What a flock of starlings taught me about life…

... and what we can learn about healthy interactions with others.

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and what we can learn about healthy interactions with others.

You may have seen youtube clips showing this magical phenomenon in the sky, known as a murmuration.

What is significant, about this massive synchronized aerial dance, is knowing the birds never bump into each other or push another out of formation. How can this be achieved? I did some research …

The secret lies in the same systems that apply to anything on the cusp of a shift, like snow before an avalanche, where the velocity of one bird affects the velocity of the rest… One bird affects its seven closest neighbors, and each of those neighbors’ movements affects its closest seven neighbors and so on through the flock. This is how a flock is able to look like a twisting, morphing cloud with some parts moving in one direction at one speed and other parts moving in another direction and at another speed.” (1)

What have I observed?

1) Starlings work as a team, always supporting those closest to their current position; “When uncertainty is present, interacting with six or seven neighbors optimizes the balance between group cohesiveness and individual effort.” (1).

2) Starlings fly together to protect each other and themselves from potential danger. “Often the behavior is sparked by the presence of a predator like a hawk or peregrine falcon, and the flock’s movement is based on evasive maneuvers.” (1)

3) Starlings demonstrate effective stress-reducing behaviour, “Scale-free correlations provide each animal with an effective perception range much larger than the direct inter-individual interaction range, thus enhancing global response to perturbations.” (1)

What can starlings teach us?

  • We will collaborate best with others when we retain our personal autonomy and individual space.
  • We have a significant part to play in creating a harmonious connection with others.
  • We can achieve a stress-free flight path in life when flying with confidence and ease.

To consider:

Who is your support team, when you experience shifts in life direction?

Are there people in your life who only choose to ruffle your feathers – or you, theirs?

Is there an unhealthy ‘pecking order’ in your home or work environment that serves no one?

Could you be the catalyst that creates the ‘cusp of a shift’, the critical transition in the flight path? Initiating a change for the better?

Relationships will always impact our lives in some way. Learning how to interact without bumping, bruising, bossing, or begging is a skill that requires intentional awareness of our own authentic BEING.

Living … it’s an adventure of a lifetime


(1) https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/the-incredible-science-behind-starling-murmuation

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