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The Little Bird Who Found Herself

THE LITTLE BIRD Who Found Herself is a timeless book for all ages. Like the Little Prince or Velveteen Rabbit it is a metaphor, fable or folk tale clothed in the format of an inviting children’s story. It reminds both young and old alike how we need to journey inside ourselves to find the gifted answers, the new meanings and directions that lie hidden and waiting to be noticed and nurtured in a very special way.

This charming little story has a universal appeal for both children and adults. Even more, it offers the beginning of a profound inner journey as well. It is a passage that parents, grandparents and adult child caregivers can take together with their children. The Wise Old Owl in this story companions Little Bird into her own inner world and maturing identity. The narrative becomes a model for adults as well as children, gently leading them into a caring way of listening to their own bodies’ feelings--even fears and tears--so they can hear their hidden stories.



Reverend Edwin M. McMahon, Ph.D.

is a teacher, author, psychotherapist, priest and

cofounder of the Institute for BioSpiritual Research

who has spent his life researching how

parents, child caregivers, teachers and others

who interact with children can personally learn

to experience an inner process that creates human

wholeness. The Little Bird story does this not

only because it uses a non-technical, non-abstract

story line, but because it neither accuses or blames,

nor arouses resistance or fear in the reader/listener

. Instead, it moves directly and gently into the

body’s knowing where it can resonate with truths

hidden within, stirring up a more embodied and

meaningful connection that touches the

reader/listener’s life. Rev. McMahon and

Campbell have also authored the book

BioSpirituality: Focusing as a Way to Grow

(Loyola Press, Chicago) which further explores

and guides readers through this process.

Originally, this story was written for a child to support her in developing a habit of gently holding and listening to her feelings, even her tears and fears. As a friend of her family, I watched her grow up and some years later, as a psychotherapist primarily working with adults, while writing another book I remembered how this simple story really taught the steps I have used in adult programs when companioning people in their personal and spiritual growth. This is how “Little Bird” found her way into the hearts of so many adults and, to my amazement, touched them so deeply that I knew the story must have a timeless and universal message.

Many people, from psychology professors and spiritual counselors to grandmothers and parents have repeatedly asked me to find an illustrator and get it published. They didn’t want “Little Bird” lost for future generations. I could only conclude that the Wise Old Owl and his protégé must speak to a hunger we all carry to be faithful to our own God-given spirit, no matter how overwhelming the barrage to take this unique identity away from us. Doctor Uppal’s sensitive artistic skills have brought the story alive for children and the rest of us as well. It nudges the searching child in all of us to walk our own inner path.
---Edwin M. McMahon, Ph.D.

Meet Our Illustrator

Prabhjot Uppal, M.D. is a physician, author and illustrator from Northern California who completed her undergraduate studies at Santa Clara University prior to graduating from the Chicago Medical School in 2005. She has published artwork in the Santa Clara Review and exhibited many of her large canvas paintings in Chicago during her medical studies. Many of Dr. Uppal’s portraitures are on display at Santa Clara University and around Monterey Peninsula. Dr. Uppal is also the author of, Doctors Are People Too: A Treatise on Health Care Reform; and White Coat Tales: Being & Becoming Urban Doctors.

Wonderful Hidden Potential

WHILE COORDINATING the production of this book, it impressed me how this hope-filled little story touches a deep personal hunger for some profound inner journey. It helps to establish a caring relationship with our own feelings that all of us, especially parents, grandparents, and caregivers can then pass on and share with other adults as well as children.

The experience of reading this book to youth on retreat and in classes on building self-esteem, as well as to children, offers a fresh way of connecting with the next generation. Storytelling merges into real life because the Little Bird inside each of us longs to be blessed by finding a Wise Old Owl who truly knows how to help us take care of our feelings, listening to and waiting patiently for them to reveal the next step forward in our lives. We need more Wise Old Owls on our journey through life because there is so much hidden potential and talent just waiting for someone to awaken simply by walking along with us on the inside of how our body knows.

---Peter A. Campbell, Ph.D.

The Little Bird tale will be published in both English and Spanish versions from Lifevest Publishing (www.lifevestbooks.com)

Suggested Retail Price: $12.99

Little Bird may be ordered at a10% discount direct from: www.lifevestbooks.com
(Toll Free: 1-877-843-1007) or

from www.amazon.com or your local bookseller.

English version: Now in Print, Amazon.com - $10.39

Spanish version: Publication date - May-June 2008

All royalties are being donated to the Institute for BioSpiritual Research by the author and illustrator. It would help to fund the Institute if, after reading Little Bird, you would write in any positive remarks at www.amazon.com and at www.lifevestbooks.com sharing your thoughts with others who check these remarks before buying. The best advertising in today’s book world are satisfied readers who let others know why they value the book.


