The Earth School is all about being human, and the conflict of ego and soul is at the core. However much we know the theory, it is easy to forget the practice and I was reminded of this only this morning when I went outside to feed the birds and saw, for the second time in two days, a flock of sheep in the orchard which were not supposed to be there. As I looked at them a jumble of thoughts came into my mind, among them that they had to be removed immediately before they harmed the wildflowers, that I had an early start to my working day with much to do and did not have the time, that my husband was nowhere to be seen just when he was needed, that this would not have happened if the gate had been closed properly, and that the farmer should have secured them more carefully.
It took about five seconds for my reactions of blame, judgment and self-justification to occur before I saw the trap I had fallen into so quickly and was able, fortunately, to climb out of it as rapidly as I had entered it. Without the emotion, it was easy to shepherd the sheep out of the garden without help (which was remarkable!) and resume my day.
What helped me out my spiritual impasse was the voice inside me telling me that my negativity was useless, hurting only me and that only I can ever be responsible for how I feel, not the sheep, the farmer nor my husband. They were blameless. As soon as I remembered this my ego deflated and my irritation fell away: not only was I at peace with the world and myself, but I was comforted, and amused, by the gift of the reminder too. And they were lovely sheep, ten fat pregnant ewes with snowy coats……also great teachers.]]>