Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Letting Go of our Stories

I just heard of a story which I would like to share today.

In “A New Earth”, Eckhart Tolle describes a story entitled "The Duck With The Human Mind". He says that when two ducks get into a fight, it never lasts too long, because the ducks will separate and float off in opposite directions. “The duck will flap its wings vigorously a few times, thus releasing the surplus energy that built up during the fight. After they flap their wings, they float on peacefully, as if nothing had ever happened. If the duck had a human mind, it would keep the fight alive by thinking, by story-making. This would probably be the duck’s story: “I don’t believe what he just did. He came to within five inches of me. He thinks he owns this pond. He has no consideration for my private space. I’ll never trust him again. Next time he’ll try something else just to annoy me. I’m sure he’s plotting something already. But I’m not going to stand for this. I’ll teach him a lesson he won’t forget.”

Tolle summarizes, “But this is how most humans live all the time. No situation or event is ever really finished. ...We are a species that has lost its way. Everything natural, every flower or tree, and every animal have important lessons to teach us if we would only stop, look, and listen. Our duck’s lesson is this: Flap your wings - which translates as “let go of the story” - and return to the only place of power: the present moment.”

This story illustrates how our minds get caught up in making up stories about our experiences. We may in the moment find ourselves feeling deeply;

Our dog has just died and we feel intense grief. We reunite with a lover and feel intense joy. We fly into a rage when someone crosses our boundaries.

All of these feelings are valid. However, it is our thoughts that follow the emotions that lead to the tangles I wrote about in my blog "The Life Tapestry". And, it's what we do with these thoughts that make all the difference. In the moment that we notice our thoughts going down that all too familiar pathway of "story", we can stop, take a deep breath, and return to our center. If we are still feeling the intensity of the emotions, we can "flap our wings" and release the energy just as the duck did. It is then we can return to the present moment, to our "place of power". We can return to our Pond.

Duck Dance by ViaMoi

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