I would like to share an article I wrote a year ago. Just after mother’s day, related to a hilarious and illuminating incident courtesy of Lucas The Wise. Some of you might have read it already but it is still one of my favorites. And for those of you who haven’t I hope you enjoy :).
I feel trapped sometimes. This happens to all of us, problems arise and cram our style. So much to do, so little time, need more money, the list goes on and on. Like Gulliver, we are trapped by Lilliputians. The little things turn into a swarm that brings us down. How can we set ourselves free?! I would like to share a story that brought some light into that matter for me.
For Mother’s Day we had dinner at a nice restaurant with the family. Towards the end of our meal I noticed my son, Lucas, stuck in his high chair. He was obviously planning a great escape when his torso got caught in one of the leg openings for the chair. The space was too narrow, I don’t even know how he made it down that far. In any case, he was trapped now. After trying to pull him out without success, my husband moved the chair away from the table so he could better maneuver. That is when we started to get spectators. He struggled for a while and eventually had to ask for help. My father-in-law came to the rescue. Wait staff and patrons started making suggestions. Some of us just witnessed the comedy of errors unfold from the comfort of our table. Would they have to bring a saw to cut him loose? Would we need a giant stick of butter to glide him out? We were at the edge of our seats wondering the fate of my child. It was absurd. But what about Lucas, how did he fair in the face of entrapment? You would think he would be crying or scared with all this man handling; there was none of that. He looked calm and he remained still. He was just there, present almost in a state of contemplation. Contemplation! Well, when he was finally released this is what happened ( I’m not making this up), he threw his arms up in the air and proclaimed: “I’m free!” The witnesses broke down in laughter and tears (well maybe I was the only one tearing:) and that was that. What I failed to notice at the time was that my little Zen master had just schooled us all!
As I look back into that event, not only do I chuckle, but my mind is blown away by the unexpected lesson. We are constantly struggling, complaining about the past and trying to live in the future. Thinking of all we should be doing instead of what is done. We want all that could be instead of all that is. The point is we fail to stay in the moment! We deny ourselves one of our most precious gifts, freedom. So next time you feel backed up into a corner, think of Lucas stuck in the high chair. Remember this: sometimes stillness will set you free!