Berry picking and life.... not as far apart as you would think
For starters, beginning our search for the ultimate fruity find, we immediately move towards the most potent and plump pickings, having little recognition for those with no present potential. We're here for the harvest, for the ripe goods, after all! Why bother attending to that which does not serve our purpose or goal.
As we continue our search for the very best, moving quickly from area to area, we refine the parameter of our view. Our body and mind soon adjust to this narrowing, tuning in with internal radar to attract what we are in search of. With a determined eye, we discriminate the landscape around us, negating those berries that do not meet the standard we've set. We are on a mission to fill up, both in bucket and belly. We can already envision those jams, jellies, and pies of all kinds. Yum!!
Our selection process continues, taking and enjoying what we can (I did say filling that belly) and moving on down the line to the next set of high pleasure plumpness. Gradually the ripe and overflowing berries that we so enthusiastically noticed in the beginning eventually fade from view. We are left with under-developed future possibilities that don’t have a lot of impact right now as the timing of their readiness with our picking schedule is mismatched. Energetically, the newness of picking has worn off and our aim now is to simply fill our bucket. Looking down at our “take”, we assess how much longer it will be. Rote action begins to support us getting the job done, including the drifting of our mind to places other than the present moment; conversations of yesterday, re-living of grievances, or calendaring today’s other events.
Eventually something catches our eye, though, and we open our awareness to stop and look back at where we were. Woah! Look at all those berries we missed, and ripe ones at that! Seeing where we were, our past, from a different angle gives new insights. With a fresh view, we notice the aliveness that exists where we otherwise thought was picked over and not useful.
Excitement is re-generated as we start to turn leaves over, bring energy to dig through branches, and investigate within the bramble. "What's in here that I'm not noticing? What nuggets of juiciness are waiting for my attention?" We suddenly realize our prior one-directional view was short-sighted and held us back from a great deal of plump fruit, that we almost missed the essential ingredients that would make our bounty lively and vibrant. Getting stuck on the straight path, we forgot that flavors can be found in every direction and that our best bucket will come from the variety it contains.
Exploring more fully now, we may notice that, even though there are lots of similarities between berry bushes, there's actually a lot of differences. Some areas are sweeter than others, some more bitter, others looking fantastic but really no flavor or depth when we taste them. Each area has had different conditions offered to it; different levels of sun, rain, shade, and soil. Even those pickers of past have had influence. Just because a berry is visually ripe doesn't always mean substance of flavor and nutrients are there. Exterior can often be deceiving and it’s good to test for yourself before making any decisions. Taste test many for cohesion. It’s the better weigh factor in deciding what's healthy for your individual state.
And if you’ve been picking next to another, note that what fills another person’s bucket may not fill yours. My bucket will look very different than yours. Pick berries that are compatible with your specific needs, desires, and goals, taking care not to compare or compete. Berries don’t compare themselves to one another so why should you? They just are and all are enjoyed by someone. And skip settling for what's not right just because you want your bucket full. A bucket of sour or tasteless berries doesn't make delicious jams or pies. Be choosy enough to hone what’s good for you. It’s your berry. YOU pick it!!
Sending lots of peace and joy. Happy Picking!!
Mindfulness & Stress Management Coach