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Tigers & Strawberries

“I have everything I need to enjoy my here and now unless I am letting my consciousness be dominated by demands and expectations based on the dead past or imagined future”-Ken Keyes

There is an old parable that talks about a monk. The monk was being chased by two hungry tigers when he reached a cliff. Faced with no other choice, the monk shimmied down to a visible root over the side of the cliff and hung on.

As he looked below, he saw two more hungry tigers, eager for him to drop. In that moment he saw a perfect strawberry. Ripe on the rooted vine. He reached for, and ate, the best strawberry he’d ever enjoyed.

What the @#*! Estelle! You might be saying right now. That’s a terrible story! What happened to the monk? Stopping to eat a strawberry?! Shouldn’t he be sending out an S.O.S. or something?!

Hang with me.

When I first heard this story, I was also distressed for our good friend the monk (I love a Disney happy ending after all).

Essentially the tiger in the story represents our fears-chasing us into the unknown. The strawberry-the present moment. And this monk-whoa buddy does he know about the moment! Despite ferocious tigers, he takes the time to appreciate what’s right in front of him.

My question is-How often do I remember to enjoy the strawberries dear friends? To live in the moment, despite what’s going on around us? Do I get distracted by my fears? Or can I find a moment, even if it’s just a moment, to enjoy what is present to me today?

The monk took the time to do what he needed to. He shimmied over the edge to make himself as safe as possible. Then he surrendered to what beauty was available beneath his distress.

As Keyes relays, anything outside of where we are right now is simply a dead past or imagined future. We do what we can and, when we can get beyond our worries, allow the present to offer us everything we truly need.

What is in our lives today-Tigers or Strawberries? Fears or rewards? Perhaps there is a little of both between the vines….

Cheers to finding the most delicious choices we can in this moment my dear friends.

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”hang with me” 😁. Thanks for the reminder!

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