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Lessons from My Gnome Walk.

{Photo credit: Dilshad Mehta}


My inner gnome is a one-foot-tall, short-legged, pot-bellied, always naked (save for a hula hoop of leaves around his waist that do nothing to hide his nether regions), playfully short-tempered, grumpy, and giggly child with a beard.

And all this inner gnome wants to do is go out into any form of nature (anything from hiking trails to someone’s tempting backyard) and hunt for treasures. Treasures include pine cones, broken branches caked with moss, shiny pebbles, unusual pebbles, interesting rocks, more pebbles… you’ve caught my drift.

But my respectable human self will only allow a few minutes of gnome-ness before she reels him in.

The setup for my gnome journey

After a particularly stressful week, I decided to see what would happen if I consciously created space and time for my inner gnome to play. And so at 2 pm on a Wednesday autumn afternoon, I took my inner gnome for a walk along a beautiful street that’s essentially a carpet of pine cones.

I layered him (me?) up with two layers of warm clothing, Yoga pants, a bright blue bag for the goodies, and bright pink and blue sneakers. My gnome is a gnome that likes privacy, so one of the layers of clothing had to have a hood to cover his (my?) face while he goes hunting.

So off we go. And we didn’t find a single treasure for 15 minutes! My gnome wanted to go home. The grumpiness had set in, but the tug of curiosity still burned.

The contrast experienced on this journey

So, we explored some more, and we came across a few greenish pine cones.

Not exactly what my inner gnome hoped to find, but he loved the treasure anyway. So, we popped the green pine cones into the bright blue bag.

We looked some more and we found a few small broken pine cones. My inner gnome wasn’t a fan, but he loved that they weren’t green. So, we popped the broken pine cones into the bright blue bag.

The bright blue bag was getting heavy now, and that made my inner gnome feel very accomplished. But we kept walking, keeping an easy eye out for more.

And we suddenly came across an ocean of pine cones. The feeling is hard to describe. It was as if we were Scrat from Ice Age and we had been given a ticket to acorn heaven.

What was the first thing we did? We dumped out all the ugly pine cones and began picking up the biggest, juiciest pine cones we could find.

We ended up filling the bright blue bag with the most perfect pine cones. We then used them to decorate our front porch and our fairy garden.

Contemplating all my gnome had to offer

This contrast in our attitude was so extreme that it caught my attention.

Does this mean that we should we have held out until we found the perfect pine cones? The answer quickly came in the form of a loud No. Because I realized that what made my inner gnome so special is that he loved the act of the treasure hunt far far far more than he enjoyed the actual treasure.

How did I know this? This question is very important.

I knew this is because he would not have been happy had someone just gifted him a pine cone. He loved the act of hunting. This was my first flash of insight. This is what it felt like to enjoy the process. Enjoying the process feels like such a relief from the pressure of my respectable human self who tended to do things only in anticipation of a result.

Taking the pleasure out of not picking out the ugly pine cones would be dishonoring to my inner gnome. Yet at the same time, my inner gnome knew when to drop what he didn’t want and pick up what he did. He was very clear. There was no shame and no judgment. Just total joy. This was my second flash of insight. Just because I once picked up something doesn’t mean I must hold on to it.

I’m allowed, and sometimes even encouraged, to let things go to make room for something better.

Would you like to meet your inner gnome?

Name: I think by now you understand that my inner gnome is one of the many facets of my inner child. Name your inner child. This will help you bring out its deepest desires.
Do: Do the thing your inner child wants most. It may take some time for you to figure this out. That’s okay. Experiment. It’s usually something that would make you a little embarrassed to do in public. Also, notice how I honored my inner gnome from the very beginning: I dressed us up exactly the way he wanted to dress up.
Digest: You’ll probably feel a high right after your playtime together. Take notes and journal it all to help you savor the experience, and encourage yourself to indulge in it some more. Journal any aha moments you might have had during the experience.
Follow: Often you will feel inspired to do something after your experience. Follow it. Just follow it. For me, it was taking lots of pictures and writing this article.


Dilshad Mehta is a professional intuitive. An explorer at heart, she lives for ‘what lurks beneath, unseen and forgotten’. As an intuitive who combines knowledge of shamanism, tarot, alchemy, mythology, and crystals, Dilshad crafts readings with her own twist. She guides you through receiving, digesting, and integration of the information into everyday reality. Discover more about her unique readings here. And for soulful pictures and impulsive inspiration, check out her online magazine.


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