Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What we can learn from bullfighting...

What you can learn about happiness from Bullfighting

"During a bull fight, the bull will sometimes stake out a particular part of the ring where it feels safe: its querencia. Perhaps it’s a corner, in a square field, or perhaps it’s a place where the bull successfully toppled a horse. Whenever the bull has a chance, it will return to its querencia.

This is a term that has great metaphoric resonance.

Each of us should find our own querencia, our sanctuary, a place to which we can retreat from the lances that pursue us. Maybe that querencia is a place, like a bedroom or a bikepath – or a mental area of refuge – or a frame of mind.

But the useful metaphor doesn’t stop there.

Apparently, the bull is often most fierce and unpredictable when it’s fighting its way to its querencia. Sometimes, perhaps, it’s so important to us to gain our querencia that we’re hurtful when anyone blocks our way. Maybe it’s so important to believe that a marriage is strong that we ignore what a spouse is saying. Maybe it’s so important to believe that a child is well-adjusted that we don’t understand what a teacher means.

Also, although the bull feels safer in its querencia, its querencia didn’t necessarily afford it any greater protection from the matador.

So what’s the lesson? Identify your querencia, find comfort in it -- but use it as a strong base, not a hiding place."

Read Munro Leaf's wonderful book,The Story of Ferdinand.

from Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project.

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