I love cute furry bunnies as much as the next person. But this Easter I decided the Easter Bunny was once again getting all the attention and so I chose to theme my vinyasa flow class this morning on the chicken.
I figured in doing so, I might be able to help shine a little light on a question that has bamboozled modern philosophers for centuries now.
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Did you know that it takes 21 days for a chicken to grow and hatch from its shell? It’s around day 20 that the baby chick has absorbed most of its yolk (this is what gives the embryo life), and first ‘pips’ the inside of the shell with its beak. Now the chick is ready to come out and join the world. Interestingly, after the first pip, it can take up to 18 hours for the chick to finally break out of its shell.
The hatching process is so tiring for the little chick that it has to stop and take breaks along the way. But the little chick doesn’t ask for help from mama hen, nor does it cry out in frustration. Rather, it chooses a patient and persistent approach. Slowly it moves and rustles in its shell until finally effort and perseverance prevails and the little baby chick breaks into the world.
You may consider there is a lesson in this for all of us. Rather than being forceful or seeking out our path – perhaps sometimes there is sense in just sitting back and letting nature (or the universe) take its course.
This concept of not seeking too much and just being, teaches us a little something about patience and to accept ourselves fully and without prejudice. During a class I will often guide my students to feel into a sensation in their body, breathe into it and then let it go. Not labelling our emotions, physical sensations or thoughts as being anything other than what they are can be quite liberating.
Considering ourselves as being independent from our feelings or thoughts (that is, not letting them define us) allows us the space to just be who we are.
And so my take on the chicken or the egg question is simple. Why does it even matter? Isn’t it enough that we live in a world where a baby bird is first born into this world from an egg?
Life is magical – as is evolution – so why not just sit back and enjoy it?
Eckhart Tolle says: “In today’s rush we all think too much, see too much – want too much and forget about the joy in just living.”
Wise words Mr Tolle.