What people really want is to be fully themselves. They want the sense
of aliveness, of being myself fully. But they want it through this,
that, or the other. They don't realize that nothing can give it to you
because you already have it. And not only do you have it, you are it,
you are what you're looking for already. You don't know that because
you're always looking somewhere else. You can only know that in the Now
by aligning yourself with the Now and with the power that is there
within you. ~ Eckhart Tolle
I invite you into my inner sanctuary as I share an experience of a true event in my life. I invite you to read with your own curiosity, wonder and innocence. This is what emerged for me.
Exactly as written 7 years ago.
Today was filled with lightning bolts
and experiences of learning. My intention was to approach this day
with lots of curiosity and be open to what showed up. My mom has a
fig tree in the back yard just a little way off of the breeze
way. It wasn't unlike most days that she was on a rant about the
damn tree needing to be cut down because it wasn't living up to her expectation
of how much fruit it should have produced. Keep in mind she had my
brother cut one down last year for the same reason. I didn't say
anything and just let her be where she was with the whole thing.
Once she was inside I began to look at
the tree with curiosity. I noticed birds dive bombing it, bees
swarming it and a host of other insects being drawn to it. At that
moment, I too was drawn to it. I studied the leaves, the green balls that hung
off of the branches, the specs of red and almost purple ripeness of some of the
figs that were baking in the sun. I noticed how the branches
intertwined and protected each other, how the heat from the sun had the aroma
of the fruit somewhat inviting.
I slowly got up, got a container and
a ladder and walked over to the breathtaking smell and beauty. Cautiously,
I noticed a few bees resting on a leaf on the outer edge, a bird or two trying
to approach the tree and a few misc. insects grazing on some of the damaged
fruit. I picked a few of the obviously ripe figs on the outside
without much thought. Just when I thought I had picked the ripest of
the figs and gotten most of what was there, I took the time to look inside and
questioned the logic of actually climbing the tree from the inside or using the
ladder to continue to play it safe on the outside. It was
I chose to climb the tree. Slowly, I carefully
peeled back branch by branch and was amazed that the most beautiful of the
fruit was on the inside. I filled another container of the luscious
fruit even more beautiful than the one before and I was in a total state of
wonder and awe. What would have normally been a chore in the heat,
getting splashed with the milk and sap of the tree, possibly being stung by a
wasp or dive bombed by a bird was actually a learning
experience. Suddenly none of the unpleasantness or danger mattered.
My experience was that of finding a treasure. As I climbed higher and higher
the insights began to overwhelm me.
The thoughts were no longer of the tree
and fruit before me. I suddenly became the tree. Once at
the top I noticed how so often I had reached a goal or gotten to the top of a
place in my life that at one time I thought would really be everything I could
have imagined. What I noticed from the top was how even at the top
there was rotten fruit, sun damaged leaves, a bad smell and it was
scary. All of a sudden being at the top wasn't so
pretty. The other observations I made were that the excitement, the
curiosity the wonder and awe were in the peeling back of the branches to learn
what was inside, to take the time to be with the surroundings danger and
all. It was all about the journey. I realized that I was
just like that tree. I have often had a camouflage of hard, ugly,
not ripe protrusions that somehow have defined or protected the true beauty and
ripeness of me. That I haven't always been inviting. That often what
others saw was the danger of the sap or the bee stings or the dive bombing of
the birds which were such examples of the types of defenses I have
used. What I haven't often done was to be in the wonder of allowing
others to slowly peel back the leaves and branches to see where the true beauty
of me lies. To experience all of me.
I also experienced sadness as I looked
down from the top at a stump that just last year was a fig tree just as
majestic as the tree I was sitting in. How often had I too cut
someone off without realizing their true beauty, their sweetness and pleasure
within. I was sad about the missed opportunities. I almost cried as
the awareness overwhelmed me.
I also became real aware of not picking
all of the fruit. Another thing that kept going on at that moment
was don't take more than you will need, there are a number of God's creatures
tempted by the fruit and in need of nourishment. In other words,
only take what you are willing to give back to the world and others in need.
I am grateful for the invitation to be
curious, for the opportunity to practice being curious and most of all for the
fig tree who stands so majestically by the door that I go in and out of every
Well, i don't live there anymore yet opportunities to experience curiosity, wonder and innocence are with me always. My work is to remember that this is a journey. The more I live in each moment, with each person keeping an intention to always see what I can learn, I will have less regret and certainly less incompletions. Once again, I am in awe at how perfect everything around me is especially what I don't yet know. For that is the place I get to constantly experience that child like wonder, innocence and curiosity.
I might not be able to turn back the hands of time, yet I can always experience my spirit within!