Fishing For Life

“Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.”
Lao Tzu

When I was making this piece, this simple parable came into my mind. Although there are many meanings one might interpret from it, I was thinking of fishing as a metaphor for the process of going to a quiet, still place of calm and solitude inside one’s self…… and tossing a line deep into the waters of the heart. To connect into our essence and find an unending and abundant source of nourishment – soul nourishment. And how powerful it is to learn how to do this for ourselves.

I’m so grateful for all the people and things in my life that have helped me learn how to fish – my beloved husband, my friends, family, books, art, nature, meditation, my therapist, and for the grace that this kind of fishing has given to my life.

One of the many books that is filled with fishing lessons for me is Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ “Women Who Run With The Wolves”. She talks about connecting with our essence and the nourishment we find there as “going home”. She says:

“Home is the pristine instinctual life that works as easily as a joint sliding on it’s greased bearing, where all is as it should be, where all the noises sound right, and the light is good, and the smells make us feel calm rather than alarmed. How one spends one’s time in the return is not important. Whatever revivifies balance is what is essential. That is home.
There is not only time to contemplate, but also to learn, and to uncover the forgotten, the disused and the buried. There we can imagine the future and also pore over the scar maps of the psyche learning what led to what, and where we will go next.”

So fishing for life is about two things for me. First, it is about the practice of “going home” again and again and again, for one’s entire lifetime. But it is also about that process of “fishing for a life” inside myself, asking my heart what kind of life I want and what it holds dear and brings it joy. It is about ”leaving the topside world”, again and again and again, leaving the shoulds and the have-tos and the I’m not good enoughs and the fears and the shames and the not enoughs and the doubts, and claiming a life that is full of the awareness of the ever-present love and joy and benevolence and creativity and light and expansion and tenderness and abundance that is always there. The joy of fishing.

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