A Lesson in Grating an Apple

I stayed with a friend recently and we decided to make some apple pancakes together for breakfast. I was given the task of grating an apple. I was feeling a bit tired but very hungry, so I threw myself into my role as chief apple grater and attempted to grate the apple as fast as I could.

After about 30 seconds, apple seemed to be flying all over the kitchen. I felt like I would lose the skin on my knuckles at any moment; I was getting nowhere, my friend was laughing her head off and I felt frustrated and defensive. I was trying so hard to get this job done and it was tough. I certainly wasn’t in the mood to laugh.

It took some convincing (I really had my cranky pants on), but eventually I let my friend explain that there was an easier way to grate the apple. All I had to do was grate gently and use the skin of the apple to protect my fingers as I went. After a short demonstration it was clear that my friend was on to something! She made this apple grating thing look so easy… but I wasn’t convinced until I tried it myself. I thought that maybe my friend just had stronger arms than I did.

So I gave this new apple grating method a try, and sure enough I had to admit my friend was absolutely right. My apple grating chore became so easy and lovely I actually began to enjoy myself. It didn’t take me long to realise that I have approached many things in my life the way I approached that poor helpless apple that morning.

I am learning that when I am gentle, I am present – and when I am present everything seems easier, runs much more smoothly and there is a graceful flow. It is amazing what we can learn from the smallest action or thing. I was amazed by the beautiful lesson that I eventually allowed by simply grating an apple and being open to a different way, and it has stayed with me ever since.

Inspired by Serge Benhayon and the work of Universal Medicine.

By Leonne Sharkey, Brisbane

233 thoughts on “A Lesson in Grating an Apple

  1. Dear Leonne, I read this blog a while ago and gosh it has stayed with me ever since. I have had such ongoing healing as when ever I am in the kitchen and turn the tap on, or chopping veggies, or opening a cupboard, or grating something – I often catch myself and ask myself – am I doing this in hardness or gentleness? So I wanted to write my profound thank you for sharing this with us all because it had/has such a effect on me (for the better). Much love, Sarah

  2. Short and sweet and very simple, there is always a simple way of doing things if we stay open to looking at how we go about things and if we stay open to listening to feedback.

  3. Such a lovely, simple reminder about the everyday tasks and how they can be markers for our presence and gentleness. I felt a similar story brewing the other morning whilst doing up my shoe laces, something I do most mornings of the week. At some point during the lacing I realised that this was one of those things that I always did without much presence, and usually thinking about what was going to happen after. Wow, what a realisation. Lacing shoes will never be the same again!

    1. Love it Tim, this is so true, it is the simple things, done in presence and with all of us in it, that bring back joy into our lives.

  4. So lovely to return to this blog and read this simple sharing Leonne, it brings an ease to my body and with that a joy back into the next task – how delicious.

  5. It’s amazing how even the small things can trip us up. I find I get all sorts of bumps, bruises and small cuts and half the time I can’t even remember later on how they happened. You are so right Leonne when you say that gentleness is a key to staying present because how can you be gentle without noticing the impact of what you are doing on your body? Thanks for a lovely reminder to slow down and stay present with what’s happening right at this moment.

    1. That is a really good point you are sharing here Helen! I know this in myself as well how easily I can ignore these little injuries and not read the sign to stay more present with myself and not rush ahead in my mind to the next task.

  6. A lovely blog with a reminder that when we’re open to receive, we are offered lessons on a daily basis as reflections on the way we’re living life. It’s an exquisite phenomenon, allowing us to learn on the small stuff before we hit it in the big time – but only if we choose to discern the message when it’s offered.

  7. I can easily say ‘ditto’ for me Leonne. More and more I am finding that when I lose gentleness that what I am doing seems to automatically require twice as much effort and invariably the result is not quite what I had hoped for. Thanks for the reminder – it’s a timely one to me and I suspect many others.

  8. When we are present in connection with ourselves, life cannot help but in general to flow smoothly, and when we do hit the bumps, we have the resilience to come back, reconnect, feel that flow again, and to understand that everything is reflecting back to us for us to feel and to eventually truly be ourselves.

    1. Absolute truth. And the moment we identify with the bumps in the sense that we have self-created them and thus seek recognition for them by crying ‘life is hard and I am doing my best’, we are gone into the underworld where lack of connection is the key to our seeming survival, aka security, when really they are the bolts in the door that stop us accessing a wisdom (Universal flow) far greater than the human mind and all its concocted issues (roadblocks) can fathom.

  9. I can find myself in a similar situation, Leonne-working against the natural flow of life. I am learning that gentleness brings such beautiful gifts of connection and grace to any task we do.

