Takeaway from a Tree (& 10 Quotes on Overcoming Obstacles). ~ Jennifer Townsend

Via elephant journal
on Jan 28, 2013
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Source: flickr.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

We humans could learn a lot from this tree.

A boy left his bike chained to a tree when he went away to war in 1914. He never returned, leaving the tree no choice but to grow around the bike.

The tree overcame the perceived obstacle of the bike the only way it could—by embracing it. It simply and completely surrendered to it.

Therein lies its beauty.

That’s the thing about embracing an obstacle—once you do it, by definition it is no longer an obstacle, but an asset.

Think about what you’re resisting in your own life; have you considered the possibility that maybe you just need to surrender to it? Give it a try, see what happens.

Here are some quotes to help you get started:

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. ~ Joseph Campbell

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are. ~ Bernice Johnson Reagon

We know the motion of our true nature by the open embrace and empty surrender and acceptance of everything as it is. ~ Julie Sarah Powell

To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go. ~ Lao Tzu

Everything flows and nothing abides, everything gives way and nothing stays fixed. ~ Hereclitus

Effort and surrender are one and the same. ~ Andrew Cohen

You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you have to overcome to reach your goals. ~ Booker T. Washington

Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. ~ Michael Jordan

One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity. ~ Albert Schweitzer

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. ~ Dolly Parton

Poetic, no?


Jennifer TownsendJennifer Townsend is Co-Chief of Clan Townsend, noted for its wee heathens and furry beasties. She is fond of saying “verra.” She is verra determined to visit Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland. Finn Brothers’ music is good for her soul and she can be found most days editing articles for elephantjournal.com or blogging about her obsession with Jamie Fraser on her website www.OutlanderFan.com or its corresponding Facebook page here.



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Ed: Brianna Bemel


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6 Responses to “Takeaway from a Tree (& 10 Quotes on Overcoming Obstacles). ~ Jennifer Townsend”

  1. Stacey says:

    Thank you for pulling all of these quotes together in one place!

  2. Prajna Vieira says:

    Thanks for this—I grew up on Vashon Isl., WA, where "the bicycle tree" is. It's right behind the high school in a little patch of forest, where we used to sneak off to, you know….

    I always loved looking at it and thinking of the slow and patient process of growing around the bike.

    Incidentally, the lore about the boy going off to war is probably not true, but a charming story, nonetheless.

  3. outlanderfan says:

    You are so welcome!

  4. outlanderfan says:

    Thank you Prajna!

  5. […] is a gift in each obstacle (whether it be a person, situation,or otherwise) and the traffic light is like your stubborn mother-in-law that insists you take all the dinner […]

  6. Albert says:

    "We humans could learn a lot from this tree." Oh it touched me.So amazingly wrote this small story.I love every single quote.