Let Go of the Banana

By Suzanne Wiggins

I believe the Universe has been sending me important messages out of context. Don’t get me wrong; the messages are always very helpful as provided. It’s just that when I’m struggling with a particular quandary and it hits me that the answer or lesson was already revealed in an earlier, unrelated context, it’s a pretty momentous feeling. It’s like Dorothy finding out that she could have gone home at anytime with the help of her ruby slippers. Perhaps this is how we learn to pay attention.

About a year ago while glancing through the archives of a blog, I found a post that described how poachers in some parts of Africa use a simple kind of trap to capture monkeys. They attach a jar to a heavy stone and bury the stone so only the jar is in view.  Inside the jar they place a banana then they stand back at a distance to make the monkey comfortable enough to climb down from the tree to retrieve the fruit. As the monkey closes its fist around the banana, the hunters charge forward. The monkey attempts a quick getaway, but its closed fist is unable to be pulled from the jar. Only an open hand can fit through the narrow opening.  Refusing to let go of its prize, the monkey meets his untimely demise.

‘Why doesn’t the monkey just let go of the banana?’  Hmmmm. Seems so easy, right? Well, I’ve been wondering…why don’t WE let go of the things that make us unhappy, deplete our peace of mind, limit our quality time with children, or cause us worry, stress and poor health? Why do we hold so tightly to the things that are familiar, but cause us unhappiness and pain?

What would happen if we let go of that oh, so secure job we hate, the relationship that is eroding our self-esteem, that deep concern about what others think of us, the constant urge to buy things we don’t really need, the tendency to avoid heartbreak by expecting the worst, the feeling that we have to be the one to keep the ship afloat, the idea that we have to work full-time, make a certain salary, have a specific title, or accomplish certain life goals by the time we’re 30, 40 or 50?

I get that taking risks is scary and it’s normal to avoid facing uncertainty and feelings of discomfort. BUT, what if we finally understood, that like the monkey, there is absolutely no downside to letting go of the banana?

What message might the Universe be sending YOU today?

Full Mental Jacket

By Suzanne Wiggins

I’ve been consciously working on enhancing my happiness for a little over four years now. It’s definitely been a life changing journey and I’ve discovered that becoming happier doesn’t always “feel” happy. There are some daunting and downright scary challenges that must be faced in the dark and hidden recesses of the heart and mind.

I’ll be honest, the greatest moments of enlightenment often come at the most unexpected times. Case in point, I had my most powerful revelation to date while standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes this morning. I was mentally flow charting the “why” of an ongoing emotional struggle and suddenly the answer revealed itself to me. I was astounded by the obvious simplicity of the answer. And as hokey as it may sound, I found myself without conscious intention going through the motions of unbuttoning the clasps of an imaginary garment. When the buttons were undone I shrugged from my shoulders what seemed like a heavily weighted jacket. As it fell to the ground I breathed a deep sigh of relief while relaxing and rotating my shoulders. It was a very real physical response to the lightness I felt in my body. Quite involuntarily I said aloud, ‘I no longer need to carry it. It’s not my load to carry.’

I finally understood that  someone, or more likely a series of people, had saddled me with ideas and beliefs that were harmful to my self-esteem. As the load got bigger and heavier over the years, I carried it without much thought, complaint or awareness because it was given to me by people who were credible and influential in my life. But this morning…THIS morning I was able to let go and truly accept that the past is done and behind me and I have all the power and ability I need to create whatever future it is I desire. I’ve read it. I’ve written it. But it feels really amazing when you finally believe it.

So my challenge to you is this…I challenge you to be brave. To bravely acknowledge what it is you carry that is not of your own making. The voices that say, “you’ll never amount to anything, you have no value, you’ll fail, you’re not pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, young enough, you’ll never find love, you’ll never have success, you’ll never do it, you’re too old, you’re not wanted, if you haven’t done it yet you never will, it’s impossible, you don’t deserve it, you don’t have what it takes, happiness is just an illusion, dreams don’t come true, no one truly gets what they want…”

I promise that the braver you are, and the sooner you acknowledge the invisible load you bear, the sooner your wants and desires will begin to manifest into reality. Nothing is impossible if you’re brave enough to say those magic words, “It’s not my load to carry.”