  10. Thank you Leonne for a beautifully simple blog, one that I enjoy re reading again, and the reminder that there is so much to learn in the way we do the most simple things in life, like greating an apple in gentleness, and the joy this brings when gentleness is our way in all we do in life.

  11. Very Very true, it is actually an illusion that we are more productive when we are rushed. Sure we may get things done however what is the quality the tasks were completed in and are they worth mentioning in a week or two?

  12. I find more and more when I let myself be all of me in a situation how different it is from when I rush. recently I had some experiences where I was trying to get done what I needed to without paying much attention with how I was doing it. The outcome – an accident.

  13. The energy and the force that we bring through us when there is a push and drive certainly gets things done but at what expense and what do we miss along the way?

  14. I love the beauty of doing simple tasks in connection to ourselves. It really does bring a beautiful quality and flow to everything and its so fun too.

  15. I know when I do anything in a rush or am under pressure to complete something my quality certainly drops and my nervous system goes into overdrive. Learning to stay present with myself has been key to allowing a different quality within and not using drive to get things done – and the best part is I still arrive at the same place without complication and with greater harmony and flow.

  16. Leonne I have come to realize this gentle way of doing things too. The tension goes and the body is working with the job at hand not against it.

  17. Thank you for this reminder Leonne, I know that it is better by a degree off the richter scale, to do things gently, yet I keep finding myself going into a drive and then I lose myself in this horrible ‘lets get the job done’ mentality, with no flow, no joy and no love. I am constantly having to work at this and am looking forward to the day that I can avoid the drive and consequent hardness completely.

  18. Small action = big lesson … I love it 🙂

    Life is so beautiful when you take the time to really pay attention to the details, and evolve in the smallest moments.

  19. We can learn from the smallest of actions in our lives, because they often resemble the whole. Take swimming: I am taking swimming classes with Simone Benhayon and she never amazes me to point out how every action in swimming reflects something we do in real life. The beauty of swimming that the water magnifies what we are doing. All it takes is an honest look.

  20. It is so beautiful what can occur when we are open to accepting sound advice from another. As Leonne has shared, what she learned went much deeper than the small action of grating an apple. This is something I will remember when next someone is willing to share something with me that I have yet to master.

  21. I love what you are sharing her Leonne, it shows that we can have revelations in any moment and that these revelations are not bound to just this moment but open us doors to see so much more and let go of behaviours that hold us constricted and tight and make life hard and unpleasant.

  22. It is so often the apparently small events in life that make the greatest changes to how we live. This is a great example of being inspired by another to find a more gentle way of being.

  23. A lovely example of the natural grace and flow in which we can do everything we need to when we stay present with ourselves rather than rushing to get things done.

  24. It is crazy when we rush, we disconnect from our body and become quite rough and racy. But when we are gentle with our selves we are able to feel and connect to our body.

  25. Such a great lesson Leonne. And what an appropriate example of how we approach everything in life. Fast is not necessarily better and often proves to be slower. It’s so simple.

  26. It’s very interesting that lately I’m coming across many articles that talk about this very topic: Our approach to everyday tasks. It’s a huge warning sign for me as I become more and more aware of the drive and push I live in throughout each and every day. With my health suffering as a result, what I’m noticing is that there is so much support out there and evidence to help me choose to approach my day differently. Why would I ignore simplicity and joy for complication and struggle?

  27. I too love this knowing Leonne: “It is amazing what we can learn from the smallest action or thing”. In fact I have found that it is in the tiniest of actions that I have learnt the most, but sadly we often miss these opportune lessons as we are waiting for the big production numbers. I will never grate an apple the “old” way again.

  28. “I am learning that when I am gentle, I am present – and when I am present everything seems easier, runs much more smoothly and there is a graceful flow. It is amazing what we can learn from the smallest action or thing.” So true Leonne. Love the learning here – stay present and with myself and life flows…..In contrast to ‘trying’ to get things done, maybe as quickly as possibly, and that flow and grace disappears.

  29. “. . . when I am present everything seems easier, runs much more smoothly and there is a graceful flow.” Leonne you describe the true power of being present – what is a real gift. Thank you for this great reminder.

  30. “I have approached many things in my life the way I approached that poor helpless apple that morning.” Oh do I know this approach Leonne, and it might not have been ferociously grated apple flying all over the kitchen, but there were many other things that I charged full on into; everything was done at top speed so I could get it over and done with quickly, but that usually didn’t happen as I would make, a mess, a mistake and often would have to start all over again. I love the lesson that you learned, and it is one that I have too, and these days “grating apples” is undertaken with a lot more care, presence and enjoyment.

