Keeping the right focus in the chaos of a health crisis is a matter of repositioning
If you ever visit my office, you may notice that there are quite a few figurines of frogs in various poses placed throughout the room. From the “yoga” frogs doing their daily asanas on my windowsill to the “guru” frog meditating in the IV room, you’ll see these little creatures popping out of the most inconspicuous places to greet you with their amphibious smiles. While they may not be the most cute or cuddly of creatures, frogs hold a special significance for me particularly when it comes to healing.
Several years ago, a friend shared with me a scientific study that detailed how frogs see the world. Unlike most animals or even insects, a frog’s eye is fixed in its socket. It cannot move up, down or sideways as our eyes do but remains fixed in one direction looking outward from the side of its body. If it wants to change its field of vision, it must reposition its entire body to do so. Its vision is also based heavily on movement. If something in its field of vision isn’t moving, it can’t see it. In fact, a frog can be surrounded by food but if it doesn’t move, the frog will starve to death. Thank goodness flies don’t know that!
“Even though the frog can’t see in all directions, he can completely change his perspective of the world simply by repositioning himself in relation to it.”
The point here is that in order for a frog to survive, it needs to be hyper-focused on the one thing that it wants. In order to do that, it must create stillness in the world around it so that its goal becomes obvious and within reach. If everything around it is moving and there is chaotic hyper-stimulation, the frog will become overwhelmed and simply retreat. Stillness is the goal to creating its single vision and getting what it desires.
Likewise, when we find ourselves in a health crisis everything can become chaotic. Our mind races and everything we wanted for our lives seems to be shifting, moving and falling away from us. The race is on to “fight” the situation, so we get online or run to the library to pour over all the information we can find on our condition. We talk to people who are experiencing the same thing and research traditional and alternative healing options. The trouble is that after this exhaustive research marathon the only thing we have to show for it is, well…exhaustion. We’ve buried ourselves in too much information and over-stimulation that leaves us just wanting to give up. Like the frog, we accomplish our best when the world about us isn’t moving like a whirlwind. Then we can see what we want and how to get it.
I believe the big pharmaceutical companies know this and take advantage of patients in vulnerable positions. It’s quite clear that these companies saturate the market with contradictory health information. Anyone who’s ever been in a health crisis can tell you how many of the “healing” theories online directly contradict each other. No wonder it’s so much easier to just throw your arms up and say, “Okay. I’ll just take the pill”.
The frog images in my office remind me daily to keep the world around me still. It’s my world and I’m in charge of it. That means my relationships, my work and anything else that could pull focus from my intention. Stillness to me means keeping things in check and on an even keel by eliminating stress as much as possible in all these areas. When everything around me is grounded and in a positive place, then I can focus on my goal and hit the target every time. I also remind myself that even though the frog can’t see in all directions, he can completely change his perspective of the world simply by repositioning himself in relation to it.
Dr. Habib Sadeghi is the co-founder of Be Hive of Healing, an integrative health center based in Los Angeles. He provides revolutionary healing protocols in integrative, osteopathic, anthroposophical, environmental, and family medicine, as well as clinical pharmacology. He served as an attending Physician and Clinical Facilitator at UCLA-SM Medical Center and is currently a Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences. Dr. Sadeghi is a regular contributor to Goop, CNN, BBC News and TEDx. He is the author of Within: A Spiritual Awakening to Love & Weight Loss, as well as the foreword to Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good, and is the publisher of the health and well-being journal, MegaZEN.