One of my favorite parables that I share frequently in workshops and meditation classes I teach is this…
There was a man walking across an open field, when suddenly a tiger appeared and began to chase him. The man began to run, but the tiger was closing in. As he approached a cliff at the edge of the field, the man grabbed a vine and jumped over the cliff. Holding on as tight as he could, he looked up and saw the angry tiger prowling above him on the top of the cliff. He looked down. Below there were two tigers also angry and prowling. He had to wait it out. He looked up again and saw that two mice had started gnawing on the vine, his lifeline. As they chewed the vine thinner and thinner, he knew that he could break at any time. Then, he saw a single strawberry growing just an arms-length away. Holding the vine with one hand, he reached out, picked the strawberry, and put it in his mouth. It was delicious.
This story encourages us to be present in each moment, even when we are stressed or challenged. Look for the strawberries in your day. In each situation. Today, and each day, I encourage you to be as present as possible, as much as possible, so you can see the strawberries all around you and be thankful. Cultivating gratitude is one of the most profound practices that we can do for our health and wellness. Studies performed by Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, found that when people focused on their blessings rather than hassles or complaints, they significantly increased feelings of joy, happiness, and overall well-being. They felt more connected to others, slept more soundly, and felt more optimistic. They even enjoyed an 8% reduction in pain scores compared to the control group!
I couldn’t let these 28 days of Self-Care so by without sharing this one with you. One of my former students even started calling me “Strawberries” because I love this so much.
Go forth and notice the strawberries…