There is a story about a frog placed in a pot of cold water on the stove. Slowly the heat was turned up under the pan, until the water boiled the frog to death. The frog stayed there, oblivious to the doom sealing his fate. Had the frog been thrown into a pot of very hot water, he would have realized the horrible situation he was in, and jumping to safety would have been instantaneous. The water temperature had been turned up so slowly, the frog didn’t even notice he was cooking to death.
So it is in our lives. The changes are so subtle, and over so many years, they go un-noticed; until a severe health crisis hits. For most, in our youth, we ate whatever was served, we played, and ran, and didn’t even think about those events being exercise. As children, we had energy, and felt invincible. We entered high school, and then college. In college we stayed up late, drank coffee to stay awake, ate pizza and whatever cheap snack food we could find. During this time we may have gained a few pounds, but nothing to really think about. Then comes the new job, relationship ups and downs, marriage, children, holidays, stress, and a few more pounds. We start feeling tired, and blame it on stress, bills, lifestyle: everything except how we are treating our bodies. Yet, there is no correlation made.
New symptoms arise. Re flux, excessive belching, bloating, or other gastric symptoms become common place. We pop tums, or get prescriptions for medication to alleviate the stomach symptoms. Our blood pressure starts creeping up and we blame this on stress. The correlation between blood pressure and the growing belly is not made. Medication is available for stress, weight loss, high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach ailments, and any other physical problem we can think of.
Slowly through the lifespan, the stress and negative symptoms on our bodies make it’s toll, and yet we sit. Unaware. We don’t know that we don’t know. Or, we don’t want to know, because once we know, we are accountable, and we might have to change. And, we don’t like change. Not rapid change. But we feel sick and tired. We don’t know how we got there. Just like the second frog, if one day we went from feeling great and the next day we woke up with pain from arthritis, and 50 pounds heavier than the day before, and we open up the cabinet with the 10 medications we now will need to take everyday just to exist – I think there would be an immediate jump to find out how to get back to the previous day.
How do we bring attention to these subtle changes in our lives? Begin to take inventory of what it is you really desire in your life. Do your goals and desires line up with what you are actually doing? Are you doing what you are passionate about or are you just living day to day, hoping things will improve on their own? What small steps can you make to pull yourself out of that pan which is beginning to heat up in your life?
“Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that is becomes spiritual in calling ~ Vincent Van Gogh. ” The frog didn’t know that he didn’t know. He didn’t realize he was in trouble before it was too late. My contribution to myself is to take care of my physical, mental, and spiritual well being. Being an entrepreneur, networking with others that share a similar passion for health and life, spending time with my family, and at one with God. It doesn’t get any better than this…