Have you been living a safe and secure, but unexciting life? Are you ready to leave the nest? Have you been settling into a life of less than satisfying comfort and less than optimal emotional, relational, financial and spiritual success?

What is a nest? The online Thesaurus offers these synonyms: shell, case, bubble, layer, coat. Are you hiding inside a shell or case of protection that you created? Are you living in your own mental bubble, unable to accept other realities? Are you wearing a coat of emotional armor to avoid pain and failure and loss of love?

Every year for a few months during mating season, I have had the privilege of sharing my home with at least one beautiful bird. In the small space between my bathroom window and the external hurricane shutter (that I have left halfway closed), one year a gentle mourning dove and this past year a beautiful black bird had built their intricate nests. I watched with fascination as the bird would conscientiously flutter about, flying away and returning often with bits and pieces of twigs and probably some living bugs and worms.

Then the sweet, delicate chirping would begin. First I would only hear one little chirp. Then, after a few weeks, I'd hear a few more chirps. Sweet chirping voices creating lovely melodies that warmed my heart each morning. One day, not noticing any movement, I slowly opened the window part-way and observed a fluttering twig and two little beaks pointing upward.

Gradually, the little ones had grown and I saw one fly out the window, fly back, and fly out again, practicing its flying skills. But there were two more little birds that had not yet ventured out of the nest. Mommy bird seemed to be nudging them. I even saw the little birds resisting, tentatively approaching the opening and then frantically returning to the very back, hidden corner of their little room.

Fear. I could almost feel their fear. And it is a very real fear. Several months back I had seen 3 tiny little birds who had probably left their nest too soon and were lying lifeless on the ground below. For these birds, leaving the nest can be a matter of life or death.

For most of us humans, however, leaving the nest may not actually BE a life or death matter. But for many people, the fear is so strong that it feels like a potential death. Leaving the nest is an ending which can feel like death. It is an ending of an old way of being, an ending of total dependency, an ending of a closed and rigid mind, an ending of always having to be right, an ending of self-righteous judgement.

Leaving the nest can be a rebirth, a birth into a new life and a new way of being. A 20 something adult child still living at home has to, at some point, take that leap of faith and leave the nest to create his or her own life.

A newlywed has to leave the nest of either their family of origin’s home and patterns or leave the nest of self-centered singlehood. An aging adult has to leave the nest of youthful beauty and strength, turning to inner wisdom, knowledge, patience and acceptance to thrive and enjoy the golden years. A fleldgling entrepeneur has to leave the nest, the comfort of the old ways, to develop business savvy and marketing skills that will bring the business to the next higher level of success.

Are you clinging to or continuously returning to a nest that no longer serves your life goals and dreams? What would it take for you to leave your own nest? What is stopping you? What do you fear most? And when do you think you will be ready to take that first tentative step?

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Healing Through Love Mentor, helping men and women, individuals, couples and groups to find the love, develop the skills, create the intimacy and find the joy that may have eluded them their entire lives. Now is the time to begin. For more information, http://www.DrEricaWellness.com, http://www.SexualReawakening.com, http://www.CreateHealingAndLoveNow.com