15 Sep A Twist to the Old Cherokee Tale
There is this Cherokee tale I often shared with my clients. It goes like this:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
The one that you feed wins.
My initial interpretation on the concept of “feed” was: FOCUS. So, what you focus on wins, meaning that which have your focus shall prevail, survive and even thrive. Hence, if I want more joy peace love and compassion, I should simply focus on these more. Dedicate more energy into these, I should be in bliss. Simple ya?
Why then armed with this knowledge many of us still can’t get more of what we want? Is it because we simply couldn’t help veering oﬀ course and started feeding or focusing on the ﬂip side of what we want? Based on the above logic, you would agree that it is just plain silly to feed fear, anger, judgement arrogance guilt and resentment, as the big bad evil wolf would surface within us. Most of us wouldn’t want that.
There are of course many reasons what causes us to veer oﬀ course from our original intent, which is not the purpose of my write up here. Here, I like to share on an expanded interpretation of “feed” to understand ﬁrstly my predicament and hopefully, open doors for some of us who may identify with this and get us moving a step closer to where we want to be.
The root cause of my predicament is in my original idea of “feed” to mean focus. Focus has an active feel to it. Focus gives rise to directed energy often associated with visible activities to follow.
Then, a recent enlightened conversation have me looking at “feed” in another way. What if this is a feed which escapes attention, a quiet almost insidious indirect “feed” which happens at an almost subconscious level? Feed here takes on the form of energy ﬂow. Where your energy ﬂows to, that’s where you feed.
Let’s look at what I have experienced to give some context to what I mean by my predicament and how this new way of seeing things pulls me out and getting me to move closer to where I want to be.
Recent events have my loved ones suﬀered set backs. That in turn triggered a series of changes which aﬀects my environment and myself. Inwardly I pride myself as the perennial survival, and survive I did. Outwardly I immediately sprung into the “I am here to support you” roles for my loved ones; in a quiet way. There is no big declaration or song and dance to it, I just tell myself that I should be present for them, whenever.
For this “I am here to support you” role, in terms of the active doing, right now, there is really not much to do. The days which require much more of me, in the active doing part were all in the past. I do anticipate springing into action in the future should the need arise; but for today, there is really not much to do. Today, all that I do is try to be present for my loved ones.
Since there is not much of the doing here, I turned my attention and focus, to my budding entrepreneurial side, and start building my business of coaching, so that I can get to do more of what I love doing. Coaching.
Professionally, I pride myself to be adequately intelligent, organised and systematic. My forte is I get things done, well. Although this is the ﬁrst time in my professional career that I am running my own business, business building and I are no stranger. In the past, within the conﬁnes of corporate structure, I have built stellar teams in business development, and as a corporate investor representative, I have sat on boards of companies deciding on the fate of their businesses.
Applying the logic of the Cherokee Tale, I thought I have fed much to building my business of coaching. My activities are reﬂected and well documented, from being awarded a highly regarded coaching certiﬁcation to getting a widely recognised credential with an international coaching association, all these while I kept updated with upgrading of my skills by attending training seminars, as well as participating in number of professional networking association with accents on women in leadership and entrepreneurship. On top of these, I volunteered as a consultant and project advisor for non-proﬁt conservation projects and exploring fund raising potential for social impact funds.
So, with my rich business experience, network and and know how, plus the fact that I love coaching, starting a business in private coaching practice should be a piece of cake, right?
It turned out no, not right now. My business didn’t win. If it were to win anything, it’s likely the under performer of year. award In terms of getting up this business of coaching, I haven’t met a single milestone to date. Hell, If I were me before now, as an investor of this coaching company, I would have given myself a red ﬂag and sounded the warning bells to pull out if things don’t improve.
Henceforth, my predicament.
By my self -appointed “I am here to support you” role, I relegated myself to be living on a standby mode for my loved ones. Being on a standby mode to multiple persons in multiple roles is exhausting energetically. And even in this “not much to do” role, I have received negative feedback in that I am not entirely present!
I now realise I have been subconsciously feeding anxiety, judgement, fear, false pride, and ego that comes with my living on this standby mode. I was blindsided by activities, and failed to pay attention to passivity. Both eats up energy. And when there is no focus, both waste energy. The result is sub-par performance on both roles, as a wife, sister, daughter on the personal front and as a business builder on the professional front.
Awareness as key to opening 1st set of doors
With this awareness of energy ﬂow, although that doesn’t mean I arrest the energy leaks straightaway, at least I am now aware where they occur, and that gives me a semblance of control should I want to do anything with it. Right now, my “being here for you” role stays as that is who I am, similarly my entrepreneurial budding business builder is being nurtured as that sets the structure for who I want to be more of. A good coach. I am now exploring ways to manage my energy play to consciously bring up my energy, hopefully one day suﬃcient to ignite a spark to light up my business in coaching. I try my best each passing day to increase my feed on love joy generosity courage compassion, as kindling necessary to ignite the lightness of being as a coach.
I wasn’t aware of my energy ﬂow and learned the importance of it.
I believe it is important to be conscious of our energy ﬂow. There is the more obvious energy ﬂow reﬂected in all visible activities, there is also the the quiet ﬂow that comes from our state of being. Be mindful of the subconscious feed (energy ﬂow) we may make. Back to the Cherokee tale, I truly believe what you feed wins.
The danger is always in the not so obvious. Our subconscious could be that something that skirts the periphery of your thoughts, sitting on the edge, or that oh so familiar feeling that is there, but never truly acknowledged. All this takes up or builds energy. Our energy ﬂow is an important aspect of who we are and what we want to be. The more energy we directed at, that which we will often materialises.
As to how to take charge of our energy ﬂow, I am right now still exploring on this and will share if anything worthwhile materialises.
I am curious as to whether you have experienced similarly, and your insights on this, what’s more out there, and or any other feedback regarding this would be much appreciated.
Published by Su-Yin on Linkedin on (15 Sept 2018)