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Grace under Pressure

25 Dec 2015   Shanti Gowans
Once upon a time Maria complained to her dad that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.
Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. Maria moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.
Turning to her, he asked. “Maria, what do you see?” 
“Potatoes, eggs and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer”, he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft.
He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Dad, what does this mean?” Maria asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity - the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potatoes went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water, they became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new and totally wonderful.
Life can be long and tough. Sometimes it hard from the surface but soft in the inside. At other times, soft from the surface but hard from the inside. Our own life experiences have made us become like the potatoes or eggs.
When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?  Give up and become weak? harden up? or change your thinking and become positive? By doing this can you also change your circumstances? A potato cannot change into an egg or a coffee bean. However, if you manage the way you experience your life well, you can release its characteristic, fragrant aroma.
Moral: In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is how you choose to react to them and what you make out of it. Life is all about leaning, adopting and converting all the struggles that we experience into something positive.
Today make a healing and realise your right to choose. The choice is there to change your life positively, but if you are in a maize, and simply overwhelmed by your problems you will not see the “choice”. Remember too, that the “choice” is there, but often the ability to see is not available till someone shows you (like the father in the story).


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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