Lessons from Yoga: Are You the Carrot, Egg or Coffee Bean in Your Divorce?
One of the many aspects of yoga that I love is the life and spiritual lessons that the teachers will weave into class at just the right moment. It often feels like an act of Divine intervention when certain stories and quotes prove to be timed perfectly, right just when I need them and so relevant to the current events of my life.
I remember one particular time where I was absolutely beaten down by what life continued to throw my way. I was overwhelmed by everything happening, and beyond disheartened because I try so hard to be a good person and do the right thing and the universe seemed to be ignoring that. Instead of having good things come back to me, as Karma would predict, I felt as though punches were being thrown at me at every turn. It was especially painful when the instigators of those punches were from people who I tried so hard to do right by.
The way I lived the last few years as my marriage was ending until this point should have earned me serious Karma points. I acted with integrity and grace while trying to exit my marriage (for the most part!), and I gave until I bled through the divorce process to keep it amicable. I’ve done my very best as a mother to help my children through the after-effects of divorce and to be emotionally well-adjusted. I work hard in my chosen business that was created to serve others during a difficult time in their lives. I look for the lessons hidden in the downturns of life instead of wallowing in the negativity. I’m there for my friends, give money to the homeless person on the corner, and lend a helping hand when needed. I return shopping carts from the parking lot and recycle. And thus, I should be getting some good juju back, right?
I had found myself in a perfect storm, where every core area in my life was blowing up at once. My daughter went through a major setback, I learned that my kids’ dad was building a house in my community with his soon-to-be wife, the on-again-off-again romantic relationship I had been in came to an end, a major family drama ensued, and then add a house repair fiasco on top of that. This all happened within a few short weeks, leaving me in a place where I could deal with no more.
Somehow I gained enough strength to find my way to the yoga studio, and that day, I heard exactly what I needed to.
The yoga instructor weaved the story of The Carrot, The Egg and The Coffee Bean by Pritesh Kalantri throughout the practice. The entire story is posted on our FaceBook page, so check it out (please note you may need to search for Pritesh Kalantri). It’s a great read! She would only give little pieces of the story at a time, which provided a good amount of time to process the story and who I wanted to be.
The story begins with a daughter telling her mother about all of the life challenges that have her so beaten down she just doesn’t know what to do anymore. Her mother put three pots of water on the stove to boil and placed carrots in the first, eggs in the second, and coffee beans in the remaining pot. After the items had a chance to swirl around in the boiling water for a bit, her mother asked her to look at each pot to determine what she saw. Each item had faced the same adversity, but came through it differently.
The carrot went into the water hard and strong, but came out weak. The eggs were fragile with a fluid center, but became hardened after being subjected to the boiling water. The coffee beans were different though, as they changed the water.
Through this practice, I had the opportunity to ponder who I wanted to be through this downturn in my life. Was I the carrot who was strong, but allowed the adversity to steal my strength? Was I the egg, with the soft heart that became hardened and bitter? I knew I didn’t want either of those options. I had experienced both before, and I was not interested in going there again.
She further explained the experience of the boiling coffee bean. When things are tough, do you want to change the situation around you? When life throws you the most hurtful punches, will you elevate to persevere through the challenges and emerge a better version of yourself on the other side?
In that moment, I chose to be the coffee bean. I’ve been the carrot and the egg at many times during my life, and certainly through the time period leading up to my divorce. Since that time, I have worked to be the coffee bean. At this point though, I’d been knocked down just enough to revert back to my old patterns.
So, I encourage you to ask yourself as you are in this phase of contemplating divorce or well into the process — who are you going to be? How do you want to handle the challenges that will be thrown at you in a potentially unrelenting way?
The coffee bean is a good analogy for what we have aspired to create with Untangle The Knot. We are giving you the divorce resources and all-around support — mind, body and spirit — to help you change your environment, create something wonderful from adversity and emerge on the other side a richer person who is now fully in the process of becoming who they are meant to be.
Please check out the Untangle The Knot Divorce Resources and discover how we can help you be the coffee bean! Have you found anything to inspire you to be the coffee bean during your divorce? If so, please share your comment here!
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