The Parable of the Old Farmer

Today, I would like to introduce you to a famous Taoist parable about an old farmer. So, if we are sitting comfortably, I will begin:

There was once a farmer in ancient China who owned a horse. “You are so lucky!” his neighbours told him, “to have a horse to pull the cart for you!”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

One day he didn’t latch the gate properly and the horse ran off. “Oh no! What a disaster!” his neighbours cried. “Such terrible misfortune!”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

A few days later the horse returned, bringing with it six wild horses. “How fantastic! You are so lucky,” his neighbours told him. “Now you are rich!”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The following week the farmer’s son was breaking-in one of the wild horses when it kicked out and broke his leg. “Oh no!” the neighbours cried, “such bad luck, all over again!”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next day soldiers came and took away all the young men to fight in the war. The farmer’s son, having a broken leg, was left behind. “You are so lucky!” his neighbours cried.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The story officially ends there, although I can imagine there were further chapters with a similar conclusion!!!

The point being, of course, is that as we navigate our way through life it’s never certain how any situation is going to turn out and seeing things in a “positive”, or “negative” light shapes how we perceive the stories of our lives, which often needlessly creates heavy, metal loads of pain and suffering that we then carry about with us, literally dragging us down under its weight.

The old farmer reminds us that what we have, in fact, is choice: we can choose to see any difficult situation in any manner of ways and respond accordingly. We can choose to let go of old stories that no longer serve us or we can choose to ignore them, not deal with them, and burying them deep down where they can wallow and fester and potentially cause us greater problems. I know what I would always try to do!

So, in the case of Autumn, which as we know is the Metal element and most associated with the Lungs and Large Intestine, this is about transcending grief and letting go into gratitude. Gratitude is everything. To be grateful for ALL experiences, however hard that might seem. We cannot change the past, we cannot change what happened, but we can change how we allow it to affect our lives today and, most importantly, in the future. That sounds massive, doesn’t it, but read it again – and you will know that it is the truth!
Alchemising grief into gratitude is, of course, easier said than done. But an easy way to start is to simply focus on those virtues that we have an opportunity to deeply test because of whatever difficult situation we might find ourselves in.

Once we have alchemised those low frequencies they are simply no longer there. They will have been transformed, we will have been transformed – and we will begin to feel better. As tough as the process is, the reward is without question something to be grateful for, and as I said earlier, gratitude is everything.