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This year I’m looking to the frog to help me maintain balance between creative work, personal pursuits, and business and household tasks. Like everyone else, I’ve got lots to do. At the start of this New Year I am filled with desire to find ways to enjoy what I am doing, to better prioritize, and to stay present and healthy.

For starters, I have huge frog-green sunglasses. If I put them on before sitting down to tackle a pile of stuff, they make me giggle and help me tap into my inner sass which, in turn, chills me out.

Lesson Number One: The frog-green glasses really work for me.

Digging deeper to learn from my newly-assigned frog totem, I note that frogs are high maintenance, high performance. In a suitable environment, frogs flourish. They breathe through their skin, so warm, humid, safe places with fresh, clean water are desirable. They are sensitive to climate changes, destruction of forest and marsh habitats, pollution, and a recently-discovered skin fungus which attacks the skin through which they breathe. Frogs really need to have their guard up to stay well.

Lesson Number Two: Ounce of prevention, pound of cure. By keeping my space clean and clear (which includes staying on top of errands, bills, cleaning), drinking lots of water, and avoiding viruses by scrubbing my hands and NOT SHARING POPCORN with sick people, I will thrive.

Needless to say, frogs are highly musical and always re-invent themselves (metamorphasis and new skin anyone?). Many species can roll with a variety of different climates, even though they are cold blooded. They are adaptable.

Lesson Number Three: Trying new things (and failing at some of them) makes me adaptable and able to work in a variety of musical settings. Setting time aside to experiment and play, and probably being patient (since skin takes time to shed) is the way of the frog.

Frogs are crazy looking little creatures with huge eyes and alien-looking faces.

Lesson Number Four: I am grateful I do not look like a frog. I am grateful I have a home, a loving husband and family, terrific friends and neighbors, a stellar music community, strong aural skills, sharp communication skills. Gratitude is key.

Frogs have amazing reflexes, and catch flies by taking careful aim in advance (and then close their eyes while striking).

Lesson Number Five: Let the image of a karate kid frog catching flies (and Master Yoda training with Luke Skywalker, for that matter) motivate me to do yoga more often…. since apparently just feeling clean, clear, and chilled out aren’t motivation enough to exercise regularly…

Frogs have been hopping for 190 million years. Though the current planetary scene is increasingly inhospitable to the unique needs of frogs, I’m going to try to buck my own personal trends to be more frog friendly… to myself.

Leap, Little Frog

a musician's musings on nesting, being creative, traveling, and parenting