lola guerrero

50-something empty-nest-search-for-God-and-happiness with more than a dash of humor

Chop wood, Carry water


scenic view of mountains under cloudy sky

Photo by Sasha Prasastika on

What image travels through your mind when you read:

“Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood , carry water”

I image myself chopping wood with a weapon size ax in wilderness cold front Canada. And you?

My latest book read is Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson. The book was given to my husband as a gift.  It’s on our coffee table collecting dust. I glance at it  and pause. I think, “someday I’ll read it” for now let me blow away the dust.

With Lockdown still in place I am out of books. I start on  Phil Jackson’s book. I couldn’t put it down. It is the perfect read for such a time as this. Yes, you have to like basketball which I do, but it is not all about Air Michael, confident Kobe, Big Shaq and ridiculously high salaries.

Phil Jackson writes about know your weakness, capitalize on your strengths, bench your ego, make others great around you. Be  humble on and off the court.

This man is smart, competitive ( did I mention 11 rings?) and  innovative on how to turn a lagging team around and teach players to be more than the game.

His coaching style and practice session consist of  basic fundamental  basketball drills,  prepare for the next game and strength training. To mix it up a bit he will include meditation/zen before or after practice.

He believes Basketball is about being in the moment, know your opponents, see the court and who is open. The point  ‘chop wood, carry water ‘ is to stay focused on the task at hand rather than dwelling on the missed shot or worry  about the playoffs while still in preseason. To win NBA titles a team is made up of one breath, one mind.

Since Lockdown I am aware of staying within the 24 hour span. In the afternoon, when I am slicing mushroom for my big pot of spaghetti sauce I catch myself chanting : chop wood, carry water,  slice mushrooms. When I recall disappointments  within the last two months , I hear my husband’s voice in my head  “ It happened last month, that ship has sailed.

And when I think about the new normal  after Lockdown, his voice grow louder “and the future,  I know for sure there will be a second Lockdown. The  beach is crawling  with a bunch of cluster F^%$ who are not wearing masks.”

I snap back to the  task in front of  me  – make spaghetti  for dayssss. This axiom makes perfect sense- I am making spaghetti, not playing basketball, the circumstance is different but the instructions is the same : chop wood, carry water.

Happy Zen.


Author: lolaguerrero

50 something, mother of two, married, grandson named Napoleon. Love to go to the gym, watch films, act, write, jog, walk 10 miles with my husband, wine and travel. I"m a double tall, NF latte with half a pump of mocha with whip cream.

2 thoughts on “Chop wood, Carry water

  1. This one is great! ❤ Yay!

    Liked by 1 person

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