Letting Go, Creating Space

Last Saturday a number of us from the condominium helped clear the communal area of overgrown bushes and trees. A tree surgeon cut down a fig tree and an apricot tree; pine trees were heartily trimmed as we worked together to fill a truck with the cuttings and generally tidy up.

Something special came out of those few hours of collaboration. Besides the evident aesthetic improvement and the camaraderie induced in working towards a shared goal, space was created for whatever may come next.

Thinking about the Zen tale of emptying the bowl to be ready to receive more, the room left by the trimmed branches in a sense stands as a reminder of the need for openness, a beginner’s mind as it is often referred to, if we desire to expand ourselves.

The overgrown trees perhaps parallel beliefs and associated emotions accumulated over the years, passed on to us from our parents or given as criticism by those in authority. They might no longer be relevant to our present, yet they fill our bowl and inhibit development. Their examination and eventual release would provide space for new ideas to be explored and possibly developed.

Just because a high school teacher mocked our artwork, for example, it does not mean we should not attend a class in creative drawing today if we so wish. The fun of participation might itself be reason enough to enroll and let’s not forget the teacher all those years ago was referring to our abilities of then, not of this moment in time.

“Make your mind as vast as the sky and you will find that the waves of afflictive emotions have lost all the strength you had attributed to them.”

-Matthieu Ricard

Happy Holidays.



10 Responses to Reflections

  1. Dawn says:

    Let us remember that teachers are oft limited to their perceptions of others. We must trust our own eyes, feel the glory of what our own hands are capable of, and listen to our hearts desire.

    Also, thank you for the great post!

    • bgdtcoaching says:

      Following our intuition, believing in ourselves and reaching out does take courage, but bowing to the limitations of others only keeps us small. Thanks Dawn, I think you’re so right in what you say. Someone once said we have to learn to see with our heart, listening to our hearts desire is up there as similar great guidance.

  2. Great post Brian,
    I often work with clients to clear their clutter (not just in their homes or offices, but also in their minds), so as to create the space for new exciting gifts to appear. Very therapeutic process. Hx

    • bgdtcoaching says:

      Thanks Heather, it’s good to see you here. I really appreciate your kind words and thoughtful input. Do you find decluttering, whether physical or mental, also helps clients focus on what is important to them as they go through the process?

  3. Cyndi says:

    Great post Brian. This is something I need to be reminded of often. There are lots of dead branches in our thought processes. We have to take the time to identify them, re-frame them and move forward. It’s no less essential than your tree-trimming party. Out with the old, in with the new. I love spring! 🙂

  4. bgdtcoaching says:

    The satisfaction from ‘clearing the decks’ is great, isn’t it? And spring is such a good time of the year for this. Thanks for the comment Cyndi, it sounds like you are moving forward with great strides. I have a mental picture of you as a sunflower, turning to the warm rays in full bloom.

  5. Cyndi says:

    I do enjoy the sun, especially when I’m on a beach at the ocean (personal happy place). 🙂

    • bgdtcoaching says:

      I too love being on the beach. For me its that sense of freedom coming from the space offered by the sea itself. In the words of an old English song: “Oh I do love to be beside the seaside, oh I do love to be beside the sea…”

  6. Dawn says:

    Expansive. Vast. Nothing like a visit seaside to charm the feeling of “at one with life” that calls.


  7. bgdtcoaching says:

    Nice. Hearing the waves break against the shore, watching the seagulls soar, feeling the sun warm our souls after the long, cold winter.

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