(For the Complete Reviews - Click Here)

One-of-a-Kind Healing Story for all Caregivers of Children
By  Richard Lui "Marriage and Family Therapist (Sacramento, California USA)
As a licensed therapist for thirty years, a father of three children, a former school psychologist and elementary teacher, I strongly recommend this book. It is beautifully illustrated and a wonderful story for teaching children how to befriend and listen deeply to their own unique gifts and inner wisdom. The wise owl teaches the little bird to patiently care for her sadness, scared feelings and confusion, listening to these feelings as guides to wisdom within. Currently in our culture, we teach our children to stay in their heads alone, denying and suppressing their feelings and numbing the pain of suppression with approval seeking, substances (food, sugar, etc.), and things. We are at a crossroads as a culture. This book is a unique contribution in the effort to reclaim deep body wisdom for guidance to inner peace and creativity. I believe every parent and professional should read this book to children in their care. The profound teaching in this short little story could radically change a child's life as well as the life of the caregiver. To notice and nurture difficult emotions is an essential skill to live happy, joyous, and free. I know first hand because I have met and studied with this wise author, Edwin McMahon, and his wonderful co-author Peter Campbell. The principles so beautifully illustrated and described in this healing story, helped to transform my own life. The book offers essential and practical tools for parenting that I have used, to listen compassionately to my three children as they grew to a well-balanced adulthood. I am profoundly grateful to the author for this remarkable book and I enthusiastically recommend it.

The Joy of Listening  *****
By Robert J. Willis, Ph.D., Author, Psychotherapist  (Hamden, CT)

“... A little bird begins life in joy and curiosity. Hovering relatives and anxious playmates soon separate her from herself in a demand for conformity. Only a wise, old owl takes the time to sit with her in order to bring her back home to herself and her God-given beauty. 

Do not be fooled by the simplicity of McMahon's story and the joy of the artist's renditions. If we should dare to take the little bird's journey, we too would find heaven and never leave it. And if we consented to become wise, attentive owls to others, we would deserve to be there.”

I Feel a Veil has been Lifted ... I Feel Whole Again ...  *****
By An Anonymous Retreatant (Genesis Spiritual Life Center, Westfield MA)

I am a 64 year old woman who upon reading, “The Little Bird Who Found Herself,” felt she was reading her own life story.

During a sabbatical experience, I was handed this little book by my spiritual director with a little note, “I think this story has a message for you.”  Indeed, it not only had a message but it validated my life experience, my life story.

On the first page, it says that this story was “written for a young girl named Elizabeth who is very special.”  And it goes on to say that it is “written for you, too, because you are very special.”  How very much I wanted to believe this again, but life’s experiences can sometimes blur the feeling that this is so.

When I was born, I was that “one gorgeous, violet-blue egg.”  Mom and Dad were proud, as well as many siblings and extended family. This “tiny blue bird” was well nurtured and cared for.  She grew to be a happy, carefree child, loved by all.

Then one day, the tiny blue bird’s world fell apart.  She could describe it as a sort of emotional, psychological, spiritual shut down.  She needed to develop her own coping skills.  Her interior song grew sadder each day, as she felt alone and unable to understand.  Yes, she became “confused and lonely and sadder and sadder inside,” even though she looked for answers outside herself.  But the feelings remained and she became more and more lonely.

She spent much time alone, seeking solace in nature (she lived on a farm) and developed a contemplative spirit and achieved a certain level of peace.

As time went by, very significant persons entered her life, a spiritual director, a very close friend, several in fact, and she began to open up a bit more.

However, in her adult years she experienced a series of losses that led her to repress feelings and memories from the past, bringing her into a dark period where her old ways of coping no longer worked.  She needed, finally, to come to terms with her initial experience which she  had shoved far, far away hoping it would just disappear.

During a sabbatical time, in a safe, welcoming, supportive atmosphere, she was befriended by her “wise owl” in the person of a spiritual director who, through Focusing, led her to “grow quiet inside and listen to her body; telling her what most needed listening to.”  With “the wise owl’s reassuring presence, she stayed inside with these feelings.”  And as she touched and became aware of all her body was holding all these years, the wise owl helped her to befriend how her body was carrying sadness, anxiety and guilt.

With time, after many companioning sessions, this little blue bird can feel her song coming back.  She can feel her primal delight well up in her and she can sing again!  No longer does she need to look for her song outside of herself.  A veil has been lifted, I really can touch my essence and I feel whole again.  Now, I can sing for others, yes, but best of all I can sing for myself!

A Healing Aid  *****
By Karel Kopriva, Ph.D., Psychotherapist, Retired Professor (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)

I love the story and appreciate it very highly as a healing aid.  I’ve translated the story into Czech and we give it to every participant in our courses as the most important learning.  I will also use it to tell the Little Bird story in Czech to my grandaughter with the help of the richness of the illustrations.  The book is truly beautiful.

