I flipped through my favorite podcast channels and settled on an interview of Byron Katie. It was a particularly good one.
They asked her about that moment of ‘enlightenment’. Deeply depressed, she was sleeping on the floor because she did not feel worthy of a bed. She awoke because it was morning and a cockroach was crawling over her foot.
In that moment she was totally clear, and as the thoughts came in she realized that it was only her thoughts that caused pain and suffering – without attachment to those thoughts everything was perfect.
Then she described her years of walking in the desert and how she often came across snakes. She said, our fear is what causes stress, not the snakes themselves.
They talked about the snakes for quite some time. How the snakes serve us to take care, to step lightly and not to be in fear.
This struck me. You see, I’m terrified of snakes. Growing up in Ireland where there are no snakes I have always marveled at how living in so many places with snakes, over the years, I have never encountered a single snake. And if I did, I guess I would just freak out. I’ve told my kids, if we see a snake, don’t look for me, because I’ll definitely have run away.
I had reached the part of the walk where the path met the forest. It was dark. I was listening to the discussion about snakes and feeling that prickly feeling at the back of my neck.
Just then there was a rustle in the bush beside the path.
I looked to the side and saw an enormous snake slither away. It was huge, don’t ask me what color or type…it was a HUGE SNAKE, that’s all I need to know.
The end of the path was the forest, pitch black. My heart was pounding but I realized that the fear was also sliding away and I could decide to step into the forest, or take the long walk around.
What would you do?
In mythology, snakes symbolize creative life force, passion and connection to mother earth. Also, the snake is a source of wisdom.
The truth is, I went for a long walk because I was tired and frustrated with some of the complexities I’m facing right now; in my business and in the constant challenge of balancing the work I love with the family I cherish.
As I walked, I became clear that I can choose to be in fear and create a reality of intensity, frustration and stress. Or I can let go of the attachment I have to these destructive, overwhelming and confusing thoughts and be in peace.
And then I met the snake.
My goodness, what an unexpected blessing.
A reminder to reconnect to mother earth, being in nature is always healing and reviving for me.
A reminder to reconnect to my passion and creative life force – yes, to discover, share and support the transformational stories all around me.
A reminder to reconnect with wisdom; the wisdom of the stories, of the amazing teachers, clients, loved ones – the wisdom that is within, for each and every one of us.
What a blessing.
Are you wondering which path I took?
Well, I decided to take the long walk around. Not in terror or panic, but in calm resolve.
(Have you got a story to share? Leave a comment below)