Monday, October 24, 2011
WHERE'S THE ZEST?
Do you remember several years ago the little ole lady, who's chin barely cleared the fastfood counter at the burger joint, voraciously asking, "WHERE'S THE BEEF?" When I typed the title for this blog, her demanding demeanor, her no-nonesense request, immediately came to the forefront of my mind. Having seen the advertisement hundreds of time, years later, I am still able to conjur up the ad in precise detail, hearing and seeing her--the image is seared into my consciousness. And the "zest" of that cranky lady remains a vivid reminder to me of asking the simple questions.
So, how does this relate to you? How can you, an entrepeneurial wannabe, someone wanting to make a transition in their life, apply the tactics of Madison Avenue to your journey? Answer: simply ask: What do I love? and say or do your intent over and over and over again; simple, but not always easy. As the ad execs in New York have been doing to us, as replicated in the current TV series,
"Mad Men," for several generations, its repetition! Nature abhors a vacuum, so we need new material, new input before our psyches are ready to release the comfortable, old mantras, the same old record that has been spinning in our minds for who knows how long. It can be done! You are a pliable being, with an elastic brain as Dr. Joe Dispenza, of "What The Bleep...." scientifically informs us. The simple part is embracing this, the not-so-easy part is doing something about it.
"How does one become a butterfly?" she asked pensively.
"You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."
Hey, it's your life. Are you willing to do what it takes to step up and create your own show; to be the writer, director, producer and star? Nothing changes, if nothing changes! Having this awareness can be the first step in your metamorphosis. No one ever said that it is easy for a caterpillar to become a butterfly, and nothing can rush that process by interceding with the time-line. Reading in Gregg Levoy 's book, "Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life," he writes about the author of "Zorba the Greek," Nikos Kazantzakis, who's greatest regret was to hasten the butterfly process by blowing hot air into the opening of a cocoon when he was a child, I felt his right-now-on-my-time attititude. His impatience resulted in the butterfly's demise because its wings did not unfold naturally. He held the struggling life form in his hand as it died. "That little body is the greatest weight I have on my conscience," he wrote as an adult. (Gregg Levoy will be leading a seminar at Unity Church of Portland October 30, 2011)
Though the topic is "zest," I am not writing about zest-in-a-hurry, a not too unfamiliar scenario in a culture that wants instant gratification, or the zest-high, where we seek to have a manic zest. One of Webster's definitions of zest is, "an agreeable or piquant flavor imparted to something." My mind wanders to the planning and preparing of a delectable dinner party. It is not something that is done in 10 minutes or sometimes even 10 days. It takes time to plan the menu, shop for the groceries, who shall I invite?, send the invitations, design the table and place settings, grind, chop, puree and peel, slather the meat, boil and braise, set the table, hang up your apron and dust some powder on your nose, then welcome the guests. It's a process! One might not especially like the shopping part or the writing of invitations and place cards, but if the hostess was to leave out these specifics, what kind of dinner party would it be? Simply because she isn't enthralled with one aspect doesn't mean she has lost her "agreeableness," her zest to the big picture. Her zest remains the "piquant flavor," the ingredient that remains constant so when the doorbell chimes, she looks as cool and refreshed as if 1000 tiny fairies had done all the work.
My suggestion is to spend some time, maybe journaling or meditating, to discover your zest. Ask yourself: What is the ingredient that seems constant in keeping my dream alive? What does it look or feel like? Maybe a collage, a vision board, is a good idea for you. Place words and pictures on your vision board that seem zestful to you and place it where you can look at it several times a day, a month and possibly years. Remember: like coming out of a cocoon, don't rush the natural process: there may be detours on your path, follow them, there are bogs of peat with lots of nutrients for your soul in unexpected places. You may need some deepening that only out-of-the-way places can feed you.
Or, you might choose the way that chose me. A dream-finger beckoned me to stand in the power of a mantra for my zest. It was one of those flying dreams. I was working diligently, attempting to fly, with no success. A being--not sure if it was human--came up to me and said, "The way to fly is to simply say, 'I can fly!" It was a direction of brevity, so I said the obvious, lifting off the ground like nobody's business, flying as if it were in my DNA. When I awoke, I knew the metaphoric meaning of the dream, and I morphed "I can fly," into "I can write, I can teach, I can do a blog, I can.........(you fill in the blank). As I type this, there is my mantra, my zest, to the left of my computer screen, "I CAN FLY!" And you know what, I'm in the magic of flight everytime I embrace those three little words.
What is the "piquant flavor of your dream? It takes action and repetition, just like Madison Avenue does to us hundreds of times a day; this is what it might take for you to find our WHERE'S THE ZEST?
Believing that my experience, strength, and hope may shine a light on your parade, until next time,
Inspirational Coaching for Entrepeneurs
"creating a panorama of possibilities for clients"