Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Therapy Thursday: Process Heat and Suffering Like a Coffee Bean

pocket therapist front cover small.jpgI have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.

There’s a story that goes like this: One day a young woman was whining to her father about how hard life was. She was tired of fighting and struggling. Sounds familiar, right?


He was a chef, so he set out three pots and boiled water in each of them. In the first he placed a carrot, in the second an egg, and in the third some ground coffee beans. After 20 minutes he turned off the burners. Then he explained how all three reacted differently to the heat. The carrot went in firm, but softened in the boiling water. The egg hardened on the inside. And the coffee beans, well, they actually changed the water.

“When you confront adversity, which one will you be?” he asked his daughter. “The carrot that starts out strong but wilts under pressure? The egg that becomes callous and bitter? Or the coffee bean, which makes something useful, tasty, even beautiful from the boiling water?”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kelly Johnson

    I love this. I think one of my sons could really benefit from this. I can’t wait to show it to him.

    I hope you are well. I keep hoping I’ll find myself in Annapolis one of these days and we’ll find a way to grab a cup of coffee.

    I bought the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Workbook on your recommendation! (No pressure, right?) : ) So far I am really really enjoying it.

    Big love to you.

  • The Lamb

    That’s beautiful and inspirational, Therese. Thank you for that, I really needed it today.

    I’ll try harder to be the coffee bean 😉

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment spareparts

    Hi Therese,

    This one’s interesting. At least for me, it depends on the type of adversity, how my life tastes. Sometimes I get hit by all kinds of things at once, so I get the carrot, the egg, AND the coffee beans all mixed together… And then my life tastes pretty funny…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kathy

    Love this last comment! We all want to be the coffee bean, lol but how true, when everyone throws us a different dose of anxiety the carrot, egg and bean become one big mix that just leaves us with a bad taste!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment liti

    This is so so simple and so nice ,Just what my tired mind can wrap around my head.Thankyou Therese.Happy St Francis Day to you and yours.Liti

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment vitoria

    I would like to be like the coffee , but right now I feel like the egg kind of bitter. And most times I feel like the carrot.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment SunLuver

    This piece is nauseatingly trite

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