This morning, my friend Jim Carlson sent me this beautiful story, a perfect illustration of the non-stick principle I was trying to describe:
This Morning: The Fallen Tree
OK, I was getting ready this morning for class, some project meetings and then a drive to Nashville to fly out and visit my Dad in Arizona. So very focused on what I need, the time, the house, information I need, etc. I'm also heavy with the fact my dad has a rare form of dementia (frontal temporal). How will he be?
So, got it all together. It's raining so I've our solar house all powered up by the generator, lock the doors and I'm off! As I start down our long gravel drive, I see a giant dead tree has fallen across the drive and totally blocked my way. It has lost all its bark and was made heavy with the rain. It had also fallen over a younger tree. My mind is scrambling for a fix. I call Chris, our landlord. I decide to try to saw it somehow.
I go back to the house. Oh, yeah, it's locked and I left the keys in the car. I go back to the car and, instead of schlepping all the way back to the house again, I decide to interact with the situation more directly. There are a few smaller branches so I move those.
Then I see the younger tree that is bent under the mammoth tree. I see its roots are still intact. I decide to slide it over. I think, if I can't move the smaller tree there's no point in trying to move the big one. I push it and it bends more easily than I expected, but the real surprise was that that old dead tree just slid up along with it! Like a garage door opener, up it went, just high enough for my Prius to slip through! Pretty amazing.
Here's the gift I received from this episode. Sometimes something dead inside you gets so heavy that it blocks your path, your way to the world. Instead of willfully "fixing it" (saw solution), it's better to just be there, present with the situation. Let it speak to and then don't be afraid to push on things like young flexible trees. The way out may really be surprisingly easy.