The Benefits of Self Sufficiency

Eric Paskel
by Eric Paskel
June 03, 2020

Summary: Being self sufficient is critical to your personal and emotional freedom, and a crisis is a great opportunity to become more self sufficient.

Here is a parable that illustrates the point.

The Flood

As a flood overruns a village, and a man climbs a tree, and he’s hanging on to a branch as the whole town is being washed away right in front of his very eyes. There were cars going by and houses in the water. It’s an awful mess. And he’s just above the water on a branch. A bird flies down onto the branch, and it sits there and it’s chirping along, and then it just flies away.

So this story is actually pretty symbolic. The tree actually represents the world. The flood represents all the changes in the world. No doubt you can use the world, but the world shouldn’t use you, even when you’re forced to adapt to changes. Because what the bird represents is the self-sufficiency and the freedom it brings us. That’s why it can fly above the flood and the tree is just a place to land. The bird lands on the branch simply because it wants to. it just decides it wants to land on the tree, staying out for a minute. But it’s not tied to the branch. It can take off. It’s not self-reliant upon that demand. On the other hand, the physical man is attached to the branch. He has to be, otherwise he will lose his life.

We live in the material world and have to do certain things. We have to eat and sleep and make a living. Things happen in the world that we have to react to, but those happenings shouldn’t take you off your mental game. You should remain free and in control of yourself, even if it may feel as if you’re hanging from a branch.

So even in the middle of a flood, what the man had to do in order to save his life is to use the world to save himself. But even when you’re physically hanging from a branch you can be just like the bird, and say thank you, let go, and fly away.

Unfortunately, that’s not what most of us do.

What happens is we have some part of the world – somebody or something – that saves our life and makes us feel good. This comforts us, and we wind up getting attached to that person, to those feelings, to those places. And we lose our detachment.

The Benefits of Self Sufficiency

Self-sufficiency – and freedom, being “free as a bird” – is living in detachment. It’s living free of having anything outside of yourself binding your common sense. You’re still a human and you still have to be IN the world and to make use of it, physically, in order to “save” yourself physically. But your higher self should always help you transcend all that, to rise above it.

A crisis is an opportunity to be more self-sufficient.

Okay. So what does it mean to be self-sufficient?

It means that you are able to manage yourself, meaning that you have sovereignty over your body.

And sovereignty means that your thoughts do not control you; you control your thoughts. Your emotions don’t control you. You control your emotions. And by controlling your thoughts and emotions, you then are controlling your body.

And It’s important to be self-sufficient because the world is always changing. We’re finding that out in this pandemic. Just as our world changes in any crisis in life, our world also changes. in marriages, families, and businesses. But there’s a difference between being codependent and independent. If you’re codependent, the end of that relationship will devastate and destroy you. But if you’re self-sufficient, as painful as the end of a relationship or a life situation may be, you can let it go, and fly to a new branch. You have yourself, and you are in control of your own mind, thoughts, and emotions.

And the benefit of being independent is you don’t go on a roller coaster ride every day of your life. You won’t be in the rat race. You won’t be in the chase, and you’ll have a smile on your face. All around the clock, every day, days are described as good days and bad days.

When you have an outsized emotional reaction to the world (aka, the flood) or other people, that’s lacking self-sufficiency. You don’t need that drama. And so the thing to do when you have those outsized reactions and emotions is to ask yourself, “Why is that bothering me so much? What are my attachments and why are they keeping me chained to this branch rather than free?”

Because if you’re tired of the anxiety, fear, worry, sadness, loneliness, incompleteness, discontent, anger, sorrow, resentment, and bitterness you’re feeling, there’s only one real solution: self sufficiency. Get the tools you need to be self sufficient.

Watch the podcast to hear more about dependency and codependency. If you really want to start on the pat of being emotionally free, check out my free online course the Emotional Survival Kit.

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Eric Paskel

by Eric Paskel

As a teenager Eric hit rock bottom and ended up in a drug rehab and came out clean and sober. He eventually moved from his home town of Detroit to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Eric landed a role in the original Baywatch series and was living his dream, or so he believed. Despite his outward success, he remained lonely, unhappy, and unfulfilled. His personal life and his then-professional life hit rock bottom. This prompted him to start taking Yoga classes. Eric’s hunger for wisdom and to become the best version of himself fueled him to go deeper into Yoga and study under some of India’s most respected teachers.