The Rabbit And The Garden

Stories carry the seeds of our humanness. They help us, teach us, heal us, and connect us to what matters. I’ve been reading a book by poet and philosopher Mark Nepo called The Book of Awakening. In the book, he writes daily affirmations that I truly find awakening. More often than not, they trigger thoughts about concepts that I feel already, that maybe I needed reminding of.

In the movie Phenomenon, John Travolta’s character has done everything he can think of to keep this pesky rabbit out of his garden. He’s even put in fencing that goes three feet underground, and still everything he plants is nibbled through.

Suddenly, one night he wakes and realizes he’s been going about this all wrong. In the moonlight, he quietly goes to his garden and opens the gate, then sits on his porch and waits.

To his surprise, as he begins to fall asleep, the rabbit scurries out the gate. While he’d been trying to keep it out, the rabbit was trapped in his garden, and he was inadvertently keeping it in.

How often do we barricade and fence up our lives against hurt and loss, thinking we’re keeping the painful things out, when they’re already trapped inside eating at our roots, and what we really need to do is open the gate and let them out?

Nepo encourages us to look within and examine what we think we are trying to keep out of our heart…a memory or a truth of what is happening right now. He suggests:

1. Close your eyes and open the gate to your heart and wait.

2. Breathe slowly and give the rabbit a chance to leave your garden.

If we can find the courage to open our hearts, to be vulnerable in life using compassion and forgiveness, our gardens hopefully will flourish!

As always, I am here cheering you from the sidelines!

And if you’re stuck? I’m here to help.

With love and gratitude,