The Elephant and the String

ElephantAs I delve back into the work I have done in the past two years with the Sisterhood of the Red Madonna, an old inquiry catches my eye. Shiloh had begun this particular inquiry by retelling the old story of the elephant and the string, and I share another version of that tale here, as retold by Tekoa da Silva at


On the day a new elephant is born, the training method of East Asian “mahouts” has been to tie one end of a thick rope to the elephant’s neck or leg, and the other to a stake planted deeply in the ground.

From birth the young elephant struggles and fights to free itself, day after day, month after month, and year after year. But the overwhelming rope eventually conquers the young elephant, as at some point in it’s life, it gives up, stops resisting, and stops fighting. From that day forth, the trainer replaces the thick rope with a thin string, and the elephant continues living under the belief that it cannot defeat the rope.

Whenever the elephant feels the familiar tightening of the string (albeit much softer), it is reminded of the rope, and gently moves back to the center of its radius.

Then she asked us…

What small strings are holding you captive?

Maestra Shiloh Sophia

Two Years Ago…

At the time, two qualities that came up for me as the “strings” that held me back.  Here’s what I wrote in response to the inquiry:


I was brought up with an unrealistic idea of life (Armageddon would usher in God’s Kingdom of a thousand years and the entire “Old World Order” would pass away, being replaced by a Paradise ruled from Heaven by Jesus and 144,000 Elect servants of God – probably before I graduated High School, but for sure before “the generation that saw and understood the events of 1914 had passed away.”) When I broke free of this religion, I felt as though I were lagging behind those who should have been my colleagues and peers.

I have struggled financially and emotionally, have attracted difficult and damaging relationships (romantic and otherwise) and have sense that no matter what I do it will never be enough to lift me out of survival mode into the flow of Abundance so I may enter fully into the joy of Giving and Receiving.


“And why, when I am writing this, am I feeling that old familiar fear creep in as if I am about to get in trouble? With you for writing this. With Creator for not having any idea what’s going on yet wanting to talk about it. With my community for having one of the most taboo conversations of all. The one about HER.)”

Wow, Shiloh!  I feel like you were reading my mind when you wrote these particular lines.  I still hear echoes of my old religious beliefs chiding me for my “apostate” spiritual inquiries and practices, and then I get the answer as to my query above: “You cannot enter into the flow of Abundance because you are not meant to experience that in this lifetime.  You are not worthy – you have chosen a path of deprivation and you must live it out. Pick a better life next time!”

NOW: Reclaiming and Renaming

A lot has changed since I wrote those paragraphs above. As long I thought my adequacy depended on achieving a certain job title and income, I was fighting a losing battle.  Any time we look for satisfaction from a source outside of ourselves, it is a trick of the ego – a shadow game we can never win. Over the past year, I have increasingly shifted my focus to giving of who I am, instead of what I have, and incredible opportunities have resulted. Just today, I learned that an article I submitted will be published in the March issue of Executive Secretary magazine.  Woo hoo – my first published article!

Am I worthy of this recognition? I don’t know, I guess so. The idea of worthiness seems to have lost its relevance, though, by comparison to the idea of sharing from a place of authenticity, of “giving from who I am”.  Who I am is a daughter of Love (God is Love), and who can judge the worthiness of such a one?  I no longer care if anyone judges me “worthy” or not: I am who I am, and while the way I express myself may change, who I am at the core will remain a reflection of the creator who designed me. I am worthy because I was worth creating.

You are too.

As a result of these experiences, I have determined to enter even more fully into the joy of Giving and Receiving, and money be damned: if I don’t have it, then I will give from my art, my ideas, my heart. I will see where it takes me and I will enjoy myself as much as possible along the way!  I am more than enough: I am exactly as I was created to be.


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