Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay, Public Domain

Source: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay, Public Domain

A client today had long felt that he should apply to a graduate program in international studies but failed to pull the trigger. He said that between our previous session and now, he finally figured out why.

He said that he needed to do something more concrete before pursuing that more theory-centric path. He had long admired how Jack London and John Steinbeck had done so. To that end, he, with relief, announced that, without procrastinating, he has applied to a program in winemaking. When I asked him to expand on how he arrived at that, he explained by describing how he came to make elk stroganoff last week.

It took a while for him to come up with the elk stroganoff project but after that, because he has cooking skills, creating it wasn’t difficult. Importantly, having come up with the concept, he walked the earth amplified: thinking and doing, for example, foraging for ingredients: fennel, parsley, eight kinds of mushrooms that he found in a forest with the help of a friend who is knowledgeable about mushrooms. As a social person, my client invited him and his girlfriend to dinner where he unveiled the stroganoff, enhanced by a glass of wine.

His having amplified food preparation, what could have been a mundanity, has grown his appreciation of things we take for granted, for example, the massive artistic and technical prowess that enables all of us to experience the Beatles’ White album for free 24/7 simply by googling “White Album.”  More broadly, he finds that walking through life foraging for things to be grateful for, for projects to pursue and ingredients for their implementation enables him to live more richly, even spiritually, and to push aside his personal demons.

Embedded lessons

Are you living life sufficiently with your antenna out for projects that would enrich your work and/or personal life?

Alexis_Fotos, Pixabay, Public Domain

Source: Alexis_Fotos, Pixabay, Public Domain

Have you sufficiently considered tweaking an existing “dish” and making it your own? (elk rather than beef stroganoff.) It’s much easier to build on the shoulders of giants (Beef stroganoff is a regal dish with much history) or even on mere mortals’ shoulders.

Consider the sensory. Readers of Psychology Today tend to focus on the abstract. Your life may be enriched by foraging through what we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste.

Are you living life sufficiently with your antenna out for ingredients for completing such projects? That can amplify the importance of everything you do, making even the quotidian feel more consequential.

Have you acquired sufficient skills to be able to complete your projects, perhaps with help from people, live or recorded in text or video?

Are you living with sufficient gratitude for the small and not-so-small wonders we take for granted? Such things, like the White Album on YouTube, may be among the best that life has to offer.

Broadly speaking, are you pleased with your life’s current “dishes?” If not, what, if anything, do you want to do differently?

I read this aloud on YouTube.

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