(alert: as I’ve written about before…when you question whether you should do something, and that thing sorta scares you and makes you feel embarrassed…you should probably do it b/c that’s most likely the Authentic You seeping out. This post is one of those moments for me. It’s nothing special but it – my poetry – is a part of my writing arsenal that I haven’t practiced in a while & I don’t ever share it, till now.)
When you have serious thinking to do, what do you do? Do you journal? Do you take a drive in your car? Do you get hammered and wait for the answers to show up? (hey, I bet you plenty of people do….) Me?…when I have serious thinking to do, I get into nature. That’s something I’ve learned over the years, and I think everyone should…that is…when you have sh*t you gotta sort out, you better have a method, a ‘way’, to get it done. Or its gonna fester and will slowly seep into all your other stuff until finally, it all comes to a grinding halt & you gotta stop and deal.
Normally I take a podcast to listen to on my headphones while roaming around some trail or walking by the river, but when I actually need to THINK, no headphones. Just me & the ole’ noggin. And thankfully, since I’ve been strenuously working to become a more consistent meditator, I’ve become a better thinker in the process.
Meditating, while it is, in a way, about letting go of the mind- it actually trains your ability to harness your mind. With meditation, you work your mind like a muscle, and through that practice you enhance its abilities. You learn to let it wander (both with intention in that wandering, and without), to focus its thinking-process, to create space for questions to come up that wouldn’t have in the past, to give you the ability to stop in your snap-judgement and consider the alternative thought. More on meditating another time, but trust me when I tell you, learning to meditate is one of the most powerful techniques I’ve added to my fitness program in a long time (ever?).
The concept for the poem below came to me on that deep-thinking nature-filled day. Maybe it will help you too? Maybe not; either way, it helped me, so I share it now with the world.
As she walked along, wistful and wishful, wanting what she didn’t have
Nature came up beside her and whispered in her ear
as quietly as a clap of thunder:
“Be a god damn opportunist my dear…all the rest of nature is,
what makes you any different?
You are a part of the fold, despite all your human-ness
you are still tied, at your core, with nature.
You see how the mushrooms grow?
along that dead tree.
You see how the moss climbs?
up the side of another living thing.
That tree branch bends!
to create a new path
direct to the sunlight,
after being blocked by some other thing
also just trying to get to the sun;
because that’s the only goal
to get to the sun.
And never does the first tree branch seek revenge
on the sun-blocking second.
It simply carries on,
finds an alternate path,
makes a new way for itself.”
“Get to the sun my dear,” said Nature.
“All this around you, it does not fold up and die
just because some other thing,
also trying to fulfill its Innate Mission in Life
intercepts its original path.
Create a new opportunity,
to get to the sun my dear.
Make a new way.
Take your surroundings,
Use them to your advantage.
Be a god damn opportunist my dear
and get to the god damn sun.”