4:00 AM on May 12: I’m hovering over a hatcher as baby birds peck and squirm their way out of eggs and into the world.

Every year I say I won’t do this wee hour vigil (again!). I proclaim I will let nature take its course while I take my rest.

And still….here I am,  flashlight in hand, monitoring temperature and humidity because frankly, it’s just too exciting to sleep through the always new miracle of life coming forth.

Hatching season 2012 is officially underway.

Something sacred takes place in these quiet dark hours.

A metaphor beckons.

Each egg holds the possibility of future life, but not all of the eggs result in healthy baby birds. Some never hatch at all. The hardest for me are the ones that make it part way and then fail to finish hatching.

Your visions, dreams and future offerings are all eggs holding possibilities. Some will hatch and some won’t. Some will take longer than others to hatch and these can be the most challenging of all.

It takes 21 days for a chicken egg to incubate and hatch. 28 days for guinea and pea fowl.

The Coaches Finishing School took 10 years.

What’s the moral of the story?

Life – and business – are a series of hatchings, some with shorter incubations and some longer.

Your job is to stay present to the process, to honor the cycles and rhythms of your own hatching seasons.

Be aware of of where you are in the cycles and seasons so you can provide optimum conditions along the way for each hatch.

In order for an egg to result in thriving new life, it must first be fertile. It then needs a cycle of quiet with consistent gentle attention. Until shortly before the hatch is due, mother birds turn their eggs throughout the incubation cycle.

Temperature and humidity must be in a specific balance so the babies can be wet enough to slip inside their eggs and turn in the process of escaping the shell. Too wet and they drown in the shell. Too dry and they get stuck and can’t get out.

You can force a hatch but the results may not be as satisfying or sustainable. Whenever I’ve helped baby birds that were stuck in the shell and unable to complete the hatching on their own, results have been frustrating.

In these situations, the birds have usually been non-reproductive and often die young. It’s harder to watch this happen after fighting so hard for them.

So too, with goals and dreams, sometimes it is best to allow the egg not hatch rather than try to force it.

Notice how you hold the “eggs” in your life or business.

Do you try to force the hatch and open the eggs prematurely? (And then make yourself wrong for the perceived failure?)

Do you embrace the natural cycles and rhythms, allowing the quietness of incubation?

Do you remain aware and attuned to monitor and adjust conditions as needed?

Are some of your goals, dreams, or offerings failing to hatch from lack of attention?

Is something new wanting to hatch?

With the hatchings of your life or business, commit to giving yourself the optimum conditions. One “incubator” I offer for your consideration: The Coaching With Love program where you hatch new skills and bring new life into what you are here to offer.

Happy hatching!



PS: If you find the metaphor useful and want to play more with image-based language, here’s a resource for just that purpose.