If you are an urban dweller with little exposure to the wilderness, most likely you will jump out of your own skin. In fact, I suspect many readers won’t be able to make it past this headline.
Seeing a large, orange frog clinging to the walls is disorienting to say the least. The protected species that we are, we have eliminated or minimized our interaction with the natural diversity of fauna that exists ‘out there’. Any entry of insects or animals is considered an intrusion into our space. To add to it, one expects that this odd, rare exception conform to our limited knowledge. So the mind is thrown for a spin, ‘Frogs should be found in water, not on walls! They are supposed to be green, not bright orange!‘. As you silently (or vocally) shriek in confusion and fear, the poor frog does the only thing it can. It takes a flying leap. In the direction it was looking. Yours. Problem compounded.
Having gotten over the initial shock of finding our rooms at the 'luxury farmhouse with a private swimming pool' were home to several frogs and lizards, several ruminations gradually arose:
We were visiting a remote area surrounded by the jungle. This was their place more than ours. We were the guests. To be indignant, or violent in any way was uncalled for.
Much as they may frighten us, our startled (or terrified) reaction was disturbing them too.
Once this was understood, I felt it was important to consciously clear the shock and fear that was in my energies.
Apologies were extended and a peaceful proposal for coexistence was offered. I believe it is easily possible to communicate with plants, animals and insects. Try it. Speak to them telepathically if you find the idea of speaking aloud strange. You may be surprised at how receptive and co-operative they can be. (For example, I rarely have trouble with mosquitoes, or bees… They tend to leave on request.) The next day was spent in wary, but peaceful co-habitation.
By the third day, it was clear that the degree of discomfort or inconvenience that any of these local inhabitants caused us was in direct proportion to our resistance.
Though our instinctive reaction is to forcibly change the outer to arrive at peace, an internal centering demonstrates an immediate and visible change in the outside. The more peaceful I became, the less intrusive they were in my space.
The first encounter made us all highly vigilant to our surroundings. Despite their incredible camouflage and ability to squeeze into tiny crevices, our eyes would seek out every frog and lizard around. It was interesting to see how this excessive attention to one set of ‘problems’ left us almost nonchalant about the many other exotic insects that would perhaps have triggered a similar response. So seen in relative terms, many things that one would otherwise make a big deal about, turn into minor, forgettable distractions. A sense of proportion changes our reactions radically. This can be used mindfully to our advantage.
Having set aside all mental argument with their presence, it became possible to admire the amazing and colorful variety of tree frogs that were there. If we give up our ideas of how things (or frogs) should be, we become capable of appreciating the prevalent beauty.
Humans are remarkable at adapting the environment to suit themselves. So we build cities that are sterilized of all ‘inconvenience’ and find the collateral damage of pollution, noise, emf overload and concrete prisons make us want to run back to natural surroundings. There we complain about the loss of modern, man-made pampering… In short, we endeavor to manipulate the external environment to suit us without attempting the more efficient route of internal change.
To conclude, my encounter with the tree frogs was a tangible reminder of:
how we are prone to operate from fear,
how we habitually attempt to dominate and control whoever and whatever comes in to our life and experiences
and how a simple return to mindfulness and acceptance transforms the very same experience into a magical flow of appreciation for all that is, just as it is.
So the next time you run into some ‘frogs on your wall‘, I hope you will look at it as an invitation to make that leap of faith: to implement all the theory on mindfulness and awareness that you have read, heard or talked about. And see how life responds.
Image Source: tinybuddha.com