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Stone Soup – how to make things happen

Stone Soup – how to make things happen

Stones

I think you know the story of stone soup.  It’s one of my favorites.  A hungry traveler comes to a small town looking for food, carrying nothing but a large pot.  The townspeople don’t have much and aren’t keen on sharing what little they do have.  The traveler proceeds to fill the pot with water from a nearby stream, add a large stone, build a fire, and heat everything up.  She tells the curious onlookers that she’s making stone soup – the most delicious soup!  She’s willing to share it with everyone if they just bring something small to add to the pot.  The townspeople are intrigued.  A few show up with some carrots.  Another brings an onion.  Some celery.  Beans, herbs, spices.

(The plan would have really back-fired if they’d all brought tiny pebbles.)

Before they know it, a big pot of hearty soup is simmering on the fire.  They bring bowls, and soon, all are happy and well-fed.

You can read this as a tale of trickery, but I don’t.  To me, it’s a perfect metaphor for setting an intention.

It’s not that we set an intention and then magically things happens.  Just like in the story, we need to get everything ready and do everything we can to achieve our goal and then be open to things happening that are outside of our control.  The traveler had the pot, the fire, the water and she went through the motions, stirring the “soup,” heating it up.  She was ready to receive what she needed.

The stone is a placeholder, a way to put our attention on that which we deem most important.  It represents commitment and focus.

The moral of the story: If you want soup, put everything you’ve got into making fake soup and see what happens.

Just kidding.  It’s more like: Put your energy into what matters to you, even if you don’t think you have everything you need.  Through that, miracles can happen.

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