• Dr. Patty Hlava

Finding Inspiration In The Simple Things. Pelican Edition.

Here in Punta Mita, there are loads of pelicans. They fill the sky, float on the water, and seem to take over the local boats as resting ground.


Pelicans are not a bird that I get to see too often, as they really just hang out in Minnesota, so I spent about an hour this morning watching these incredible, prehistoric creatures this morning.


  1. Pelicans are very curious to look at. Their large bills and comparably small heads give them an appearance that infers awkwardness. The reality is that these giants are incredible graceful, both on the water and in the sky. They soar with ease and swim with grace. Pelican Lesson: Don’t assume ability based on appearance (yours or that of others)

  2. There is a pattern to their movement. They rise from the water, head first, then expand their incredible wings, and heart-first move forward and up into the sky. Once in the sky, they soar in a circle, often with others, and very often surrounded by cheerleading circle of gulls. Then, with a quick and intentional shift, the pelican draws its wings close and dives straight down into the water—it’s giant bill leading the way like a well-aimed arrow. The entire bird disappears into the water for a moment, rising to the surface, raising its head and ingesting the fish it so-skillfully caught. Pelican Lesson: let your heart guide you, take your time to set your sights on what you want, and reserve your energy until you are clear. Then, act with purpose—don’t hesitate. Trust yourself. Also: surround yourself with those who cheer you on.

  3. After the pelicans have had their meal, they float for a bit. Gliding across the water, swaying gently with the waves. Then they rise up and find a perch (often someone’s boat it seems) and rest. They adjust their feathers, groom a bit, and then rest some more. Pelican Lesson: Rest is valuable. After you’ve moved in action, allow time for rest, recovery, and tending to the needs of your body.



Pelicans. Incredible creatures, full of surprises and unexpected grace.


The next time you’re feeling stuck, channel a pelican! Raise your heart toward the sky, let it lift you up and guide you to a new vantage point. Soar there in your new perspective until you see your next step. Act with clarity and confidence—then rest and renew.


You've got this!


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