Herding Turkeys… : An Emotional Chore

All in a day’s work….

That’s what I should call it, but have you ever tried to herd turkeys? There is nothing run-of-the-mill about herding turkeys once they’ve escaped from the barn.

On a day when I had the privilege of helping top out buildings*, there was one barn door that just wouldn’t stay on its hinge leaving a gap as we made our rounds through the building. It was through that gap that nine turkeys made their grand getaway.

The thing about turkeys though is that they are not very intelligent and tend to run wild in every direction before making their way back to where they started.

In the case of these nine runaways, they hovered around the outside of the barn because they could hear their buddies inside. Unfortunately for me, they huddled about half way down the barn, and I had to deftly sneak up behind them and shoo them to the other end of the range house. Once we made our haphazard way back to the other end of the building, these fugitives found safety being back in the flock.

As I carried out my expert herding strategies, I contemplated why the turkeys acted in such a spastic manner, when I was clearly a calm shepherd for my flock. It all boiled down to their natural instincts.

In nature, wild turkeys will zig zag and dart in and out of tight spaces in hopes of losing any potential predators. The fact that they viewed me as a predator made their reactions unpredictable and forced me to maintain a steady pace, angling my steps so as to keep them from bolting away from the building. I had to be patient and keep an eye out for signs of increased panic. Keeping my cool allowed for a safe, if not so speedy, return to the shelter of the range house.

Our emotions can be like turkeys. When we feel afraid or pressured, we can react in spastic ways, zig zagging between extremes, and often making poor choices. We need to be aware of these habits and put Intentergy into the ways we cope with experiences that scare, panic, or cause us to feel out of control. If our reactions to a situation are extreme, our behavior will be too. If we demonstrate patience, compassion, and steadfast focus, it will be a lot easier to keep our thoughts and actions in check.

I encourage you to think about any tough situations that you are coping with now. Find ways to seek supportive guidance and reassurance. Keep your angle positive and your pace reasonable. Herding emotions can be tougher than herding turkeys. If you find ways to allow faith, common sense, and patience to lead you through the healing process, you won’t find yourself dancing an emotional zig zag without a safe place in site. Herd your heart and mind to positive places by dedicating your energy to sensible solutions. Don’t be a turkey. Train your instincts to be based on love, logic, and the knowledge that your reactions don’t have to be wild for you to find security.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. While the barn door came unhinged in this situation, I did not, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes an expert turkey herder.

*Topping out buildings: process of removing excess turkey poop from the buildings with a litter machine

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