Monday, April 15, 2013
Lessons from the Palm Trees
I used to think the greatest trees were the biggest ones, like Redwoods, or I would say "I'm as strong as an Oak" But today I realized the most powerful trees are the Palm trees.
Living in Chicago I see huge maple and oak trees getting knocked over and broken all the time due to strong winds, but have you noticed that Palm trees can withstand hurricane caliber winds and stay unharmed? Why is that? Flexibility... They are able to give and bend to powerful fierce winds yet never brake. They get whipped around and beat up by nature yet still spring back to their original beauty. We can all take this as a metaphor for our own lives; Life is not easy. We all have obstacles that challenge and discourage us, some we have brought upon ourselves and some others dump on us. Regardless of the origin of our challenges we must learn to accept them, and learn to be flexible. I'm not talking about doing the splits here, although physical flexibility is priceless. I'm talking about Mental flexibility.
Life has a way of giving us exactly what we need when we need it. Unfortunately not everyone sees what life gives us as what we want. So we fight it and hold our ground stubbornly not accepting what is. You see life tests and challenges us so we can forge strength and nobility in character. I read once, "the greatest affliction is to never be afflicted." This is profound in its simplicity: no challenges=no growth. Lets face it we are on this planet to learn and grow through experience and expression. Noone ever became a sifu by being a stubborn, spoiled, selfish, lazy asshole :) Well maybe but their father probably bought the ranking for them:) Its imperative to learn from the palm trees by learning to become mentally flexible, Don't see challenges as an end, see them as new opportunities to enrich your character and spirit. Learn new creative ways to fairly and honorably resolve your challenges. Learn to bend not brake, learn to smile not grind your teeth (a bending palm tree does actually resemble a smile) Know always that inside you lies the answers to all challenges, but you have to be flexible and know that it might not go down the way you wanted it to, but its gonna go the way you need it to. Have faith in life and nature for it will take you where you need to go if you listen and have the courage to act in new and creative ways. Life gets awesome when you don't know what challenges are coming next but you know they are coming and you welcome them with the confidence that you can rise to the challenge by creatively going with the flow of nature not fighting against it. Another quote I love pertaining to this is, "If you want something you've never had before then you must do something you have never done before" So next time you are in a tuff spot remember the palm trees, and ask yourself, How can I be mentally flexible and open up to change here? -be well always-