“We are both rocks,” my friend said as we were walking in New York City’s Central Park, “People depend on us.” I thought a moment and asked. “If we are rocks, who do we depend on?” “Other rocks,” she replied. If you are a rock, where do you find the rocks you stand on?
What do rocks need?
”Rock” is a tough metaphor. Rocks stand at the top of the mountain, until the earth shakes and they tumble down. Rocks hold steady the banks of a stream. Some rocks line the bottom of rivers during floods or dry spells or they act as stepping stones across a stream. Rocks line paths. They are used to make walls, and even houses. Rocks are steady. They are self-sufficient. They are sturdy. Oh, and sometimes they are shiny and have a very high value! But most of all rocks are strong, resourceful, and manage on their own. So what does a self-sufficient rock need? What you need?
Rocks may be self-focused
I’m not very fond of the idea that we may be self-focused, but if you are the only one taking care of you, you better be paying attention to you – what you need and want, what you say and do. You are the only person monitoring you. You are the only one making your own choices.
Rocks are strong and steady – not stubborn
Well, maybe a few rocks are stubborn, but if we’re the ones people depend on, we need to be clear about what we value and what we stand for. We must have the courage to go exploring. We are observant, and usually have a plan…
Rocks support others
Here-in lies the crux – if we support others, who supports us – how do we get support? How much support do we need?
We figure it out for ourselves
Rocks are not in the habit of asking for help, or opinions, or guidance. We simply figure it out for ourselves. That means we are curious, we think things out, we are philosophers and we see the overview. As far as I have experienced, we are on our own. I don’t find that sad, it is simply the way it is. As rocks, we have to learn to nurture ourselves.
Are you taking care of yourself?
As an older rock, I’m a bit worn in places and I need some extra care. I do that though eating a plant-based diet and continuing to find forms of exercise that I can still do that strengthen and add flexibility. I am very active creatively and that offers me deep nourishment. What are you doing to nurture yourself as a rock?
Are you in the right landscape?
The most meaningful change I’ve made as an older rock is to change tribes. I went online to find vibrant, curious, motivated people with whom to exchange ideas. I am both supported and nourished there. As your interests change, see how you need to change tribes or simply replace some no longer supportive members of your tribe.
Self-awareness is the key to nurturing a rock
The major way I nourish myself as a rock is through self-awareness. It took a major outside nudge to get me out of a retirement mind-set back into an active and contributing place of service. It took me awhile to figure out I needed to change tribes. Look for the on-going changes in your cycle, the shifts in your position. A small pebble that dislodges may send you on a wonderful ride down the mountain. If you want to be free, find that pebble and nudge it. If you’d rather stay where you are, take care of that pebble holding you in place.
Rocks have to love themselves. They have to love themselves hard enough and deep enough to actually feel it. How do you acknowledge yourself? How do others acknowledge you? What kind of impact are you having in the world around you? Does someone come sit in your shade, or take shelter from a storm beneath your overhang, or sun herself on your surface? A rock is in service many ways. Perhaps you just need to notice how you serve.
Support other rocks
Now that you know you are a rock, keep an eye out for other rocks and see how you can support them. Acknowledgement may be enough. A helping hand may be in order. Encouragement is always welcome.
We are cared for when we are in service
Rocks need to be good, strong, supportive rocks. If that is your calling, be the best rock you can be. When you know you are doing well in your job as a rock, that is sometimes nourishment enough.
To Sing a Deeper Song consider:
02– The Hole In Our Life Called Loneliness (Podcast 20 minutes)
03- Planting Roots and the Fundamental Need for Security (Podcast 20 minutes)
04–How to Redefine Yourself and the 30 year plan (Podcast 20 minutes)
05-Do You Have the Courage to Stand Alone (Podcast 20 minutes)
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