This story about a man, his family, a rabbi and a goat caught my attention in Judith Lasater’s foundational and transformational book “Living Your Yoga”.
“A villager lived in a tiny house with his wife, 6 children, mother-in-law, a cow, and some chickens. It was making him crazy. So he went to the village rabbi and asked for help. The rabbi said he could solve the problem: he told the man to buy a goat. Thrilled, the man immediately went out and bought a goat. Now he had a wife, 6 children, a mother-in-law, a cow, some chickens, and a goat.
The house was even more chaotic than before. The villager went back to the rabbi and told of the even crazier chaos. Again, the rabbi said he could solve the problem. “Sell the goat.” The man went immediately and sold the goat. Suddenly, all he had was a wife, 6 children, a mother-in-law, a cow, and some chickens.Things were positively peaceful without that goat.”
When we can step back and see things from a different perspective, it brings new clarity and understanding.
“Your life is as it is. How you feel about your life is up to you”
So much of what we call wisdom is really about getting clear and seeing things from a different perspective. We all tend to get hooked into our thinking and believe it to be the truth. But our thoughts are not the truth, they are just thoughts… and we have the ability to change them.
Take a moment and reflect on the following questions:
How ready and willing am I to see an other person’s perspective or to take a bigger view of a situation, rather than just my own?
How aware am I of the ways that I am stuck in a rut or am living on auto pilot?
It takes time to reflect on this and bring new awareness of our outer and inner worlds.
We can also start to bring new awareness by considering what might be causing frustration or struggle right now.
Am I attached to seeing this in only one way, or are there other perspectives to be explored?
What am I grateful for here?
What do I need to let go of?
Perhaps there is a goat to sell.