David Rock uses the analogy of creating a new path in an uncharted forest to describe the process of creating a new habit. It’s slow going at first, but once you’ve traveled the path many times, it becomes a habit.
But what happens if you meet something unexpected on a path you’ve traveled many times?
That’s exactly what happened to my sister and me recently while we were hiking on a path near Lake Tahoe that we’ve traveled many times. We met a bear!
Fortunately the bear turned right while my sister and I hurriedly turned left and walked as fast as we could back to our car. In pondering the meaning of this experience, I recalled some lines written by T.S. Eliot in The Dry Salvages, “We had the experience but missed the meaning. And approach to the meaning restores the experience in a different form.”
What was the meaning of this potentially dangerous encounter?