Saturday, February 20, 2010

Coffee anyone?

This morning at church I was reading this week’s VIP (Very Important Person) newsletter.  The letter had a great quick story and I wanted to share that with you.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy. The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

It really struck a chord when I read the following statement: “The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.”  This totally makes sense and definitely resonates with my Lent goals.  I think in a lot of cases, I’m like the egg.  They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

This morning I woke up at around 7:15 (after getting 9 hours of sleep!), ate a banana and went for a quick Yoga session at the gym.  Unfortunately I got there a little bit late, so I got about 40 minutes of Yoga :( I’ve been wanting to go to today’s class for a while, but couldn’t seem to wake up and get going for the 8:30 a.m. class, since the gym is about 25 minutes away.  After I returned home, I had some Red Velvet Cake yogurt and a handful of fresh strawberries. 

Hopefully I’ll convince myself that I need to do some major cardio workout tonight; right now, I’m just not feeling it.  Why am I saying I need to work out tonight?  Because Thursday night I overate on some Panda Express food, ate about 1/2 of a personal mini New York Style cheesecake and Friday afternoon I couldn’t stop eating at work!  Munchies here, munchies there, yummy salty munchies.  I finally made myself drink water and chew gum, but that only lasted a little while.  After work, I ate leftover Panda Express and had the other half of the cheesecake.  What a rough couple of days!  I’m not sure why I’m doing this, but I’m making myself pay for it in workouts.  It’s the only way I’ll maintain my weight.  I think it may somehow deep inside relate to the fact that I’m on maintenance and feel I have the right to eat however much I want and that calories don’t count anymore.  WRONG!  I just need to get over the “I’m on Maintenance” high and go back to eating normal and healthily again.

For lunch today I had two slices of whole wheat toast, a Morningstar Griller and added a slice of soy cheese, a leaf of lettuce, some mustard and lots of tomato.  I’m so proud of myself -  I only ate 5 Salsa Verde Doritos!   Chips are a pretty big weakness for me, so I’m glad I was able to control myself!  It also helped that by the time I was done with my sandwich I was pretty full.  I gave in to my sweet craving this afternoon and had quite a few sour gummy worms and 3 Sugar Free Almond Roca.  I LOVE Almond Roca.  Just have to REALLY control myself when I’m around them, otherwise it’s bad news all around.  So that’s why I’m feeling a bit blah about going to work out tonight…the sugar high is gone and I feel totally drained.

Plans for tonight?  Hopefully get in a good workout and read my Real Simple and Vegetarian Times magazines.  I picked up the mail yesterday and was so excited to see them; I just haven’t had a chance to read them yet.

1 comment:

arista said...

That is an interesting article - I am trying to become the coffee bean! I definitely don't want to be a soggy carrot or a hard-boiled egg!

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