the tree, not the shade.

interesting conversation recently.
someone was using the visual of growing
into a strong oak tree to represent growing
into a strong, healthy person.

one of the things they mentioned is that when
you are a big, strong oak tree, a benefit that comes
from it all is that you provide shade to others –
which would represent comfort, protection, a safe place to go.

as we talked about it all,
we realized that the place where you could get muddled
is if you start concentrating on being the shade.
if you want to be that safe place or that comfort for someone else,
and you start focusing there, it can get really confusing
and so darn easy to give yourself away.
and THAT might NOT be the healthy, strong thing to do.

the focus seems to need to stay on the tree.
on working on being the best you in each moment.
sometimes that absolutely works with your vision of the shade.
sometimes it does not.

but if you focus on being the best you,
you will keep on growing stronger and healthier.
if your focus shifts to the shade,
you’re bound to get tangled in the jungle.

i loved this thought.
and figured i could use it when i’m muddled.
what a great question to ask yourself –
am i focusing on being the tree or being the shade?
and then direct your actions from there.

and yes, i understand that the actions of being the healthiest tree
and also providing shade can be the same thing.
i just know it’s slippery territory and a place to be hold awareness.

this seems like a great mindfulness tool to me.
i’m gonna be using it a lot, i think!