitive and discreet and gives wise counsel

That is Eric the Owl, my own personal life coach and January's Bird of the Month..

Louise: Good to see you, Eric. I wanted those who read my blog to meet you because I want to share your wisdom with them. Also, if I get you some new clients, perhaps you'll give me a little break on your fees?

Eric: Good to see you too, Louise. As far as lowering my fees, we will discuss that in a private forum. This is not the place.

L: Of course. Well, Eric, did you come from a family of advisers? How did you find your calling?

E: No, not at all. My dad was a skilled hunter and was primary in putting the rodent in the nest for our family. My mother was sweet and quite beautiful. But she was taken from us too soon by a vicious eagle. So it was just my dad, myself and my four siblings growing up.

L: My Goodness! I'm sure that tragedy had great influence on the trajectory of your life.

E: To say the least! My brothers and sisters (two of each) were devastated, as were my father and I. But Dad was the silent type, so I took up the job of listening to my siblings when they needed someone to talk to. Had Mother lived, I know she would have been a sensitive and loving mentor. When counselling my sibs, I always asked myself "What would Mother say?" and I'd act as I'd thought she would have handled the situation. After many years of emulating Mother, I began to trust myself and could help others as me, not her. She was a good teacher.

L: I started seeking you out after I read your first book "Fly Like a Bird or Plummet like a Coconut - It's Up to You". It changed my life and I wanted to continue to fly like a bird, even though I am a small pewter dog.

E: When you came to me, I could see all the confusion and befuddlement going on in that tiny head of yours. I'm glad to see your hard work with me paid off. The interviews you are doing now are very incisive. You certainly are no coconut.

L: Thanks to you the fog has lifted. Tell me, what are the books that you cherish most, that have taught you important lessons in life.

E: Well, first of all Moby Dick. Someone should have counselled Ahab to go into printmaking or masonry. Anything to keep him on dry land. That whole thing with the whale would never have come up and his natural intensity would have been better served making delicate prints or beautiful walls.

L: Any others?

E: The Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby never should have moved to Long Island and gotten in with that party crowd. He wouldn't have met Daisy and the trouble than ensued could have been avoided. He should have bought a modest home in the Hudson Valley or Upper Montclair and took up stamp collecting or golf.

L: I can see where you're going. Be sensible and avoid trouble. Easily said. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

E: I know it's not easy. But my motto is "Avoid trouble at all costs". That's why I still don't fly. Yes, I can flap my wings, but I'm not going to go anywhere. I'm happy giving advise right here in my own nest.

L: So, your "Fly like a Bird" title is just a metaphor?

E: A metaphor or a simile...I've never been sure of the difference. But, yes, it's an expression but it's not for me. I'm staying put.

L: But you have no trouble in telling others to fly, to seek, to chase their dreams.

E: Yes, but be smart about it and avoid the pitfalls.

L: It's very hard to avoid them when you can't see them coming.

E: Look, what do I know? I'm an owl. I stay put. I don't fly myself, but if someone wants to, it's up to them. That's why I added "It's up to you" in my book title.

L: I get it. Well, in closing, I'll ask you something I like to ask some of my interviewees. What's your favorite fruit?

E: I don't eat fruit. Too many pits and seeds. You could choke on one. Look, it was nice talking to you but I've gotta get home to watch Dr. Phil. He'll be on soon. See you at your next appointment?

L: Don't know if I can make it. I'll let you know.

I watched Eric hop away, wings akimbo but not flying. I think this might be the circle closing in our professional relationship. I might be able to fly (so to speak) on my own from now on.

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