Herons are among the largest of all North American birds. The largest is the great blue heron, which grows up to four feet tall. With long, sinuous necks, tall, thin legs and abundant feathers, they are a majestic sight to see. Here are five valuable lessons we can learn from the heron:

1. Foster Independence

Herons are fiercely independent. Young birds learn to fly at around 60 days old, and within 90 days, they are off on their own hunting solo. How can you be more resourceful and independent?

2. Be Mindful in Solitude

Herons are often spotted standing stock-still at the water’s edge, seeming to meditate as they hunt for their day’s meal. Settle into the present moment throughout your day and make the most of times of solitude.

3. Value Relationships and Community

Although herons hunt alone, they nest together in colonies called rookeries. Females lay 2 to 4 eggs, which both parents help to incubate and protect. Savor your solitude, but enjoy the benefits of connection, family and community.

4. Move Deliberately When Opportunities Arise

The heron can sit motionless while hunting in marshes and on coastlines for long periods of time. When opportunity arises, it rapidly extend its S-shaped neck to seize the prize. Be patient, but take focused action when the time is right.

5. Stand Tall and Be Ready to Soar

The statuesque heron is a joy to see posing near the water’s edge, but they are equally majestic while taking flight. The blue heron has a 6 foot wing span, making it hard to miss when it’s flying above. Stand tall and soar to new heights of success and fulfillment.

Herons have a fiercely independent spirit, but they also appreciate the rewards of family and community. Be resolute in your true self, take flight, and create the life of your dreams.