A diabetes fable


Once upon a time a scientist who was enthralled with the exotic emperor moth, (because their wings are as beautiful as butterflies), found a caterpillar ready to spin its cocoon. He gently cupped the caterpillar and took it back to his laboratory. He placed the caterpillar in a glass container and watched as the caterpillar built his cocoon. The caterpillar then fell into a deep sleep. Soon this fuzzy little crawling caterpillar would become an amazingly exotic emperor moth floating in the sky.

Some months later the day came when the moth was ready to leave the cocoon. The scientist watched anxiously as the new tiny head of the moth chewed its way into the light of the laboratory. The moth struggled and struggled to escape its cocoon seemingly getting nowhere. Its body was simply too large to fit through the tiny hole it had made. The moth finally tired and laid its small head on the shell of the cocoon where it had poked out.

The scientist felt so badly he took it upon himself to help the tiny creature. “How could I stand here for so many hours watching this beautiful moth go through such agony and pain?” he questioned. “Where is my mercy?” So he took a pair of tweezers and his scissors and began to cut away the cocoon. As soon as the cocoon was opened, the moth fell from the cocoon. But he did not fall upwards into the sky. No, he was badly deformed and fell on the floor where he died within minutes.

Soon after the scientist discovered that it was precisely the moth’s struggle to escape from the cocoon that allows him to do so. His struggle forces the fluids down into the body of the emperor moth that give it its ability to fly. Furthermore, the struggle perfectly proportions the moth as it works to free itself from the cocoon. Cutting away the cocoon, as the scientist had done in an effort to help, had actually killed the moth and interrupted its natural life-cycle.

The moral of the story: Struggle is not necessarily a bad thing and often it is what helps us grow. Sometimes when you seem to be caught in a struggle, you are actually in a germination stage, like the moth transforming into something even greater.

Food for thought: What happens if you relax into the struggle? 

Kitchen Table Wisdom

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.42.33 PMPhysicians learning to be human

I’ve just finished a book of stories I learned so much from. Particularly how medical training wipes the humanity out of our health care providers. You may not be surprised, except for how strategic and intentional it is.


Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen is full of small stories that include her own experiences as a physician for more than 30 years and observations of fellow physicians, and, as a patient suffering with Crohn’s disease since her teenage years. 


Her stories illustrate how most medical training depletes physicians of their humanity by actually outlawing any show of emotion or authentic aspect of themselves. Physicians are judged weak to by these standards and strong if they share nothing but their medical expertise; no heart, no humanity. Her stories also reflect the courage and grace as patients find their courage to live, and often die, with illness. 


You cannot come away from these stories without having a new understanding of our medical system. And the healing power of being with patients in a sacred space that does not judge, but allows frailties to just be. You will better understand why most doctors treat us like interchangeable parts and how far we have to go till this changes. Especially treating chronic illness.


Today, though, maybe there is a movement afoot. I just read Amy’s post over on DiabetesMine about a new ideal for treating the whole patient with a dedicated team. Perhaps it is happening, somewhere. Perhaps it will happen, someday.


In the meantime, pick up a copy of Kitchen Table Wisdom. Your soul will thank you.