SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Saturday, May 5, 2018

"To be recognised as Falcon" - Communicating with our Storied Souls!

Mullah Nasiruddin had never seen a falcon before and spotting it on the window sill, he caught the bird and cut its talons, clipped its beak and trimmed its feathers. "You poor thing, how did you get into such a bad shape" he sympathised, "Now you look better."


(from a collection of Hodja Tales by Idries Shah)

All of us have to clip our feathers, trim our beaks and cut our talons...to fit into a framework that exists in another person's view or in the view of society. Lucky are those who are able to remain a falcon and fly the sky and be recognised as one.

I have spent the last 10 years reattaching my feathers, beak and talons. To be the person I always thought I was and thought I wanted to be. Still I find a few feathers are missing and the beak may be more crooked than it used to be, but that moment of recognition when you realise you can regrow your talons, feathers and beak is priceless...

I know I clipped my sense of fun and boxed myself into what was expected of me. I trimmed my wings to soar a little lower, for I was and am still fearful of soaring high and perhaps disappearing away from those who I have chosen and know.

What did you clip?
What did you trim?
What did you cut?

Write to me at sowmya03@gmail.com if you have a story to tell that resonates with this wisdom tale.
Going forward I will be sharing one story ( or more) every week that resonates with me and my innermost desire to BEcome. Share your thoughts, images, memories and let us embark into a space of shared storytelling.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Humour - Wisdom of the Mullah - Persian/ Middle East/ Turkey


Finding Humour in life situations is a skill for the 21st century!! If we can learn this one skill then I feel we have learnt the most effective coping mechanism that will help us handle all the arrows aimed at us by Maya the seducer - illusionist! Humour helps us see others and ourselves through a lens of tolerance and acceptance. It includes and helps us gain perspective....as long as we don't get carried away by our own sense of humour!
Here goes:
Once there was a mullah, a wise teacher, named Nasreddin Hodja. Everyone, from beggars to kings, sought the mullah's teachings, for people said he was the wisest man among wise men.
One summer day Nasreddin was wandering through the great covered bazaar of Isfahan. This was one of Nasreddin's favorite activities, for everywhere he saw people he knew. Some had just returned from long journeys, others were selling wares. It was a friendly and inviting place.
As he walked along he happened upon a group of men arguing. Even from a distance, Nasreddin could hear their raised voices, words flying this way and that, and naturally he was curious to know what could cause an argument on such a beautiful day. "Salaam," he greeted the men, sticking his head into their circle.
"Salaam," they replied, but they could not stop their arguing, and the mullah saw that they were passing something around the circle.
"What is it?" the mullah asked.
"I say this is a jewel," one man said.
"No, no, it is a sign from the enemy," shouted another.
"Not at all," the mule driver cried, "it must be a gift from Allah."
Nasreddin peered closely at the object as the mule driver explained: "I was riding across the desert, and it caught my eye. I carried it here to show the wise men, but no one knows what it is."
"Perhaps you can tell us," one of the men said to Nasreddin.
"Here, take it," the others said. "Tell us what it is."
Nasreddin took the object in his hand and studied it closely. It was a tiny box of metal and glass, a box like any other box. But inside there were letters indicating four directions, and in the center of those a tiny needle shivered when he shook the box.
"See," said the mule driver, "that needle quivers when you shake it, but no matter how much you try to move it, it always returns to point north."
The mullah turned the box over. He lifted it into the air. He turned it again. He shook it with one hand, then with two. But each time he looked inside, that quivering needle was pointing north -- toward the northern end of the Grand Bazaar, toward the distant mountains.
The mullah began to stroke his beard. This is what he did when he was deep in thought. He was silent for a long time, wondering at the mystical turn of that needle.
By now many others had begun to gather around. "What is it? Does the mullah know the answer? How can a needle always know which way is north?" Everyone was asking questions; many trusted that the mullah would know.
Then, suddenly, the mullah began to cry; great gushing tears flowed from his deep brown eyes. Everyone gasped, but just as the mule driver was about to step forward to offer solace, the mullah burst out laughing. "What's going on?" someone asked, but again the mullah burst into tears.
"Can I help?" another offered, but before he could finish his sentence the mullah had again begun to cry, and then laugh, and then cry.
The others shook their heads. They could not imagine how someone could laugh and cry at the same time; it was almost as mysterious as the needle, but the mullah continued, laughing with all his heart, then crying just as hard; laughing and crying and laughing.
"Why are you crying?" some asked.
"Why are you laughing?" others queried.
"It is impossible to cry and laugh at the same time," another said.
Word spread through the city of this extraordinary event, and even more people gathered. Women, drawing veils over their faces, ran to the bazaar; young children begged their teachers to end the school day so they could go and witness the spectacle of Nasreddin crying and laughing. Finally a young boy, feeling sorry for the great mullah, called out: "Please, someone help the mullah!"
When Nasreddin heard the child's words, he suddenly stopped laughing and crying. He grew very quiet, and so did all those gathered around.
"Let me explain," he said softly.
The people leaned in close to listen.
"I cry," the mullah said, "because not one of you among this enormous crowd is wise enough to know what this box is. It is such a tiny box, such an insignificant needle, and yet it has more wisdom than all of you, for it knows what it is. I cry because I am ashamed of your ignorance. Is it any wonder that such stupidity would make me cry?"
The people bowed their heads. Even the children felt ashamed, for they had hoped their elders were wise; now they understood they were not.
But one of the men who knew the mullah well began to smile. "But mullah," he said, "tell us why you were laughing at the same time as you were crying."
The mullah looked at each person in turn, one after another, and a smile crept across his face. Once more he began to laugh, and so the people stared harder -- to the confusion and amazement of his audience.
"I laugh because I do not know what this box is either," he said. "I laugh because even the wisest among us still finds he is a fool in this world."
Soon all the people were crying and laughing, dazzled by the profound wisdom of their great teacher and by the mysteries of the world.

