Thursday, October 10, 2002

Wiggle Room

I was paddling a new river a couple of weekends ago and came up behind a beaver. He didn't know I was there. I spoke up, trying to give him fair warning, but by the time I saw him, I was on top of the poor fellow. We were both pretty surprised. As we went down river together at about the same speed, I could hear and feel, th-thump, th-thump, th-thump, on the bottom of my canoe as he tried to maneuver his way out of the dilemma of only 8 inches of water between the bottom of my canoe and the bottom of the river. After a long 45 seconds, we finally reached deeper water. My paddling partner said, “That poor guy just ain’t got no wiggle room.”

But isn't that what happens to us when we play in the shallows, not daring to go deep? When a crisis happens, we don't have room to wiggle because we've limited ourselves. Getting “wiggle room” starts with creating space in our lives. Here are some of my favorite ways:

1. Let go. Avoid being overly attached to goals. Move toward your goals but don't, in your effort to accomplish the goal, miss a new emerging path. What attachments do you have now that are causing you problems?

“To live only for some future goal is shallow. It's the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.” ~Robert Pirsig

2. Understand your fears. Know what's real and what's imagined. You are not alone and you are not powerless. Our egos serve no useful purpose except as a defense for what we fear. Having understood our fears, we can now let go of ego.

"Fear is static that prevents me from hearing my intuition." ~Hugh Prather

3. Trust your intuition and your dreams. Be open to possibility. Seek the unlikely. Think the unthinkable. Imagine the improbable. Life's biggest opportunities are often hidden to all but our intuition.

"I have heard it said that the first ingredient of success - the earliest spark in the dreaming youth - is this; dream a great dream." ~John A. Appleman

4. Give yourself permission. There WILL be opportunities. And these opportunities may ask you to become someone you are not right now. You'll want to be able to do that without guilt.

"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life." ~Geoffrey F. Abert

That's it. Have a great Halloween. I've got my pumpkin. Now I'm off to buy candy corn.