Episode 118 – Shake It Off
The Story of the Mule
A farmer owned an old mule that fell into a well. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well were worth the trouble of saving. He called his neighbors together and told them what had happened and enlisted their services to haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially, the old mule was hysterical. But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back … a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, he should shake it off and step up. This he did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up!” he repeated to encourage himself.
No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up. It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the edge of the well.
Didn’t think up a life affirming solution – chose to bury it and hope to make something better of it
We are the farmer when we want a problem to go away quickly and we avoid obvious feedback
Examples: covering something up, disguising a problem, avoid talking through a real problem, moving on too quickly, creating a band-aid solution, blaming versus taking responsibility
He wailed at first, then chose to use his adversity to his advantage
In the same circumstance, how long would we wail?
Until it was too late for a solution?
The Dirt: problems, unfairness, injustices, undeserved or ill treatment, an untenable person or situation, bills, irritations, things breaking, complaints, uncertainties, confidence busters, criticisms or attacks
Shake it off: responding versus reacting, refusing to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity Not taking things personally
Step up: finding strength in adversity, creating advantage, making a blessing out of a curse, overcoming, or possibility thinking
1. If we stay wailing as victims, nothing will get better for us. We can make all sorts of demands. We can want things to be different. We can shout, “unfair!” But if we do, we will soon find ourselves buried.
2. Shaking if off puts us in a higher frame of mind. It can be a way to move us away from dwelling in the problem. But this is not enough. If we are to get ourselves out of the wells of life (however they show up), we have to also step up. Otherwise we will keep experiencing adversity, unfairness, being stuck, hard feelings, etc. We become life’s punching bag.
3. We can’t ‘step up’ without first ‘shaking off.’ We often try to bypass the ‘shake it off’ step and take the step up without first establishing a raised platform. We have to transform the adversity into something we can stand upon – make what was troublesome work for us in some way. If we don’t, we will find ourselves back at the bottom of the well.
The Spiritual Path
Do you know your Divine identity?
Do you trust the abundance of the Universe?
Do you remember your power?
Dialogue and Inquiry
Can you see yourself as the farmer or the mule? Share more about this.
What stage of the mule’s situation do you find yourself in now? Getting piled on (i.e. victimization)? Shaking it off? Or stepping up?
Share a story about these three stages as it applies to a current or past situation. Have you ever experienced stepping up without shaking it off? Or shaking if off without stepping up?
What else does this story mean to you?
What does, “I have overcome the world” mean to you?
My resilience comes from Spirit within. When the events of life dump on me, I partner with Spirit and shake it off. I rise to a new level, willing to face and transform what is, to whatever is next. I keep my eye on my Truth, that I am Infinite power. I am free and sovereign. Nothing can harm me without my consent.