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Archive for August, 2011

What’s Your Rock?

I recently saw the film 127 Hours about a guy who falls into a crevice in a canyon in Utah and gets pinned against a wall by a huge boulder. Eventually (5 days later) he cuts his arm off to save himself. Pretty intense film, and not for everyone.

He struggles for days to find a way to free himself, to no avail. We watch helplessly as he battles this rock. And then at some point he realizes “This rock, this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. Ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million billion years ago, out there in space, it’s been waiting to come here, right here. I have been moving towards it my whole life from the minute I was born, every breath I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this crack in the earth’s surface.”

This one scene struck me so profoundly. From this point on in the film he knows what he has to do. He stops fighting the rock and sacrifices his arm to free himself. It made me wonder… What obstacles do I fight, do I push back on, struggle with? Where am I not seeing that the very thing I am feeling challenged by has been sent to me from long ago and far away, that we are predestined to meet each other head on, and that by overcoming the challenge I am made a better person?

I am such a believer in the phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I have experienced it time and again.

What’s your rock? Where are you fighting when what you need to do is surrender to the challenge in front of you?

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This is a slug. A banana slug to be exact. I came across it on my walk with the dog the other day. (I don’t exactly walk my dog, she walks me, or sometimes we walk together, she is much too independent to be walked by a human). I usually search for some sign from the universe as I start my day, and this was a bit of a letdown. I like majestic redwood trees swaying in the wind, hawks screeching ominously above my head, ravens swooping down from the sky and flying in front my windshield, and of course the ever-present deer bounding ahead of me in the hills where I live. So a slug did not seem very exciting. But as I examined it more carefully, I thought, no a slug is good. A slug is the anti-me. My shadow.

No one could accuse me of being a slug. In fact most of my life is built around you not judging me as a slug. Or a slacker. Or lazy.

This has its drawbacks. Like an acute inability to relax. Or to even sit on the couch without a computer on my lap. Sometimes I will allow myself a book, but it’s usually self-improvement oriented. The drive to do keeps me on my toes. And I like it. But I get that sometimes I need to do nothing. Soon after I saw the slug, I came across this blog on “Slacker Manifesting.” It was kind of painful to even read it, because everything she suggests is again, the antithesis of what I normally do – run around like a chicken with my head cut off getting stuff done. And it’s not all work, but there are aging in-laws to care for, and niece’s to babysit and mother’s to call. Not to mention the laundry, groceries and entertaining friends.

The slug stuck with me for a few days. I tried to imagine what life would be like if you spent like, a day, getting from one side of the sidewalk to the middle, and then you get squashed. What is the point of a life like that? But then I thought, well, that’s a slug’s life. That’s what slugs do. Better to be an authentic slug, live life to the fullest and get squashed than be so busy I miss important things. Like giving my husband a hug when I walk in the door from work versus checking and opening the mail right away and finding – you guessed it! More things to do. So yes, being busy prevents me from being present for those I love the most. I’m working on that.

I looked up slugs on Wikipedia. A snail with no shell. Hmmm… this spoke to me. Lately I have been stretching myself, putting myself out there and taking more risks to express myself (like this blog). I DO feel a bit shell-less lately.

So a slug it is, my power animal for this week. I will embrace my inner-slugness and practice my Slacker Manifesting, because, after all it is summer!

What are you gonna do this week?

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