Stuck on a problem?

Has it ever happened to you to get stuck in a decision or thinking pattern that becomes blocking? Here a story I heard from my father and passed on through generations:

“Once upon a time there was a gentleman of about 40-ies, married and with kids. One morning he decided to go to the market and headed to the prairie where his horse would normally graze. To his great surprise as he approached the horse took off. He kept running to exhaustion without any results; once he would come close, the horse would run off again. Drained of all the energy, he swore: “If I ever catch you and get onto you again, I’ll divorce my wife if I ever step down from you”. Back then, family unity was sacred.

At some point, he eventually got hold of the horse. A man of word as he was, he got onto the horse and ordered food, covers, etc., preparing for his long days and nights on the back of the horse. As family and friends saw this happening, they warmly discouraged him, but he had taken a decision, and keeping his world was primordial.

Days passed by and his wife was getting crazy of seeing her husband running a horse life. At a certain stage his body was all aching and he felt he could not move his feet. Alarmed, she convinced him to see the wise men of the city.

The wise men, were sitting next to a 300 years old plane tree – beautiful, imposing and full of life. He approached and greeted the man while staying over the horse; a gesture perceived as unfriendly and rude. One of the wise men, takes the word and says:

“It would be much better if you could greet us from the ground and not from the horse.” The man on the horse starts to tell this story. The wise man listens full of compassion, he nods his head and then asks the gentlemen:

“Can you get close under the big branch of this tree? Closer ..just a little bit more. “

Can you make as if you are reaching for the leaves? The man follows instructions, making a big stretching.

“Can you make as if you can grasp those leaves … and that branch? He stretched but could not achieve the branch so he stepped over the back of the horse.

“Can you make as if you are getting closer on the right? All by holding on the branch?” 

“Can you make as if you can get closer to the trunk? Can you make as if you can hold into it?”  The man had suddenly taken his feet of the horse!

“Can you make as if you slowly slide down the trunk? .. a little bit more .. still a little bit more .. there you are .. let the trunk and turn around … The man was astonished to see himself standing on the ground.

The wise man asks: “How did you get down, from the horse or from the trunk of the plane tree?”

From the tree .. certainly!   – He jumped of joy and returned happily to his wife and kids at peace to re-live his life and not having broken his oath.

Since then people in those corners often advice: “ You can always step off a horse from a plane tree!”

All it takes to unlock a blocking situation is changing perspective to what is blocking and to the possible options!

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