Each of us during our lifetime has created a story based on fact or fiction. More importantly, if we take a Time Out to reflect on how the story we tell impacts on who we are and how we react to situations and relate to others, We would have a full appreciation of what results in joy, stress and discontentment.
We had just pulled into the gas station to fill up, when I glanced the black squirrel in a tree in the yard next door. ” Look!” I exclaimed with my usual enthusiasm, “a black squirrel!” As I continued to study the squirrel, I exclaimed for the second time ” oh my gosh, look at how he is hanging from the tree” Joanne then added to what was unfolding by noting “he is hanging by his neck!!!”
“I can see both his front and back legs” I declared “that means that he is hanging by his neck!!!” Hannah my daughter then chimed in in horror “He’s going to die! Don’t let him die!”
“No, he’s swinging himself. He will either pull his legs up or break the twig” said Joanne. “Yes” we chorused, as the squirrel appeared to be making progress. Our collective energy was willing the poor black squirrel to use his survival instincts. Then it was panic and horror again in the car, because now our black squirrel appeared to be weakening. “Somebody do something” pleaded Hannah. “I don’t want it to die” She then pulled up her legs and hid her face.
” Maybe we should call the fire brigade?” I suggested, still studying the squirrel intently and probably having flashbacks to the movie “Pleasantville”. “There are enough of us in the car, that if we send out positive energy, the squirrel will be saved.” I said, as my faith now took the driver’s seat. Someone suggested that we pray for the squirrel. I continued to study the squirrel intently. “Maybe God will perform a miracle and save the squirrel. What if …?” I asked aloud “the squirrel was not a squirrel? The squirrel was in fact a piece of rag?”
We all looked up at the tree again and sure enough, the black squirrel was now a piece of black garbage bag floating in the wind. That four ladies with 4 plus pairs of eyes could be so deceived was unbelievable. Our emotions within the space of five minutes had transitioned from joy to horror to awe and disbelief, to panic and ultimately to overwhelming comic relief. We probably could all have done with a good drink after that.
It reminded me so much of the unwarranted emotional turmoil in which we find ourselves on a daily basis, because of ineffective communication – assumptions made, behaviours that match the unfounded assumptions we have made, the emotional roller coaster caused by stories we create!!! Let’s commit to taking regular Time Outs during the day, to ensure that the stories we are responding to are indeed fact, so that we save ourselves from a possible case of “Black Squirrel Trauma“. Time Out …….. the intentional cessation of an incomplete task
Judy Joseph Mc Sween is the Business Intuitive/CEO of Meredith Mc Sween International – using Untapped Knowledge to facilitate internal transformation in individuals, teams and organisations. Contact Judy for information on her “Time Out Corporate Interventions” Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 684 9827