This post was written by guest blogger Sylvia Lovely, a Lexington restauranteur, radio show host, author, speaker and teacher for our upcoming workshop based on this blog, happening September 4th.
The word “overwhelmed” comes to mind as that which best describes life in the mid-21st century. In particular, we struggle to balance the need to be “on” at all hours of the day – both in work and in our personal lives. The noise of constant electronic contact, social media, information bombardment, and relentless change leaves us feeling like one of those wacky inflatable, arm-flailing tube figures waving you in for everything from a used car to the latest cell phone deal. Our lives are characterized by coconuts, which normally nourish in good times, but become flying missiles in high winds. How to calm the winds?
Specifically, for most of us, there is a growing need to balance the demands of the workplace and our personal lives. But, even those without that tension seek relief from a bewildering universe. We seek to integrate the various parts of our lives so as not to sacrifice the human need to feel productive and fulfilled in all those pieces and parts. We look to others as the Oracles to provide the solution. But, as the airline adage goes, “Put your own mask on first…” – alas, the Oracle lies within each of us to find a path to the integration of the pieces of our lives and the balance we so crave.
A sign that more of us than ever before are understanding our own crucial role in dodging flying coconuts and recovering from bewilderment and the disease of “overwhelmed” lies in our relationship to food. Even as part-owner of Azur Restaurant Group, co-host of Food News and Chews Radio (WVLK 590), and a devoted fan of Good Foods Co-op, I am not noted for my culinary skills. I am, however, a devoted fan of the power of food. Food nourishes us, makes us happy and serves as the ultimate convener of community. It speaks the universal language. We all have to eat.
I note that while fad diets still spawn bestselling books, the message of self-knowledge and self-enforcement is coming through loud and clear. You eat too much, you gain weight; you eat the wrong foods and devastating diseases can result, you make mealtime a happy time and your outlook on life improves.
Increasingly, we are taught to eat slowly and deliberately and that every input into our bodies results in an output, either good or bad. The same goes for our spiritual growth and ability to cope – our resilience factor. There is no perfect answer just as good food is not going to completely and always shield you from disease. The trick is to understand better what makes you be you and how to utilize techniques that can set you in the right direction according to your values and needs. Again, input equals output.
Though you may veer off the path from time to time, your resilience is like a round bottom doll – it will upright itself it is has a solid foundation built by you. By developing that strong sense of direction in your life, you develop a shield of protection from the flying coconuts. The four P steps are these:
-Integrating PURPOSEFUL actions into everyday living;
-Becoming PREPARED for the world of today and tomorrow without fear;
-Deliberately and mindfully PLANNING each day through proven and innovative techniques that can be adapted for each lifestyle and need;
-Finally, to develop the PERSPECTIVE and wisdom to confront choices and make sound decisions.
Learn how not to dread each day of overwhelming choices between that report due tomorrow and an eight-year old’s baseball game tonight – indeed learn how to understand in advance the moves you must slowly and deliberately make to arrive at resilience. Make the commitment to becoming the Oracle of your own life.
Sylvia Lovely has a passion for helping others find the sweet spot in their lives. She has developed Dodging Coconuts and her four P’s as a template that contemplates that in good times, coconuts nourish, but in high winds, they become flying missiles of destruction. “That we are overwhelmed with life in the mid-21st century is an understatement. In a world of social media, people empowered to speak their minds in whatever way possible, and technology and gadgets that control us as even as we embrace them in hopes of greater efficiency and effectiveness, it’s easy to get lost,” says Sylvia. She has dedicated herself to sorting through the noise to get to the heart of what matters in life and is excited to share her methods for finding peace and balance. We hope you can join her for her first “Dodging Coconuts” seminar at the Co-op on September 4th. In addition to being an author, speaker and teacher, Sylvia is one of four owners of Azur Food Group and a co-host along with Chef Jeremy Ashby and well known Tony “Twitch” Longo of Z-Rock 103.3 on Food News and Chews Radio airing from 1-2 pm every Saturday on WVLK 590.