I recently finished Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm, gifted to me by my friend Holly May Thompson. Written by the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk, it is a beautiful companion to addressing the fears that keep us from truly living in the moment.
With the madness of the holiday season, Hanh’s message hits the spot. Xmas time always gets me a little emotional, one of those annual occasions that puts the daydreams into overdrive. I like to look back at Christmas days that have come and gone; from a catered Italian lunch on Long Island to a room service dinner in a Prague hotel room.
While reflections are incredibly important, dwelling in the golden memories (or nail-biting mistakes) of yesteryear is a recipe for disaster. I love the way Hanh speaks about negative emotions. He doesn’t try to teach the reader to stop them but rather to set our gaze upon them.
“Don’t be violent toward your anger, your fears and your worries. The practice is simply to recognize them.”
I became fixated on a particular metaphor where Hanh speaks of the interconnectedness of everything in this world and references the beauty of a particular plum tree in his Buddist village. Inside every piece of fruit lies a pit that contains “an intelligence, a wisdom that knows how to become a plum tree, how to produce branches, leaves, flowers, and plums.”
If we could apply this metaphor to ourselves what would it look like? How would you describe the seed inside you?
Happy Holidays y’all!