What can a Tortoise teach us about Transformation?
You remember Aesopâ€™s fable of the Hare and the Tortoise?Â When it seemed obvious that the Hare would win the race between the two, but the Tortoise won?
I have been thinking about this recently as I am lucky enough to be spending a month in Turkey, where there are many wild tortoises.Â To a Londoner now living in the North of Scotland, to see wild tortoises is a complete thrill.Â Sometimes one sees them crossing the road, then the driver sometimes stops and moves them to the side so they are safe.Â But more often, this time, I have heard them â€“ rustle rustle â€“ as they move around the wild land surrounding my house.Â The grasses are dry, the fallen leaves are dry, so as they move â€“ rustle rustle.
What fascinates me is the old truth we know so well.Â That the tortoise appears to be so slow and lumbering, and yet one step after the other, they can go at surprising speed and travel far distances.
Perhaps they appear slow because compared to many animals, they are slow. But I think that what makes their travelling surprising is carrying that great wonderful shell on their backs.Â It hardly seems possible that a creature with such a wonderful carapace can move so far, with such (seeming) determination.Â How do they know where they are going? Can they see far? Do they use smell?Â Are ancient pathways embedded in their ancient brain?Â Whatever the means, they move, and they arriveâ€¦
So I am going to beg leave of the tortoise to learn a lesson.Â I reckon they will be around long after the human race has gone, so I am happy to learn from them while I can.
Â This is what I see.Â A creature, with a great burden of shell, taking one small step at a time, yet moving slowly yet surely towards their destination.
Â Is this relevant to transformation for life?
I think so.
Transformation can be immediate, ecstatic, transmitted by a master, but I truly believe that for most of us, most of the time, it is a practice.
IF we are lucky, we have those peak experiences, those moments of ecstasy, which open our eyes to the Oneness of the Universe.Â Do we experience that one hour later, one month later, one year later?Â Not usually.
And yet it is easy, and understandable, to go searching, to try and re-experience that moment.Â The problem is, that as long as we are not happy where we are, we are unhappy.Â â€śI know what bliss is like, and I want it againâ€ť.Â Or â€śI donâ€™t know what bliss is like, and I want it nowâ€ť.Â Either way, the â€śnot havingâ€ť creates dissatisfaction.Â Like the sisters in The Cherry Orchard, we will never reach Moscow, and so never be happy.
Why not be present in the here and now, and keep moving along the path?
Being present does not mean dull acceptance or throwing away the dream of â€śbetterâ€ť.Â It is the way to â€śbetterâ€ťâ€¦
Being present means using every precious moment as teaching.Â It means seeing the path right beneath your feet.Â It means using thisâ€ť and â€śthatâ€ť as signs.
It means being aware.Â One step at a time,
This transformation is about being present in our everyday lives to the signs, the discomforts, the feelings of â€śless thanâ€ť â€“ and then clearing.Â I use EFT and Matrix Re-Imprinting.Â They work, but they are not the only methods.
We carry the weight of our past on our backs.Â We carry our judgements and expectations and beliefs and desires and fears, and they feel real.Â Like the tortoise, our shell comes with us.Â Letâ€™s not try and pretend otherwise!
Letâ€™s acknowledge our shell â€“ â€śEven though I have this issue.â€ť and gratefully be in the present, â€śI love and accept myselfâ€ť.
Â â€śEven though I have this issue, I love and acceptâ€¦â€ť
What a statement!
Then we clear, with the tapping, and move on.
Sometimes the clearings are huge seismic shifts, and sometimes they are more of the â€śsame old same oldâ€ť.Â Itâ€™s all good.
One step at a time, we move forward.Â Like the tortoise.Â And who won the race?