Be the Bean

I love coffee.  That first warm sip when you wake up in the morning.  The taste.  That little caffeine buzz.  It’s one of my few vices and it’s probably something I won’t be trying to push out of my diet anytime soon (though sometimes my yoga students probably wonder if I’ve had more than one cup on certain days!).  But there’s more than just the taste of coffee that makes it the perfect way to start the day, which is why I wanted to share with you one of my favorite short stories.

Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean?

By Unknown Author

 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.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. 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 then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Finally, she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl as well.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her daughter closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. She then asked her to take the egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, the daughter observed the hardened egg. Finally, the mother asked her to sip the coffee. 

The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavor and inhaled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it 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.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique.  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?”

Which are you?  When tough situations arise or make us feel uncomfortable we always have a choice how to respond.  We can become soft and vulnerable like the carrot.  Or maybe we become harder and more reserved like the egg.  But all of us have a choice to actually change the circumstances for the better like the coffee bean.

In a Bikram Yoga class it’s not uncommon to hear from the instructor that with this practice you learn to make you and your health a priority in your life.  When this happens you then begin to have more time and energy to spend on the people that mean so much to you.  Your whole life changes.  You begin to change as the asanas balance out each system of your body.

As we start to feel this balance we are able to respond to adversity instead of just react.  We become examples of how to move throughout the world with peace and regard for others.  We take the opportunity that our darkest hours and trials give us to then elevate us instead of deflate us.  We become the bean.

So wake up and smell the coffee – your whole life is waiting for you!

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy reading:

Empty Your Cup

It’s a Lucky Life

Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar?

25 thoughts on “Be the Bean

  1. Tori,
    Thanks so much for your post today. I haven’t been feeling well the last few weeks and have been avoiding the hot room. Better to get back in and do what ocean than to avoid. See you at 26hot!

    • So sorry to hear you are under the weather Sharon! No expectations when you come back to the hot room – it might be extra challenging, but it also might feel great to be back. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  2. It’s hard to be peaceful during adversity b/c we are taught that to NOT react is somehow a guilty practice…that’s the hardest for me to ACCEPT that it’s OK not to freak out or over worry about stuff. When I am at peace I wonder if I’m missing something… but it’s getting easier.

    • Sometimes its hard to accept that life can have an easy flow to it when we’ve been raised that we need to overcome and tackle our problems. It’s when we learn to breathe through any situation and control that breath that we have the choice to respond with full awareness instead of react. But its a daily practice – sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Forgive yourself when it doesn’t. Most of our drama is just a perception of what’s going on and not the truth anyway and over time you learn to move with ease from situation to situation – undisturbed and happy. 🙂

      • EXACTLY! I’m learning to accept that not everything has to be a guilt-inducing, shoe is gonna drop, something bad will happen if we don’t freak situation. Our society does not accept ‘undisturbed and happy’ as much as ‘chaotic and anxious’ –

      • “Most of our drama is just a perception of what’s going on”…….oh Tori this is sooooo good. I really hope my heart palpitations are total drama/perception!!! I think there is sooooo much truth to this and how the mind/body connection can change the course of disease/pathology!!! I have really been struggling this week. Today is day 23? I think? of my personal 30 day challenge (I am losing track of the days). I am lol’ing here as I prepare to hit the road. I will keep this thought with me today for sure. Thank you so much for your wonderful insight.

  3. Hi I just wrote a story using your bean story, wasn’t sure about how to do it, anyway I can mention your blog site there , just wasn’t sure if you wanted me to?

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