There once was a wise and beautiful warrior princess who led her people into battle. At the end of the great battle, her people were victorious and they began to make their way to their homes. After hacking her way through a dense jungle of ferns, vines, and mosses, the princess chose to take her rest. She was hot and thirstier than she could remember ever being in her life. She searched all around for a water source and finally found a pond that had collected around the base of some trees.
The water was dark and murky. Nearby she found that some enormous coconuts had fallen to the ground and split open. The princess took one of the giant coconut shells and dipped into the pond. She looked at the dark muddy water in the shell and though she was fearfully thirsty, she knew she could not drink it as it was.
The princess took the water-filled shell and sat down near a tree. She placed the shell on the ground beside her and leaned back against the tree. Folding her hands gently in her lap, she stilled her breathing and began to notice the sounds of life all around her. She listened to the monkeys in the trees, the birds calling to each other, and the sound of water dripping from the jungle canopy. She began to notice the rise and fall of her belly as she breathed deeply in and out, and the rhythm of her heart beating strong and regular deep in her chest. For a long while she sat calmly feeling life through all of her senses.
When she finally opened her eyes, she looked down at the coconut shell and discovered that the mud had settled to the bottom of the shell, leaving clear water above. The princess drank to her fill and being refreshed, she continued on her journey home.
Many people struggle to make difficult decisions or take painful actions. Others find it easier to charge in and accomplish their goals. If you find decision-making time consuming and draining, perhaps the lesson from the Parable of the Coconut offers you hope. Giving things time to settle while you rest and calm yourself can open you up to unexpected possibilities. You may find that you return to the task at hand with new ideas and increased vigor.
So the next time a tough choice is before you, take time to sit in a calm, relaxing place, listen to the rhythm of your heart, allow your breathing to slow and deepen, and notice how your thoughts naturally flow in tranquility. Once things have settled, you will come forth refreshed and with a clear view.