Creating New Pathways
Clarence Road was a long dirt track which led to the creek. When we
were kids, we would walk the two or three miles to the end of the road
and spend most Saturday afternoons hanging out around a small jetty.
We were adventurous and imaginative. Down by the creek we could be
anyone - it was our own private world, free of adults and a place of
freedom and possibilities.
We were greatly influenced by television shows such as Tarzan, Robin
Hood, Annie Oakley, Bonanza, Daniel Boone and Disney’s Adventure
Land. The creek was surrounded by thick bush and long grass, the
creek bank was muddy, slippery and full of small holes made by little
crabs. Occasionally, someone would be silly enough to leave a small
rowboat tied to the jetty. By the laws of childhood, it became ours for the
Sometimes, we would just sit and talk. As most of us had recently taken
up smoking, it was a good place to have a fag and rule the world. Most
of the time, we were good guys catching bad guys. Most of the day was
spent acting out as our childhood heroes. We made bows and arrows
out of branches and string, and tied ropes to trees to swing from. The
creek bank was always referred to as quick sand and the creek was full
of crocodiles and giant snakes. Somewhere deep down at the bottom of
the creek there was a treasure chest, but we never found it as the creek
was patrolled by pirates and underwater villains.
The problem with getting to the creek was that we needed to walk
through a mean old man’s farm. He would come out and abuse us and
order his mad barking dog to chase us off. The dog was a fearsome
creature and an effective deterrent. As we had already decided that the
old man was married to a wicked witch who killed children, it was pretty
easy for him to run us off and ruin our day.
It was bad enough that we couldn’t get to the creek, but what really
annoyed us was that after walking the long miles there, we had to turn
around and walk all the miles back again. Summertime was often
extremely hot and we greatly resented not being allowed to cool off at
Even though we could outshoot and outsmart the meanest of men in our
adventures, we were greatly intimidated by the old man, the witch and
One day on the long and hot walk home about half way along Clarence
Road, I noticed an orange tree about 100 metres into the scrub. Tired,
disappointed and thirsty, I bounded into the long grass and over fallen
branches to claim my bounty. The others stood and watched calling out
to be careful, someone yelled at me to come back and warned me about
I started picking oranges with the intention of gathering as many as I
could cradle in my tee shirt to take back to the others. Then I thought it
would be better and much easier if they would just follow me in and help
themselves. They kept insisting that I should come out and I kept
insisting that they should come in. I wanted to sit for a while under the
shade of the trees and eat my oranges. They kept making excuses
about how hard it was to struggle through the bush and all of the
When they realized that I was not coming out and saw me sitting back
sucking on an orange, they finally gave in and decided to join me. They
muttered and grizzled and struggled with the thick overgrown bushes. I
laughed as they climbed over rocks and branches and held onto each
other to keep their balance.
Cigarettes are hard to come by when you’re a kid. I remember sitting
there that day sharing the only one we had. We were feeling quite proud
of ourselves and started kidding each other, joking and just having a
pretty good time in our new frontier.It dawned on me that Clarence Road
ran parallel to the creek and that although we had only ever accessed it
from the barking dog’s farm, it was very likely that the creek would be a
short distance from where we were sitting. Obviously there was no track,
I might have been wrong, it would be difficult and we could get lost. I
thought it was worth trying but the others were reluctant. Roslyn was
worried about ticks and leeches. Rosie assured her that ticks could be
pulled out and you just put salt on leeches and they fell off. We also
discussed the possibility of snakes, quicksand and bandits.
My sister was the smallest and youngest of the group. She was also the
bravest and the most rational. She suggested that we had already made
it this far into the bush and although it had been a little scary and
difficult, we had not only made it, but we had been rewarded with
oranges. She thought that if we tried to go in just a little further we could
always turn around and come back if it got too hard. She further pointed
out that everyone was free to turn back at anytime and that there was no
harm in trying.
It really didn’t take much at all to reach the creek. We were exuberant
when we got there. Although hot, tired, sweaty, dirty and covered in
scratches we felt powerful and proud.
There was no jetty but there were some very large logs to sit on. The
best part of it all was that no one else knew about this place, no one
could shoo us off and it was only half as far out as the old farm house.
There was also a very large rock which was like a mini-cave, and of
course, the advantage of the orange tree just up the track.
