The branches on the “Muscle” tree (or Ironwood) in front of my house had all but obstructed visibility to the front door. I like privacy, but it had gone too far. I got out my tree saw and went to work. Two metaphors occurred to me.
My muscles were tiring from the steady back and forth on the limbs. I expected them to fall heavily to the ground because ironwood is one of the densest woods. To my surprise they fell gently—even gracefully—to their death.
An hour before I had shared breakfast with a friend. Her back hurt, and her shoulders were shrugged up as if to brace her against the pain. I asked if there was a psychosomatic component. She talked about childhood fears that still held her back (no pun intended!), and recognized that her parents had wanted to protect her, but didn’t know how. Her shoulders dropped away from her ears as she spoke. “My back just released,” she said. “It was so gentle.”
I thought about her back as the branch slipped down the trunk. Releasing doesn’t have to be a big deal, but forgiveness is a good place to begin.
I was still pondering as I watched another branch fall, and stood back to admire my work. I could see the front door now and even the peaked roof above the porch.
It takes a lot of effort for me to clear enough space in my life to be present. Working with my hands is one way to get there. I sat down on the porch and enjoyed the view.
- Think about the last time you let something release inside that you were holding on to.
- How did you feel?
- What do you need to do to clear space for yourself?
- How do you find presence?