An Enjoyable Easy Read Book  *****
By Patricia Regan, LMT (Toledo, OH)

A bright, colorful little book is well written and illustrated, offering both insight and direction.  Most of us, like the little bird in the story, have experienced the pain of rejection and the tendency to push the pain away, sometimes even denying it.  This book walks us through a process that shows us how to be with the pain.

Learning to take time to go inside and create a gentle, caring place to hold and listen to those painful feelings leads to healing and freedom.  I have used this process often with my massage clients, children and grandchildren with positive results.  This is an enjoyable, easy read book great for anyone, especially parents and grandparents to use with their children and for themselves.

A Book to Spread Inner (and Outer) Peace  *****
By Ann Marie Wyrsch R.N., Psychiatric Nurse (St. Charles, MO)

“... My dream is that every child and adult would read this seemingly simple story and grasp the message that peace begins in each of us by noticing and nurturing our feelings, thus allowing the unfolding of our ongoing growth in wholeness/holiness.

Peter Campbell's note at the end of the book is important. It points to how this story can be used to establish a caring relationship with our own feelings, and then pass on this new way of listening inside and caring for feelings to children and other adults. Before we can pass it on, we have to use it ourselves.”

A Wonderful Message  *****
By Megan M. Avalos  (Sacramento, CA)  

“... Ed was kind enough to send me this book for my two little boys. My older, who is three, can't get enough of it! We've been using the techniques at home, teaching my son how to find his feelings in his body and show them love. This book has such a special way of demonstrating this. The little bird is very easy for a child to relate to. I would recommend it to anyone, especially to parents who are helping their children be in touch with their feelings. Even if you have never used these techniques before, this is a great jumping-off point. And the illustrations are so vivid and precious. This book will remain a permanent fixture in our library!”

Glowing Gems of Wisdom  *****
By John Morearty, Ph.D., Author (Stockton, CA)

“... The Little Bird Who Found Herself is at once a jewelbox, a healing fable and a guidebook for children (and adults) who don't feel comfortable because they are different.
The little bird loves to chirp, loudly. But her cousins sniff, "Birds don't chirp like that!" She feels confused, lonely and sad. Then a gentle old owl advises, ‘Go deep inside and listen ...’

Glorious illustrations shimmer like stained glass, quicken the eye and illumine the heart.”

A Timeless Book for All Ages  *****
By Peter A. Campbell, Ph.D., Author (Sonora, CA)

“... Like the Little Prince or Velveteen Rabbit, The Little Bird Who Found Herself is a metaphor, fable or folk tale clothed in the format of an inviting children's story.  This charming parable has a universal appeal for both children and adults. Even more, it offers the beginning of a profound inner journey as well. It is a passage that parents, grandparents and adult child caregivers can take together with their children.  The experience of reading this book to children offers a fresh way of bonding with them. Storytelling merges into real life because there is a Little Bird inside each of us waiting to be gifted with who we might become.”

Little Bird with a Message,  *****
By Charles Peterson, Retired Newspaper Editor (Sonora CA)

“... The Little Bird Who Found Herself is sweetly written and beautifully illustrated. The story, told simply and cleverly, is about a very young bird who is teased and scorned by her fellow young birds because her loud chirps are not just like theirs.

Youngsters who experience disappointment and sadness - and what child does not - will find useful guidance for dealing with these feelings from this book. So, too, will the adults who read the book to them, and who have their own challenges when it comes to dealing with the vagaries of life.”

The Power of Win-Win  ****
By Carole Pentony, Ph.D., Psychotherapist, Teacher (Houston, TX)

“... This gentle story, with its bright, color-washed illustrations, is both invitation and pathway to finding one's own unique voice and becoming connected with others in a life-forward way. Little Bird does not have it easy - her world includes painful times. That is, her world is like everyone's.  Who among us hasn't been told, for instance, "Either you learn to be like us or we won't play with you."  The story of Little Bird speaks to children of all ages. I first heard it on a retreat when I was 50. Now I am over 60, and treasure the story's finally being available in a book that I can easily pass on to my grandchildren, and their parents.”

A Book that Touches and Nurtures the Heart  *****
By John Amodeo, Ph.D., Psychotherapist (Graton, CA)

“... This deeply touching book will leave a profound imprint in the hearts and minds of children. The simple wisdom that children will glean is that we can learn to hold ourselves with gentleness, kindness, and love -- and that listening to our heart, feelings, and bodily wisdom provides a reliable guide in life.

Adults as well as children will be inspired to live with greater openness, trust, and wisdom from reading this tenderly written book. I have been recommending this book to people and getting glowing reports from those who read it.”

