I just got back from my wedding and honeymoon and am still beaming from all the love of my family and friends.
I was thinking a lot about how to start this post and what to share because, as you know, I like connecting my blog posts with my real life. But to be honest, after thinking about it for a bit and between the incredible amount of emotion of that day and my dad crowd-surfing over the dance floor (seriously ;)), I don’t even know where to begin… so for now, I will continue to treasure, germinate, and digest this beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime experience in my own heart and with my now husband (wehheee!).
However, as I promised to many of you who were so sweet to reach out over the past 2 weeks, here is a picture of our big day.
But now, back to (honeymoon) reality and on to my post for you today:
The 3 ingredients for a magnificent life, romance, and greek dish.
Many of you probably agree that life lessons can be found everywhere. Well, one of those lessons was given to me from our taxi driver, Christoph, in Greece who described the art of cooking a Greek dish with such passion and zest that it was impossible for me to not take his lessons and apply them to life, romance, and of course cooking (because proper Greek food is the best).
As we were swerving and speeding over the Greek island of Santorini -Raz and me holding hands in the back hoping we would arrive alive- Christoph emphasized with a heavy, serious voice that key #1 for a good dish is SIMPLICITY.
He explained that a great meal isn't the result of a large number of spices, exotic herbs, complicated sauces, and elaborate mixtures.
More is not better!
Instead, you have to allow the flavors of each ingredient used to come out and be expressed.
Equivalently for life and romance, it is easy to get caught up in believing that we need ever more money, attention, status, love, admiration, validation, etc. in order to be happy and fulfilled.
The truth is, however, that simplicity -gratitude for the ingredients we have at hand and attention to what is already there- is what makes life rewarding and romance uncomplicated and joyful.
So let me ask you: What if the creation of your most beautiful life and flourishing romance wasn’t a project of adding ever more, but rather a project of removing the clutter and releasing the unnecessary excess that keeps our minds longing for more and our hearts empty? How would you act differently if simplicity was one of your guiding principles?
Secondly, Christoph -with a stern look into his back mirror to make sure we were still paying attention- moves on to key #2: QUALITY.
“Don't ever compromise on flavor. Here in Greece, we eat differently according to what season it is. When you go to the market, see what's available and choose from that. Change the ingredients required from the recipe if necessary. Always remember: Quality is key!”
This made me think about how often we get stuck on a set idea for how something is supposed to be and refuse to look any other way. We focus our minds so strongly on one thing, one way, one option only that we become blind to what matters most: flavor and quality.
Sometimes life unfolds in unpredictable ways and in order to make sure that we end up with the sweetest, most flavorful, and adventurous life, romance, and dish, we have to remain flexible; connected to our heart’s desire instead of our mind’s stubbornness.
Afterall it is easy for the mind to oblige to social norms and external expectations that ultimately restrict and deny the fierceness of our wild souls. The heart, however, will always know the way to quality and sometimes that requires a change in your trajectory, a change in your recipe.
Ask yourself: Do you sacrifice quality, joy, and passion, in favor of sticking to the rules, the norm, and the save way of living your life?
Lastly and with a charming smirk (probably knowing how hard this third key will be for 2 young people living in NYC), Christoph says PATIENCE.
“Never cook on level 3 (the highest temperature of a Greek stove). Flavors need to come out over time. They cannot be forced out through heat and pressure. The onion will become sweet, golden, and caramelized when you cook it over low heat for 15 minutes gently stirring... Not too fast! DO NOT RUSH.”
Internally I was laughing just a little because patience is not exactly my strong point. However, I do know that patience in life and in love is key.
The flavors of your partner, for examples -all of his or her different characteristics, nuances, charms, angles, and edges that make them uniquely them- cannot be forced out.
They emerge when an environment of trust, honesty, and openness is created over time. They are discovered when two people join in adventure, enchantment, and playfulness without fear of being vulnerable, naked (both spiritually and physically), and judged over time.
Equivalently, life becomes good when you are patient with yourself; allowing yourself to take risks, to fail, to be imperfect and to develop ever new sides of yourself.
None of us are static beings. Life is never static and the best opportunities are seen when you create the space and time for yourself to allow the flavors of your dish to evolve, become sweet, and dance with the other ingredients.
Ponder on this question: Do you spend your life rushing, pushing, needing to go ever faster? Are you patient with yourself or do you scold yourself easily when things take longer than expected? Do you truly take the time to experience the sweetness of your life?
In the comments below I’d love to hear from you: What is your take away? Which one of these key points is a good reminder for you today?
Here is to SIMPLICITY, QUALITY, AND PATIENCE in your pan and in your life and romance.
PS: I am beyond excited to tell you that The Busy Girl’s 6-Week Plan To Balance & Fulfillment is going into its second round on Sep. 29th.
In this course I will strategically guide you through a lot of the principles discussed in this post, including an in depth discovery of what you truly desire in your life (in work, love, health, and play) and how to make the necessary adjustments in your life so you can create the the romance, purpose, and ease you desire. Check it out here and leave your info in order to get the early bird discount code (you can save $100).
Registration opens next Monday, Sep. 15th.