Karla’s Korner: The Hole in the Fence
The Hole in the Fence: Staying Focused on Life’s Journey
Earlier this week while I was on the playground with my preschoolers I noticed a couple of birds frolicking around in the wooded area just beyond the fence. Several students noticed the commotion in the mulch and ran to the fence to watch. In a few quick seconds the birds were perched on the fence and then on the inside of the play area. Flying back and forth, seemingly chasing one another across the playground they charged one after the other making their way perfectly through the hole in the chain link fence. As this scenario played out for the rest of recess the children and I talked about the birds and much fun it was to watch them play. One little boy asked if I thought the birds liked watching us play too. Assuring him that I was certain the birds enjoyed hearing us play, laugh and sing as much as we do watching and listening to them he was satisfied and went about his game of make believe. I, however, spent a few moments alone on the bench pondering the precision and focus of the birds as they zipped through the holes in the fence; their intense focus was quite intriguing. Not once did they miss their mark. Their focus was impeccable.
Reflecting on life and the busy-ness it brings about to our everyday routines quite often causing stress and anxiety I wondered what it would be like if we had the intense focus and confidence as the birds. Intending to stay on track with daily tasks or working toward a long term goal we often find ourselves distracted to the point that we either give up or become so distracted we forget what our initial intentions or desires were. Instead of moving forward at a focused steady pace we begin to look around to see what everyone else is doing and lose our focus; we lose sight of the hole in the fence. The hole in the fence, I think represents the pathway to peace and freedom within our inner selves. We all want to find that inner peace yet we flounder around like a fish out of water aimlessly searching for what others have instead of working toward what is best for ourselves.
Once a student asked his teacher if he worked very hard and was diligent how long would it take for him to find enlightenment in his life. The teacher confidently replied “ten years”. The student then asks if he worked very very hard and really applied himself to learn fast how long would take; the teacher replied “twenty years”. Confused the student asked if he really really really worked hard how long would it take then. A bit exasperated the teacher replied “thirty years”. Bewildered the student explained that he didn’t understand and asked the teacher to clarify so that he might understand and find the enlightenment he desired. Without hesitation the teacher explained that when you have one eye on the goal you only have one eye on the path. We need to keep both eyes on the path. Demonstrating, that unlike any other experience in our lives, enlightenment is truly about the journey and not the destination. We need to have patience in order to stay focused on what we want to do. There are no short cuts.
If the birds on the playground had lost their focus they would not have been able to make it through the small hole in the fence. Looking away and losing sight of where we need to go will only get us lost or crashing into life’s fence leaving us bewildered and unfulfilled. I encourage to search deep within your soul to determine where it is you want your life to take you. It’s up to you to choose the path you take; however, you must keep your eyes on the path in order to enjoy the journey. The end destination is merely a bi-product of our life journey. Remaining focused throughout the process will allow us to absorb the entire journey knowing that there will be tough times once in a while. Tough times are necessary for us to appreciate the good times that follow.
Motivational speaker Anthony Robbins once said “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” Stay focused and enjoy your journey.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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