The haystack is an interesting place. Of course the horses love to hang out there, but so do a variety of other critters. Bunnies, birds, snakes, scorpions, spiders, and lizards just to name a few. You never know who you're going to meet when you lift the tarp.
A while back on a cool morning I was cleaning the area around the hay and moved an empty pallet, through which loose hay had fallen. In raking up the hay I uncovered a large greenish gray lump. Upon closer investigation it was a fairly good sized lizard who'd made a warm nest of the loose hay. It took a little prodding but he finally woke up and scampered away.
To avoid being rudely awakened by rakes and nudges, the lizard started burrowing between bales of hay. We continued to meet and startle each other over the coming days until it simply became part of the routine.
One morning I filled the feeding bucket as usual and was putting it out for the horses. I dropped a large amount of hay on the ground and heard a 'thud' when it landed. Not the typical noise you'd expect from hay. As I looked down a bewildered lizard looked up. From the look in his eyes I'm pretty sure he was muttering something in lizard that shouldn't be repeated.
After catching his breath he scampered for the short brick wall into the back yard. The dogs had watched the event unfold and saw the potential for a chase as the lizard ran closer. Knowing what would happen if he crawled over the wall I was in hot pursuit. It took a little bit to catch him (need aerobic exercise – chase a lizard!), but he was finally safe in my hands.
Wanting to release him away from barking dogs and stomping horses, I headed back to the hay stack to let him loose. I gently set him on the ground and without hesitation he quickly scampered away. I've not seen him since.
We're often like this lizard. Comfy and cozy in the space we've created for ourselves. When opportunities for change present themselves, perhaps even making it uncomfortable for us to stay in the old space, we hunker down determined to keep things the same. Often expending a lot of energy that leaves us exhausted in the end. Every once in a while we get a not so gentle wake up call, like being dropped in a pile of hay to the ground, that finally gets our attention.
Do you recognize this pattern? All of us have done this from time to time, and you may even doing it right now! What can you do? Here are two important steps:
1. Create Awareness. How do you do that? First and foremost you must truly want to know what is going on. This can't be a half-hearted attempt or you'll create more frustration and uneasiness.
“Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.” ~ James Thurber
Then start asking questions. Ask, answer and listen from a purely non-judgmental frame of mind. If you know a truthful answer will be judged you're more likely to create an acceptable answer rather than a truthful one.
What kind of questions can you ask? Here are a couple to get you started: “What is really going on?” “What am I feeling?” “Is this a symptom of something deeper?” “Why is this bothering me?”Stop and listen to your answers with an open mind and heart. Your answers will be the springboard to asking more questions that will take you to the truth. Questions that start with how, why, and what are a good place to start. Avoid asking to many yes and no questions as sometimes these skirt the truth rather than taking you directly into it.
Your answers will set the stage for the next step. . .
2. Make a Choice – a step of freedom and free-will. Now that you have a greater awareness of what is going on, what choices, opportunities, and possibilities exist? There is always choice. This is where you have a voice, where you take a stand, where you draw the line in the sand.
“If you chose not to decide you still have made a choice.” ~ Rush
Always give yourself the freedom to make a choice. If you don't, like one of my favorite sayings above, by default you still have made a choice.
Making choices leads to creating. It sets in motion plans to change or stay the same, creates action steps, and most important shifts the power from the circumstance back to you.
“Choice, not circumstances, determine your success.” ~Anonymous
Ultimately the lizard decided his chosen home in the haystack was not working out and made the choice to move to a quieter, more lizard friendly neighborhood. What choices will you make?