Rover was a dog but not just any old dog, Rover had the ability to talk and perhaps more importantly he had the ability to think. His ability to think meant he was in firm control of his feelings and how he perceived reality. He had only one problem, that damn annoying tail.
A few years ago Rover went on a trip to Japan and he was amazed at how ‘different’ it was from his home town in the Scottish highlands. He loved the contrast between the bright lights of Tokyo and the Zen nature of the countryside and from that point onwards he fell in love with fashion.
As it turned out Rover was quite fashion minded. He was very creative and he could see potential that was seemingly invisible to everyone else. Everyone loved his creations and they brought immense joy into the lives of many people. Rover loved what he did but he had one simple reoccurring problem. He could never catch that annoyingly elusive tail. This was taking up a large portion of his day and it was beginning to affect his work and relationships. Unfortunately, Rover remained blissfully unaware that the tail was a natural extension of himself and with this misunderstanding he would forever be chasing shadows.
One day Rover had had enough and as anyone would do, he travelled to India to visit a sage Shaman. Rover decided that it was worth showing some humility in order to help himself and in turn help others with his gifts in the field of fashion. On meeting the Shaman he got straight to the point and asked him for his help on how to catch this tail. The Shaman felt quite amused by this question but he didn’t display this feeling of amusement. He said to Rover that this ‘complex’ problem would require a relaxed and clear mind. Therefore he invited him to come relax with him by the riverside for the night. Rover wasn’t expecting this response but thought to himself that as he had paid all this money to be here he may as well try and enjoy himself and ‘kill two birds with one stone’.
The following morning Rover did indeed feel more relaxed but he still wanted an answer, or a strategy or anything that would allow him to solve this problem and get back to his life. Just thinking about this made him feel a little more tense, but that didn’t matter because it felt like he was doing something to solve the problem. Once again on meeting the Shaman he asked for a solution to his problem. The Shaman could feel the tension that had started to build up again, and he offered him a green tea while they chatted.
Shaman: ‘Why is it important for you to catch this tail you speak of?’
Rover: ‘Because I will no longer have to think about it and be able to get on with my life again.’
Shaman: ‘I understand, that sounds highy logical. So what is this tail doing to you that disturbs you so much?’
Rover: ‘Well it is getting in my way. Every now and again I see it out of the corner of my eye and it drives me mad. I just don’t want to see it, I want to see the world without having this white and black thing in my peripheral vision.’
Shaman: ‘That does sound rather frustrating. You said it happens every now and again which means there are times when you don’t see it. Can you tell me what is happening when you don’t notice it?’
Rover: ‘Hmm, I never really concentrated on that before but now that you say it, I generally don’t notice the tail when I am working on a new piece of clothing. When an idea comes to mind and I get straight to action on it.’
Shaman: ‘Very good, and can you tell me where the tail disappears to in those moments?’
Rover: ‘That is a good question. I had presumed that it disappeared, but come to think of it I think it is still present. I just don’t seem to concentrate on it, so I don’t see it.
Shaman: ‘Very good, I believe that is a reasonable assertion. I believe this because that tail follows you everywhere, because you own it. You always have the power to choose whether to focus on it or not’
Rover: ‘Awwh. I cannot believe I didn’t see this before. I had such a blinkered focus that I no longer could see the trees from the forest. I must admit that this is the most stupid I have ever felt. However, I feel such as sense of relief and lightness right now that I am more than happy to sacrifice my ego’.
Rover returned back to Scotland shortly after this and made some of his most prolific pieces. While his new understanding wasn’t a cure to all his problems, now when he saw his tail in his peripheral vision he chuckled to himself and continued on with what he was doing.
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