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All I have to do is drop the banana

movewithchange-simpleDo you ever think about how hard it is to accept change in our lives? How desperately we cling to what we know?

Sometimes we cling out of habit because we feel safe and comfortable where we are. Often we cling to the dream we thought we wanted, even when we know it’s time to let go. And sometimes we cling for dear life, not wanting to see what’s on the other side of change even if we know that change is needed, that it’s good for us, and there is likely something even better on the other side.

Five years ago this month, I was brave enough to leap despite my fear. To let go of the norm and embrace big change in my life. I did so with the hope that prioritizing myself and my health — putting my oxygen mask on before assisting others — would propel me forward. But honestly, I was terrified.

And it was/is awesome! Everything is better on the other side of that fear. It’s where I truly blossomed and continue to blossom five years later. It was the very best decision of my life.

It’s ironic then that sometimes I still find myself struggling to let go of that which no longer serves me. Or at least giving it a good fight. Human nature and years of conditioning, I guess. Which brings me to the monkeys.

This past week in a health and wellness training, as we explored the topic of behavioral change, I was exposed for the first time to this amazing story and poem by Anne Merewood. I’ll see if I can do the story justice. Some of you may know it.

Apparently, in Thailand and other places monkeys are trapped by luring them to cages where bananas have been placed. When the monkey puts his hand inside to get the banana, he is unable to get his hand out WITH the banana. If the monkey would just drop the banana, it could be free. But he wants it so badly that he is unwilling to let go and therefore is trapped.

The story and the poem by Anne Merwood struck a chord with me as I thought about how often in life we hang on to stuff that no longer serves us because we’re afraid to let go. We’re afraid of what’s on the other side. Food for thought.

Today, on this Motivation Monday, I give you the poem that’s caused me to deeply reflect on what I need to let go of.

Dropping the Banana by Anne Merwood

Dropping the banana

All I have to do

is let it go.

Like a falcon releasing a rabiit.

Like an athlete

relinquishing a golden dream.

Like a hungry child

tossing a ripe mango

into the sun.

All I have to do

I dread.

What happens

if I can’t let go?

What happens

if I can?

Surely it is safer

not to experiment

for — see here — I am not alone!

At the office, by the pool

I recognize you, fellow monkeys,

clinging to the thresholds

of normality.

Rattling imprisoned limbs

you dare me to dessert.

All I have to do

I do.

Finger by finger

I loosen my grip.

There was no banana.

Only a fist

contorted with fear

choking the innocent air.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yes, indeed that is an interesting and thought-provoking poem.

    May 17, 2016
  2. Christine #

    So true…letting go is never easy, but sometimes is necessary 🙂

    November 2, 2016

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