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Shredded Cheese

You know the story about peeling back the layers of an onion, right?

Well, this is a remix of that.

It involves cheese.

We were gifted a brick of cheese from Costco the other day.

If you've never seen a brick of cheese from Costco ... look at a car, and imagine it was made of cheese.

Then try to fit that car into your fridge.

During the course of attempting to do this, I noticed something, which got me thinking.

If you're reading this and you understand anything about physics, then prepare to chuckle at my naivety.

I cut up the cheese into chunks. I froze some chunks, and left a big one for the fridge.

I put this fridge chunk into a container.

It fit.

And, there was lots of room to spare in the container.

Then I decided that it was actually more convenient for us to have shredded cheese, rather than a big block.

Physicists, you may start laughing now.

I shredded the cheese, then attempted to put the shredded cheese back in the same container.

It barely fit.

Luckily, shredded cheese has more give, so I was able to squeeze it all in.

Then my naivety led me to wonder how on earth the exact same block of cheese was able to fit with lots of room in one state, and barely fit in another state.

And here we are.

I'd like to use this simple experience as an analogy for two things.

1 People

We're all big blocks of cheese.

Have you ever met someone and found it difficult to have a conversation with them?

You keep asking questions, but you're just getting one or two words back.

Well, if you're the kind of person who isn't into deep conversation, then this might be totally fine.

But if you do like deep conversation, just remember the person who is currently hard to connect with ... is a big block of cheese.

In the right state, they will fill the space.

You just need to get them to the right state.

How do you do that? Let's save that for another day.

2 Problems

Problems are like big blocks of cheese.

If you let it, one problem will fill all the available space it can.

If you don't, you may be able to fit many problems into a single container, and deal with them one at a time.

How do we prevent problems from doing this to us?

Well, the inverse might be a better question: How do we prevent ourselves from doing this to our problems?

I think this is a question that lives at the core of mindfulness. Let's save that for another day.



Shred it, or don't.

It's up to you.

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