Using guile, impulse, what they find and can carry, birds create homes suited perfectly to their needs. Their nests fulfill their intended purpose gracefully – usually with minimal extraneous accoutrement. (Notable exception: the Australian Bower bird! Man, that’s a guy, yeah it’s the guys, who’s deep into conceptual architecture. Architecture as performance piece, really Crazy! They’re the exceptions though. Okay, carry on…)

As a symbol, most nests represent home in its purest sense:

  • safe
  • separate
  • secure

Some common human ‘nests’:

  • houses
  • offices
  • automobile interiors
  • individual rooms
  • purses
  • computer contents
  • shrines
  • closets
  • medicine chests
  • refrigerators

Think about nests you have seen and consider these elements:

  • size
  • decoration
  • materials
  • structure
  • purpose
  • form

Bird Making a Nest

Creative Consideration

Make a representation of a nest to remind you of the basic requirements you value in your own space(s).

Suggested Materials:

wire, string, yarn, beads, sticks, found objects, bits of paper with reminders and messages on them, ribbon, charms, etc.

  1. With the wire make a form that is pleasing to you (try wrapping loosely around a small bowl if you want a typical nest shape).
  2. Then attach slips of paper with personal values written on them.
  3. Add decorations until it’s pleasing to you. Note: these are strictly optional! After all, we’re going for a paired down version of a symbol that highlights the fundamentals for you.


  • Are there changes you can make to some of your current personal ‘nests’?
  • Can you identify other ‘nests’ in your life?
  • Are there tendencies of ‘nests’ that help you feel more relaxed?
  • Are there qualities among your current ‘nests’ that make you uneasy?

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