…That an adult elephant does not know it can easily pull the stake it is chained to out of the ground because as a baby elephant it tried and couldn’t?
…That fish put in a bathtub, while their small bowl is being cleaned, will swim in the same size area as their bowl?
…That a baseball player for the Oakland A’s, well known for not being able to make it to second base, overran, then scrambled back to first base on his knees not realizing he had hit a home run?
My point you ask?
I recently hauled out all the videos tapes of Landon and Jena’s birthday parties to have them converted to DVD’s. As I collected them I relived Landon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party. Jena’s Little Mermaid party. I was there, time traveling to an earlier day.
A week or so later I went to a dear friends retirement party. I clearly knew…Susan is retiring. Yet when I saw the primary colored decorations that said Happy Birthday, I got confused. Was it her birthday too? After a few moments of attempting to make sense of how I missed her birthday, I asked some friends standing with me at the buffet table, “Is it Susan’s birthday too?”
“No, why?” they asked.
“Because of all the birthday decorations.”
“What birthday decorations?”
To make my point I swept the room with my hand, emphasizing the wide assortment of paper decor. With confused faces they said in unison, “Huh?”
I looked again, this time more closely. The room transformed before my eyes. I now saw red, yellow, blue and green streamers, napkins, paper plates and sheet cake that announced, “Happy Retirement.”
“What?” My mouth hung open.
I had seen what I thought was there. I changed reality to match my history. I told myself what was there instead of seeing what was really there!
Much to my chagrin-that was not the first time that had happened to me…so I, once again, began to wonder, “What else have I missed? What else have I not seen?” I can’t, after all, know what I don’t know or see what I don’t see. I can’t pull the stake out of the ground until I know I am an elephant.
So what to do? How to know, or see, what I completely miss. What I am oblivious to due to my not believing I can make it to second base?
A very dear women, who I refer to as my spiritual mentor, Christine Page, www.christinepage.com taught me that we must first create new receptor sites in order to swim beyond our fishbowls. To create a new receptor site we have to be willing to see the world and ourselves differently than we normally do. We have to risk long held beliefs/histories/experiences about ourselves and the world to see and know more. We must let die preciously held illusions and challenge ourselves to a different paradigm.
A lot to think about from a simple birthday-I mean retirement-party. But, I think that is the point.
Anyone want to join me for a swim?