The Japanese love sushi, but the waters around the island do not hold many fish. So, companies built large fishing boats to go farther out to sea. But, the farther out they went, the longer it took to bring in the fish home. The catch was not fresh anymore, and the customers’ culinary palate detected the difference. To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go even farther and stay longer.
However, the Japanese could easily taste the difference between fresh and frozen. And, sushi can’t be made with frozen fish. So, fishing companies installed fish tanks on their vessels, into which they stuffed the live catch. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving in the tanks; they were dull and sluggish but stayed alive. Unfortunately, this solution did not work either. The Japanese could still taste the difference - because the fish had not moved freely for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste.
Finally, they found the solution in a simple saying: 'A person thrives, oddly enough, only in the presence of a challenging environment.' To keep the fish lively and fresh, fishing companies added a small shark to each tank. Sure enough, the shark ate a few fish, but the rest arrived in a vibrant energetic state. The fish were challenged!
Now, add a shark to your tank!
Remember, there is no right or wrong way of doing it. Your art could be realistic or abstract… don’t worry about the drawing skills… don’t worry about colouring inside the lines, perspective or proportions… just freely capture the feelings you are experiencing.
Take your time and keep adding any words that come to mind.
When you are ready, take a good look at your art:
- What color is your shark? What shape, texture?
- Is it big or small?
- Does it look docile or vicious?
- Did it take all the space or was it a tiny representation on the side?
- Which "Fish" will the shark swallow first?
- What is the shark trying to push you to do?
- How scary is this challenge?
- What blocks/ stands in the way?
Traditional Wisdom of the Month
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, once you’re perfectly free.”
- Rumi, from Coleman Barks The Essential Rumi
Reflection & Journaling prompts:
- Is there an area (or areas) of your life that is/are starting to stagnate, to feel stale, areas that are slowly decaying, that are gradually becoming lifeless, sluggish and dull?
- What “shark” do you need to add to your life to keep things flowing?
Generally speaking, the main energy centre that starts to whisper when we are leading a meaningless, dull, boring, and lifeless existence, is our sixth chakra.
Our sixth chakra energy feeds our senses, our central nervous system and the pituitary gland.
The pituitary gland is the master commander of our endocrine system directly governing the hormonal functions of the first chakra (the adrenals), the second (the sexual organs), and the fifth (the thyroid) along with many other critical roles.
When your days feel dull and lifeless, the whispers start. They might manifest as stress, anxiety, or immunity malfunction (first chakra-related disorders); PMS and reproductive tract disorders (second chakra-related issues); metabolic dysfunctions and thyroid hyper or hypo activity (fifth chakra-related disorders); or eye, ear, and nerve issues (sixth chakra-related disorders). Listen!