The tale can be found here:
https://www.uexpress.com/tell-me-a-story/2009/7/19/the-wisdom-of-the-mullah-a

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A modern day original Fable

A healing fable

Turtle was in love with Rabbit.
Her family was shocked. This is unheard of; we cannot allow such foolishness to prevail, they said. How can a turtle love a rabbit so?

Yet, she left the water to be with him. She bid farewell to her mother and father, sister and brother and crawled onto the land. Somewhere in her soft heart underneath that hard shell she wore, she felt great love for rabbit, the Prince of Shore.

She had seen him run and adored his pace. The way he combed his hair, took her breathe away. She had seen him feast on carrots and cabbage and felt she shared the same passion. 
Made for each other she felt, so they married.

Rabbit insisted on moving fast. He was always in a hurry. He darted in and out of holes and chewed his food rapidly, while looking at turtle with eyes impatiently.
“Move faster” he would shout back angrily.
“Wait for me” she would yell.

He ran ahead and she plodded behind on feet that now had cuts and scratches with much of land and not much of water.
“Wait for me” she said again, but he was fast asleep under the Apple tree.
She reached the Tree, to look at him and sighed and thought to herself - How different we are, how wrong I was, perhaps it’s time for me to go.
She plodded on and left him behind. She moved on to the bright waters of her life of old.

Rabbit woke up to find her gone. Search he never did. For he knew what was gone was gone and letting go was the best he could.

Who won, who lost we may not be sure. But for sure Turtle was happier than before.

~~~

The seeds of this fable were sown a long time ago, in that limbo period of desolation and abundance. Yesterday I completed it. It has the roots of a healing fable and is dedicated to all those who think they make choices that are irreversible. 
If you are moving towards Peace, then That is the right choice.

A healing fable dedicated to the seperators and their loved ones.