The following week we noticed a faint pathway through the bush where
we had struggled the week before. Knowing where we were going and no
longer being afraid of the dangers made the trip in very easy and fast.
Within a few short weeks that pathway became very clear and
accessible. We now had a better place which was faster and easier to
get to and was free of mean old men, barking dogs and wicked witches.
A lot of years have passed and a lot of things have changed over the
years, but my childhood memories are as clear as if they were only a few
weeks ago. Often I find myself recalling events from childhood and
marvelling at how defining that time was in directing the course of my life.
Simple events, like the day on Clarence Road, return to me now as
metaphors and bring new insights into who I am today.
The most obvious thing I relate to about that day is that we had tried
many times and in many ways to outwit the dog and the old man; we
were pretty clever, resourceful and creative. Most of the time we did
manage to get through, but it was always an obstacle and caused us
quite a bit of apprehension and irritation.
Looking back now, I see how much simpler it would have been if we had
just considered a better alternative sooner than we did. We wasted time,
effort and energy in worrying about the dog - scheming and inventing
new tactics. The goal was always to get to the creek. The problem was
always the farmhouse occupants. We probably found a dozen solutions
to the problem. Although most of them worked, most of the time, it still
remained an ongoing challenge.
This kind of scenario has played out in many ways over the years. I keep
reminding myself that the right solution is not always about the given
It’s not always about finding the solution - it’s more about defining the
In focusing on the man, the dog and the witch, we had forgotten that our
main goal was to get to the creek. The solution was to be found in
looking for a better or at least a different, way to get to the creek. We
became tunnel-visioned when we insisted on our own answers being the
best or the only way. We forgot to explore new and better ideas because
we were lost within making our answers fit.
I reflect back on the time and emotional energy I have spent trying to
make relationships, situations, jobs or people change into whom or what
I thought I needed or wanted. I have shed tears and spent many
sleepless nights desperately wanting things to be the way I wanted them
to be. Often it turned out to be about letting go, moving on or just
changing myself or my perception. Many, many times there have been
better or different ways but I couldn’t see them because I was so
involved with fixing what I had and being stubborn about how it should be.
Instead of asking, “How do I fix this problem?” we need to re-word the
question and ask, “What exactly is the problem and how do I achieve the
best possible outcome?”
On Clarence road, we were defining the problem as the old man, the dog
and the witch, when we should have asked, “Is there a better or faster
way to get to the creek?” Too often, we are so caught up in fixing the
problem that we forget what the goal is.
The Same Old Place
I see so many people going over and over the same old ground, in the
same old way, and ending up in the same old place.
People with money, health, weight or relationship problems today will
probably have to admit that those same problems have been played out
over and over, year after year. Why? Because we keep asking the same
questions and coming up with the same or similar answers.
Instead of asking, “How can I earn more money?” the question might be,
“How do I spend more wisely or how do I reduce my expenses?”
Instead of taking painkillers or anti-depressants, perhaps you need to
ask questions like, “Why am I always so tired and stressed?”
Instead of looking at the newest diets and gimmicks to lose weight,
perhaps you could try questioning your relationship with food or focus
more on increasing joy and reducing stress.
Regardless of what the current problem is, if it is a repetitious cycle then
the standard questions and solutions are not working. Changing the
definition of the question will often bring about better solutions.
How do I have better, create better, feel better or how do I do better than
Copyright Sonya Green
Click NEXT button for Part 2
|If you feel this website has inspired you or resonated with you or if you found yourself thinking about someone who
would benefit from visiting these pages - Trust Your Intuition and send them the link.
If you would like to copy an article to your site or blog, you are welcome to do so, but must note copyright Sonya
Green and refer to www.reinventingmyself.com
If you would like to support this site you might consider emailing in suggestions or comments, a small donation,
purchasing a product or visiting the links to our sponsors.
|It's all in the Question
How does it get better than this?
How do I have better, create better, feel better or how do I do better than this?
Part 1 of 2. ~sonya green
Download Healing Meditation CD from Itunes
Insightful and thought provoking articles
on personal growth and healing
by SONYA GREEN
Ebooks also available for download from Amazon Barnes and Noble and most download
sites. Click the link top left or the book cover for more info.