But Our Daily Choices Are Still More Powerful Than We Might Realize —
I recently ran into a culinary colleague I hadn't seen in quite a while. He had read how the unexpected changes in city regulations had suddenly and no longer allowed me to teach classes in my professional home kitchen about a year ago, so he wondered what I was up to now.
"After all these years of working so hard as a chef, are you starting to think about retirement?"
Without even considering the question, I immediately blurted out,
"No! I'm currently focused on fulfillment instead."
(Who said that?) It just came out of my mouth. And a few days later in a rare moment of personal consumerism, I actually bought myself an inspiring fulfillment necklace (instead of the classic retirement gold watch) to wear in recognition of this energizing realization.
"Life Can Always Intervene", continued:
Then in the weeks and months that followed, it became serendipitously confirming how often this same intention came up in conversations with people in all sorts of different situations and stages of life. So whether we're individually still drowning or currently able to come up for air, don't we all want a life that supports and reflects our true priorities? One that encourages us to be the best version of ourselves, and helps refigure our daily give-and-get ratio to provide a more harmonious and connecting sense of balance on every level? The answer was obvious and kept echoing through every exchange I had. "...yes I said yes I will Yes." And after a dear friend went on to rapidly list everything she happened to care most about fitting into any given week, she stopped herself short to cry out, "Yes, I want it all!" Now the trick was how to claim it.
For myself, I decided to start first by carefully defining and establishing a more dependably regular work and personal life schedule. One with a strong yet flexible framework to graciously accommodate both my baseline and periodic overflow of responsibilities, while also taking all my vital needs-and-wants factors into consideration each and every particular day of the week. Not as a manifestation of ego-centered selfishness, but as a way to more easily support fundamental self-care, and best be able to care for others in return. And, of course, I felt compelled to add a practical element of soul-searching to help further unveil and realize my dreams while I still can. This all proved to be a very revealing, clarifying and empowering process. I concluded that the time had come today. Each and every day from here on out.
And although any version of this plan of action would be easier to facilitate for those of us who either work at home, are self-employed or even somewhat retired, and therefore, in a better position to make scheduling choices for ourselves, I started to see how the conceptual foundation I was building could help ground and honor anyone's life. That's because it sets up more personalized and respectful boundaries to conserve our time, energy and resources in a way that makes room for an expanded sense of fulfillment. It also makes it easier for us to be able to create and share the primal joy of living and eating well, which has certainly been an essential element in my own mission statement for as long as I can remember.
So here we go again. I hope this mutual desire to see, serve and satisfy your own purpose now has you too lit up with hope in return. In the weeks to come, I'll elaborate with specific guidelines for creating your own Joie de Vivre Schedule. These easily digestible single bite posts will give you something to chew on and make the most of for your self. At this point in time, you might not be able to take advantage of all the suggested strategies, so please help yourself to whatever works best for you right now. You can always save the rest for later.
But just to whet your appetite, I'd like to invite you to start considering the possibilities by first making a list of all the regular life-support activities you already know you want and need to maintain (e.g., family, friends, work, laundry, cooking, cleaning, gardening, marketing, errands, appointments...). Then dig deeper to compose another list of what you keep hearing yourself say matters most to you, but that rarely or never manages to happen. As well as to discover captivating new possibilities you haven't even realized were lurking below the surface of your longing. Hmmm...
What do you have to lose?
Until next time. Happy daffodil days in this cheerful preview of spring shining through the rain. And, as always —
Bon Appetit! Kay