Better Than A Dream-Catcher....  *****
By David C. Young, LCSW, Child Psychotherapist (Colorado Springs, CO)

“... I'm a child therapist, a father and a grandfather. And "Little Bird" resonated with all three roles.  "Little Bird" begs to be read aloud in that wonderful back-&-forth way -- pointing to bright pictures & talking about them, you and your child making a loud "CHIRP!", snuggling closer together like the owl & the little bird, and like the little bird & her sad feeling.

But "Little Bird" is more & better than a dream-catcher, pushing away bad dreams. It can lead children not to fear or deny, but to hold, to make friends with, and to listen to their sad & scary feelings.

I heartily recommend Ed McMahon's "Little Bird". I've got a copy in my home & at my office. And I've sent another copy to my grandchildren!”

A Book With a Vital Life Lesson  *****
By Beverly Buss  (Mississauga, Ontario Canada)

“... The Little Bird Who Found Herself, is available to assist the children of the world, for within the pages of this small, simple book lie answers to our human dilemma, and great hope for all creation.

The exquisite illustrations, created by Prabhjot Uppal, bring Little Bird to life, as through her special story Ed McMahon gently and lovingly shows the reader the way to discover the treasures within our self ... through a very surprising doorway!

Within the pages of this remarkable book is a most vital life lesson for children and adults alike! Get ready to chirp, sing and FLY after reading Ed McMahon's masterpiece for all time.”

Wonderful Storybook  *****
By Ruth McGoldrick, SP (Genesis Spiritual Life Center, Westfield, MA)
I have been teaching Focusing to adults for over 30 years using the BioSpiritual Focusing approach as taught by Revs. Ed McMahon, PhD and Peter Campbell, PhD. The Little Bird Who Found Herself, by Ed McMahon, is a wonderful storybook for children that can also be extremely helpful to adults. 
Those just learning Focusing as well as longtime focusers will enjoy this novel approach to the practice of Focusing. They will see and experience themselves in the beautiful and soulful illustrations of the Little Bird. Truly here, a few pictures are worth thousands of words in helping us remember where and how we can find and nurture our own lives. The book is a quick summary of the value of doing one's inner peacekeeping work through a simple yet profound method that allows both children and adults to move faster, further, and deeper than any other growth method I have practiced.

Little Bird is Precious, Unique & Profoundly Positive *****
By Anne Steeves Rozicki, B.S.W.. RSW, M.ED. (counseling) Psychotherapist (Toronto, Canada)
I want to share with anyone considering this book two memorable experiences–out of several–I have had as a psychotherapist using this new, self-empowering story to support my client’s healing. “Alex” is a five year old little girl. In the past eighteen months Alex has suffered, among other woes , from nightmares – due to the tragic, sudden loss of her young father. Frail, she has stopped eating most everything but Rice Krispie squares and grape juice. To contend with her bereavement we very gently attend to her feelings. Along comes The Little Bird Who Found Herself. Alex sits on one end of the sofa as I read the story. Alex listens quietly without expression – until Wise Old Owl comes on the scene. Very slowly she slides her way to my side and almost inaudibly says, “He’s like my Daddy.” I put my arm around her and she finally – cries. Hearing The Little Bird Who Found Herself. effectively made a positive difference in her grief process. On her behalf I am so thankful for this story’s role in loosening her sadness and enabling her healing. Another example: As a psychotherapist I counsel a bright woman of nineteen struggling with the breakup (through divorce) of her family. Anxiety plagues “Susan”; she runs in panic from anger and sadness and spends most of her time trying to control anxiety. Recently, at our appointment, I presented The Little Bird Who Found Herself and asked her to read it while I waited with her. This short book was a catalyst for Susan; it proved to be a simple, direct and feasible way for her to truly understand how she could concretely be with her overwhelmedness. One might think this fable in the format of a children’s story would be too immature for Susan. However, in her case, it presented the skill of self-nurturing so basically she was quite amazed by its clarity. Since then, Susan has said: “At that moment I needed an unfussy, clear way of helping myself and that was it.” Further to that shift we continue to notice and nurture Susan’s feelings on a regular basis; however, it took that little blue bird and wise old owl to enable a breakthrough on her behalf. The Little Bird Who Found Herself. is a productive and loving instrument which opens the way for “little ones of all ages” to value themselves and tap into the creation of their own identity. I shall continue to recommend it to parents, school counselors, teachers and therapists. It is truly a blessing and gift in this crazy world.

A Life-Changing Tale for All of Us *****
By Deanna Lamb: Mother, Grandmother and Lawyer for 30 Years (Sacramento, CA)
We all are looking for ways to manage or control stress, but we cannot keep it out of our modern lives. So, the key is learning how to recover quickly and completely from stress. This little book holds the key to recovering from stress. What seems like a simple tale for children holds a message that is valuable for adults. My life would have been so different if I had learned this process as a child. I hope to share it with my grandchildren.

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