  31. Such a powerful sharing Leonne of how our choosing to be gentle is choosing Love, through which our movements then reflect the quality of our loving presence. And also how every moment through our daily living offers us an opportunity to evolve and deepen our connection to great Love that we are, whenever we are open and willing.

  32. Beautiful, simple, joyful and true.Thank you Leonne, the way we choose to move makes all the difference in the world, and to the world.

  33. “I am learning that when I am gentle, I am present – and when I am present everything seems easier, runs much more smoothly and there is a graceful flow.” I agree Leonne, there is a simplicity, ease and gracefulness in our movements when we are present and in connection with the quality of our body’s natural rhythm.

  34. Thank you, just what i needed to hear this morning, after going hard into something and justifying that it needed to be done that way. One can be firm and still be gentle as you have shown in this simple act of apple grating.

  35. I love that you can find profound lessons in the simplest of things… making you realize the power in any moment should you remain present and open to what it can offer you.

  36. Great demonstration that even the smallest of actions can teach us a lot – in this case, doing things with focus and being present while doing it made the job so much easier, kids’ play as they say.

  37. It’s great what you share “I am learning that when I am gentle, I am present – and when I am present everything seems easier, runs much more smoothly and there is a graceful flow. “. I have found when I have been gentle with myself and present the flow is so beautiful and harmonious. I am more and more being gentleness into my daily rhythms.

  38. Our daily life is definitely the best school we have ever had, everything matters and your example makes this very clear. The way we do things and how we are with ourselves and others is what is making the difference and when we choose to be present, life starts to be simple and with more joy in it than my idea of how life would be.

  39. This reminded me of the way I would grate apples, and what I love about what you have shared Leonne is the way you let everything else go so you could bring your focus back to being with yourself.

  40. Your words on presence are very beautiful – when we are present there is indeed a graceful flow. The situation with the grating represents so many situations and moments in life where things don’t go well – where we are already disconnected and our own lack of inner order seems to bring disturbance to all we do.

  41. The way we are really affects the way we experience our activity, or actually life. So easy to make it a struggle and be a victim and check out and endure and just wait for it to end, or we have a choice to change the way we are and make our moments joy-full.

  42. This is another reminder of how the mind can use ‘history’ or knowledge to drive the choices we make and how in every moment we choose presence or complication. When we push through in our day we allow exhaustion to inform the choices we make – a simple sharing with much wisdom.

  43. I was just pulling our rubbish bins back in and went into it not from the need of doing it but from a commitment to staying with the warmth in my chest and my tenderness; presence and gentleness do make things easier: instead of pushing harder and exerting ourselves, we just find a different way of doing things and it all flows from there.

  44. We think that doing things gently means doing things more slowly or without any purpose. However what I have found is when I do anything in a hurry, I end up having to repeat myself or repeat part of what I have completed. I have also found that when I am being more gentle I have greater purpose and focus, whereas in a rush I can get easily distracted.

  45. Thank you Leonne for sharing how instantly we can transform our lives when we choose to move in connection to our essence within. If we can make such a powerful change through grating an apple imagine what is possible if we apply this to our entire way of living and the relationships we share.

  46. Oh I giggled aloud reading this this morning. I can so relate to going at things ten to the dozen to get them done and creating complication. Not being present can be so familiar that I can slip into being distracted and multi-tasking without actually noticing – then, hey-presto the proverbial apple is all over the kitchen.

  47. It is amazing what we can learn from the smallest movement and from a humble apple; thank you Leonie;
    “I am learning that when I am gentle, I am present – and when I am present everything seems easier, runs much more smoothly and there is a graceful flow”.

  48. It’s so true that we can learn so much from the smallest action or thing. Every moment we have an opportunity to learn, so if we take the space to read the lesson, we are forever deepening our awareness and understanding of ourselves and life. Then if we move with this deeper awareness we bring it to life and it becomes the living wisdom of our bodies.

  49. I think we are perhaps all familiar with the adage: ‘It’s not what you do but how you do it’. But how many of us really put this into practice as Leonne has here and truly examined the quality of energy with which we move and thus the quality of energy we reflect to others and infuse our ‘doing’ with? Also –I am still giggling at this image of the not-so-great apple grating turned super great!

  50. When we commit to a graceful flow with ourselves, this grace is reflected back at us. When we do not see this reflection and there is complication, it is very simple, just return to a deeper commitment of grace with ourselves.

  51. I agree Leonne, there is a graceful ease and natural flow from within us when we move in the quality and harmony of our essence.

