One month into 2022, have you noticed that perhaps your momentum might be flagging, that there is a LOT to do to attain your goals and dreams? I am a firm believer that we were never meant to do life or business alone! I want to share a story that helped me shape my first coaching business, my practice was called StoneSoup Mentor. My philosophy was that each of us has something to offer and regardless of amount or size of the offering, it changed the collective. Having exceeded my goals for last year, in reflection, I KNOW I couldn’t have done it without my team/my peeps. Each person who supported me had something powerful to offer. The ripple effect of their pinch of this and pinch of that seasoned my effectiveness in 2021. In spite of the challenges and a pandemic.
Here is the folktale I am referring to:
A straggly young man was walking through the land when he came upon a village. As he entered, the villagers scurried into their homes, locking their doors and securing their windows. The stranger smiled and asked, “Why are you all so frightened? I am a simple traveler, looking for a soft place to stay for the night and a warm place for a meal.” As he went from house to house, he heard a familiar refrain: “There’s not a bite to eat in the whole province. We too are weak. Our children are starving. Move along.”
“Oh, I see.” he said. “Don’t mind me, I will make a delicious pot of stone soup to share with all of you.” He pulled an iron cauldron from his cloak, filled it with water, and began to build a fire under it. With great ceremony, he withdrew an ordinary-looking stone from a silk bag and dropped it into the water. By now, their villager’s curiosity was getting the best of them. Plus with the talk of delicious soup, most of the villagers came out of their homes or watched from their windows. As the young man sniffed the “broth” and licked his lips in anticipation, hunger began to overcome their fear. “Ahh,” the traveler said to himself rather loudly, “I do like a tasty stone soup. Of course, stone soup with cabbage, now THAT is hard to beat.” Soon a villager approached hesitantly, holding a small cabbage he’d retrieved from its hiding place. They added it to the pot. “Wonderful!!” cried the traveler. “You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of salt beef as well, and it was ambrosia.” The village butcher soon appeared with some salt beef . . . On and on it went, as they added potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, onions, carrots and celery. Before long, there was indeed a delicious meal for everyone in the village to share.
The village elders offered to buy this traveler’s magic stone. Yet he refused to sell it and went on his way the next day. On the outskirts of the village, the traveler came upon a group of children watching him leave. He withdrew the silk bag containing the stone and presented the magic stone to the youngest child. As he left, he confided to the child, “It was not the stone, but the collaborative spirit of the villagers that had performed the magic.”
As with this folktale, let’s approach 2022 with the awareness that by working and collaborating together, with everyone contributing what they can, a greater good is achieved. There is no scarcity, just a celebration of our offerings and our uniqueness. That what we have to offer may feel like “not much”, yet it is more than enough. It adds to the collective in a powerful way.
Stay well and be on purpose!
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