What's in a name? The (Agile) Spirit of the Hummingbird
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet." Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
Indeed, it would, Juliet. But would any other name fully represent the fullness of smell and the vivdness of it's color?
Names are important.. It was important to me that I chose a name for my practice that represented who I am, what I value, and what I can bring to the table.
The first time I was associated with the hummingbird was a joke. In my younger years as a QA Manager, I was known for going to the grocery store and amassing large amounts of candy for our teams on release day. We all need sustenance, right? A dear friend said to me, "You know what your spirit animal is, right? It must be a hummingbird. You're fluttering around everywhere, you're tiny, and you subsist on sugar!" It seemed fitting, but I laughed it off at the time.
Later, I became curious. It turns out that the hummingbird is also among the most agile creatures in the animal kingdom. They are pretty amazing little birds. Thinking of my friend's funny comment, I looked up the true meaning of the hummingbird as a Native American Spirit Animal.
The hummingbird generally symbolizes joy and playfulness, as well as adaptability. Additional symbolic meanings are:
- Lightness of being, enjoyment of life
- Being more present
- Bringing playfulness and joy in your life
- Lifting up negativity
- Swiftness, ability to respond quickly
- Resiliency, being able to travel great distances tirelessly
I truly felt an immediate resonance in my spirit. YES. This is the kind of coach I want to be. Not just that-- this is the kind of person I want to be!
I was attracted to the agile movement because it brought humanity back to software. It was about being part of a team, and being resilient together. It is about producing quality work that can shift directions quickly to solve the right problems at the right time. I have continued this work because seeing teams be present and independent (self-organizing) brings me such joy, and lightness of spirit.
I keep the hummingbird close to my heart and head as a coach, reminding myself to have a light touch, and simply pollinate the ideas that already exist with my clients.
What's YOUR spirit animal??