Thursday, August 1, 2013

Inspiration in a Palm Tree

As I continue with my 21-day inspiration challenge, today I find I am inspired by palm trees.  I'm sure there are metaphysical reasons why the palm tree is significant (palm trees providing shade and rest while traveling through the desert, Palm Sunday, etc.)  And it might turn out down the road there is a reason I noticed them, however, right now it is a very simply put feeling that emerged for me - flexibility.

Yesterday, my husband and I decided it was a great evening to barbeque hamburgers for dinner.  We packed up everything we would need, including the dog, and walked over to the park across the street to enjoy a casual, outdoor meal.

I didn't realize how windy it was until I tried keeping the picnic tablecloth on the table. Pretty quickly, our condiments became tablecloth holders and it worked well enough so that we didn't have to sit on top of it to keep it in place.  With that done, I was able to sit and chill and notice my surroundings.

What I noticed were the palm trees swaying effortlessly as the wind kicked up.  It is amazing how far the trees can bend and move with the wind without toppling over.  In fact, I've often seen palm trees being blown about when the news shows big storms like hurricanes.   They're always still standing once the big storm is over.

Navigating day to day life can sometimes leave me feeling blown about.  What I'm coming to believe is the more I am flexible and go with the flow - with the way the winds blows - the more I benefit from these events.

It's when I fight and rail against circumstances that it gets harder to move through them.

So, I am grateful for the inspiration I find in the palm trees.  I've noticed more and more of the trees in my neighborhood and I've decided to say a soft "thank you" when I see one.  I'll use it as a reminder to relax and move effortlessly with the breeze.

(taken from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho)

"Continue in the direction of the Pyramids", said the alchemist.  "And continue to pay heed to the omens.  Your heart is still capable of showing you where the treasure is."

"Is that the one thing I still need to know?"

"No", the alchemist answered.  "What you still need to know if this:  before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way.  It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we've learned as we've moved toward that dream.  That's the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one 'dies of thirst just before the palm trees appear on the horizon.' 

"Every search begins with beginner's luck.  And every search ends with the victors being severely tested."