We live on the side of a mountain that creates picturesque views all year long. Surrounded by trees, rock and steep hillsides, things typically stay secluded, quiet and peaceful. From my room I can see over the tops of the towering trees that grow at the base of our driveway. The steep gullies around our home funnel rainwater into wet weather streams that cascade off the surrounding rocks. While we love the beauty of where we live, it does require quite a bit of work.
A couple years ago I cut down a few tall pine trees on the top of a rock face above our garage. They had been somewhat damaged by the pine beetles that had swept through this area and had begun to sway and lean dangerously downhill. When I cut the trees, I had dropped them down the rocky slope and this year, I decided to pull them off the steep incline and use them for firewood.
It Seemed Safe
The slope is sandy and is too steep to support large trees. It is covered in small patches of long grass and small skinny trees. One of the fallen pine trees lay 20 feet from the base of the slope and was resting on another downed pine tree, balanced like a seesaw that is heavy on one side. The top of this tree was resting in the air at about chest height and I chose to start cutting and work my way up the slope. There were several limbs farther down the tree that appeared to be holding it in place. I had tried pushing the tree side to side, up and down, to see if it was stable. It did not budge so I felt safe to proceed.
Sectioning off the tree as I went, I worked my way up the face of the slope. I had removed about 10 feet when the tree moved an inch. I was in the middle of a cut and stopped. Pulling my saw out, I continued to look up the tree. The pine was lodged between two small trees and appeared to be stuck. Then, in an instant, I saw a small, single limb on the pine tree snap. With another 50 feet of tree pointing down at me, all I could do was watch.
The once stuck tree accelerated quickly as the weight of the lower half pushed the wooden trunk downhill. It was similar to a Peter Parker moment where his ‘spidey senses’ slowed everything down. I could look in front and behind me as the tree slid past. While it didn’t take long before the 800-pound tree dug itself into the sandy dirt at the bottom of the slope, it was long enough for the tree careen past my head.
One thing I have continued to notice while living up here, is that once something in nature begins to move, there is very little you can do about it. Whether it be a tree, rocks, soil or water, as they accelerate, they can become an unstoppable force. In the case of the pine tree, there was very little holding the tree back. The tree only had a few limbs keeping it in place and the weight just happened to be balanced to keep the tree stuck. Cutting off a few sections of the tree allowed the weight to shift, snap the branch and break free.
What Holds You Back?
Just like the tree, there is often very little holding us back and what does prevent us from moving forward is generally ourselves. We allow small habits, actions, thoughts and beliefs from achieving and doing more. I don’t think I could count the number of times I have had the thoughts: What if I fail? What if I am not as good? What if it doesn’t work? And my favorite – I can’t do that. As a result, I don’t do anything. In not doing, I do fail; I won’t know if I’m as good; I’ll never know if it would have worked and I will have successfully proved that I can’t.
If we would be willing and unafraid to make small adjustments, the potential to be released would be an awesome thing to behold.
What small limbs are keeping you stuck?
P.S. If your not not sure about what things might be keeping you stuck, schedule a free consultation here today!