What Do We Cling To?
One of my all time favorite stories is Illusions by Richard Bach. I re-read it every year as a birthday present to myself. It opens with a hand written story about a village of creatures who have spent their whole lives clinging. They cling tightly to the bottom of the river, never allowing themselves to go with the flow. Then one day, one of the creatures decides he is tired of clinging and let’s go. The others scold and admonish him, saying he will be killed. Dashed upon the rocks. Beat about. Never survive. But he lets go, and discovers he’s free. Tumbled about at first, he soon realizes it’s okay to let go and peacefully drifts down the river. Soon he floats by a new community of creatures who all look stunned as he floating along. They say he must be a savior…. They are mesmerized. Unaware, that they too, can set themselves free.
What a beautiful metaphor. Where are we clinging and where have we let go?
My vehicle for moving freely over these past two years has been my Honda Element. I put over 40k miles on her and she’s provided me shelter and comfort. She’s carried me safely, with no problems of any kind — save the new battery. I’ve slept inside her. Cried, laughed, and made love all with her comforting confines.
She has defined me: a woman unto herself, a freedom fighter, a nomad. I even named my business In Her Element Life Coaching.
I believe when we find our own place, defining our own terms, establishing boundaries and values that resonate with our soul, then we are in fact in our element.
I’ve spent time interviewing other women who have found their element.
And yet I have clung to this vehicle as a defining icon of who I am and what my business is all about.
Can I be In Her Element without the Honda Element?
Now that I find myself in Chicago, my vehicle has become more of a burden than a blessing. Chicago has steep fees for parking permits, auto insurance, and heaven forbid you get a ticket here. Major moolah!
I find that I feel most in my element and free to be me when I’m walking the city streets. My feet are connecting with the earth, I’m moving my body, I’m breathing in the sights and sounds of the city. It’s a sensual experience to find myself here, moving with the heartbeat of Chicago. I feel renewed. I feel at home.
One day, as I was walking to the library, it dawned on me — I can redefine My Element. It doesn’t have to be the car. It can be whatever I say. I certainly don’t coach women into purchasing a Honda Element. Hell, Honda doesn’t even make the Element any more. Interesting, for sure.
There’s a time that things fit and a time when we outgrow them. The jeans, the relationship, the job, the car.
We are free to shed that which no longer serves. Where are the items in your life a blessing? a burden?
What feelings do they evoke? Expansion. Lightness. Possibility. Or does it taste more like Obligation? Duty. Heaviness. Let these sensations guide you.
It’s when we listen and honor what is right for us that we are closest to being in our element. Honda or not.