The Aquarium Shark

by | Aug 20, 2010 | Columns, Featured, Optimum Health | 2 comments

shark in a boxDid you know that one of the most valued and sought after saltwater aquarium fish were baby sharks? This is because if you place a baby shark in a small (100 gallon) aquarium it will stay small, usually less than a foot long. The same shark in the ocean may be 12 feet long!

I love this fact because in life we have all created our own aquarium, most call it our box. Our box is also our Comfort Zone with which we view the world. Everything outside of our box is the things that we fear and avoid. If everything inside our box is our comfort zone, then everything outside of the box of our world would be our Uncomfortable Zone.

When I trained in Anthroposophical Medicine in Germany, they taught that if everything you have done has created this reality of illness/life-dysfunction, then if you want a new and better reality of health/functional-life, then you must change everything you are doing. These medical doctors in Germany would, as part of their treatment of a cancer patient, tell the patient, “If you normally answer the phone with your right hand, then answering it with your left changes you.” “If you are dominantly a thinker, and get very little exercise, then exercising will help restore balance and health.” “If you are an athletic person and do nothing creatively, then increasing your creativity through art and clay-modeling can change your health.”

As one of my teachers, T. Harv Eker says, “Often people wait for the feeling of fear to pass before they will do anything…therefore most people never do anything!” If we are going to get out of our Comfort Zone we must realize that once we are outside of it that it will feel Uncomfortable at first! The uncomfortable-ness of change/growth is not an indication to stop growing.

While not suitable for all audiences, the movie “Yes Man” with Jim Carey is a great example of opening up your aquarium/box and letting your life be filled with all the potential for growth that the ocean of life has to offer.

I encourage you to push, tear, claw, and rip your box to shreds at every opportunity and don’t be surprised, those of you who think that you’ve discarded your aquarium, to find that you have often just expanded your box but not gotten rid of it. PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!

  • Earthwalker

    Earthwalker is the username that PT founder Julie Genser created for her online interactions so many years ago when first creating Planet Thrive.

    Julie's (Earthwalker's) life was derailed over twenty years ago when she had a very large organic mercury exposure after she naively used a mouth thermometer to measure the temperature of just-boiled milk while making her very first pizza at home. The mercury instantly expanded into a gas form and exploded out the back of the thermometer right into her face. Unaware that mercury was the third most neurotoxic element on Earth, Julie had no idea she had just received a very high dose of a poisonous substance.

    A series of subsequent toxic exposures over the next few years -- to smoke from two fires (including 9/11), toxic mold, lyme disease, and chemical injuries -- caused catastrophic damage to her health. While figuring out how to survive day-to-day, and often minute-to-minute, she created Planet Thrive to help others avoid some of the misdiagnoses and struggles she had experienced.

    She has clawed her way over many health mountains to get to where she is today. She is excited to bring the latest iteration of Planet Thrive to the chronic illness community.

    In 2019, Julie published her very first cookbook e-book called Low Lectin Lunches (+ Dinners, Too!) after discovering how a low lectin, gluten free diet was helping manage her chronic fascia/muscle pain.


  1. earthwalker

    I really loved this article and will turn to it for inspiration again and again. It encouraged me to get out of the house yesterday and spend the day in nature with a visiting friend by a beautiful lake I didn’t even know existed near me. We had a great little picnic, beautiful weather, and ended the day with a lakeside stroll with rainbow over the horizon and wading into the lake and feeling the soft mushy dirt between our toes. We even were visited by a flock of ducks. This article came at the PERFECT time to let me push past my own mental limitations and have such a nice experience.

  2. Laurel Lewis

    This article is very timely for me also because I have been pushing, well mostly yelling and screaming, against the box lately. I have a new awareness of how I have willingly put myself in the box to keep peace in my family because they have such difficulty accepting my MCS. That isn’t working at all and I thank Dr. Jernigan for sending this to me at such an important time.

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