  52. Sometimes we choose to be in such vulnerability to come back to being gentle to ourselves, being present and to start again step by step in the deepest awareness possible. But why do we choose to be in such complication when we can take these steps in all our moments of every day? To come back to being gentle to ourselves every moment, and to be accepting and aware of our movements each and every day? That seems a much more simple way.

  53. There is a beautiful rhythm and flow to our movements when we choose to surrender to our innate gentleness and the body just loves the space too. Connecting to the gentleness also takes the frustration and anxiety away too and allows us to really enjoy each moment because we aren’t trying to get to an end result we are just right there in that moment connected and enjoying the space to simply be.

  54. It is never about the grating of the apple, it is all in how we are. Our movements can be heavenly no matter what we do.

  55. A great lesson to learn. Sometimes we just have to trust that trying things a different way may just be better than the way we have always done things.

  56. I love the humour in what you share and how blessed you are to have a friend who offered you lighthearted support in a grumpy moment.

  57. Love this very simple but very powerful life lesson Leonne. A great example that having your “cranky pants on” while grating an apple is a very lethal combination; in fact having them while you do anything is just as dangerous whereas being with yourself in every movement is much more safe and healthy way to be.

  58. I so relate to this, there are a million different situations where I have been that apple grater. It is incredible the difference the same task can be when done in different energies. We either fight life or we play ball with it. A lovely read on gentleness and why its the way to live.

  59. Beautiful understanding and reminder Leonne, ‘I am learning that when I am gentle, I am present – and when I am present everything seems easier, runs much more smoothly and there is a graceful flow.’

  60. This is a great example Leonne of the great simplicity and hence great profundity in these simple daily gestures. I love it that you approached this spherical fruit in one way to no avail and then to another to great avail. I seem to have used the term ‘great’ quite a lot in this comment – pun intended??

  61. What a lovely fun way to share this important message, it is always about our movements and quality of energy first, in everything we do.

  62. It’s true Leonne – I was contemplating how much I understood and became aware of throughout my day today. This was due to me being gentle with myself in what was being revealed.

  63. Thankyou Leonne, there is a real cuteness to this blog. You have also reminded me to be more aware of my gentle and loving self. and observe how life flows when I am with these qualities.

  64. It is amazing how much more gentler and harmonious our actions are when we truly reconnect with ourselves. Your blog is a beautifull reminder.

  65. What this sharing so beautifully portrays is that when we grate our bodies and hold them in tension life seems hard and tedious but when we move from the constant flow and ease of our full bodies connection to any activity we are partaking in, life flows with expansion and joy and it can be just by adjusting our movements ever so gently.

  66. I love the simple lessons we learn in life and how something as simple as how we approach a task can teach us so much, simply being more gentle in our approach can change the actual outcome of the task in hand.

  67. Ahh the wonder and power of simply being present with ourselves is absolute gold. Sometimes our mind can seemingly know it all or arrogantly defend its intellectual might but the body actually has far more wisdom. I find being in the flow with life often offers more than what the mind could imagine as things just unfold in ways you never expect when you just allow it.

  68. A great example of how when we are fully present with ourselves all our movements naturally flow with a grace and quality that makes everything we do feel harmonious and effortless.

  69. ‘It is amazing what we can learn from the smallest action or thing. ‘ Yes Leonne, we have true education all around us when we observe.

  70. A beautiful sharing of the grace of gentleness and how we have the opportunity to learn from the simplest of things if we are willing.

  71. “I am learning that when I am gentle, I am present – and when I am present everything seems easier, ” This has been my experience too, the more present I am with myself I can feel there is much more of a flow and everything seems easier.

  72. A wonderfully simple but very profound lesson that it is not just about how we grate an apple but how we approach everything single thing we do in life. And there would probably not be a better, although potentially painful, way to learn this lesson as a grater in the hands of someone who has their ‘cranky pants on’ or simply disconnected from themselves can have rather uncomfortable consequences. Life lessons like this are so valuable.

  73. So based on your experience this particular morning Leonne, we could say that the ‘fruits of life’ are overlooked (mangled?!) when we throw ourselves into a task only focussed on the outcome and not the quality with which we perform the task in 😉

  74. When we focus on the quality then the outcome is taken care of without any trying for it be a certain way… whereas if we focus on just the outcome because we need it then it is only for self and the quality will reflect that.

  75. “when I am present everything seems easier, runs much more smoothly and there is a graceful flow.” This confirms the teachings of Serge Benhayon that it is not what you do but how you are with yourself while you are doing it.

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