What is right in front of you?

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am pretty darn happy about how much I have been progressing in my ability to cook and keep K and myself (and anyone else who stumbles into our home) well-fed over the past few years.  My love of food and cooking can border on the obsessive, but I try to keep it within bounds, and to remember that there are many other things to be interested and to do besides concoct a meal.

I love cooking for many (obvious) reasons, but especially for the teaching it provides.  "Learning to cook" is one thing, but the process of finding ingredients, putting them together, and adding little touches is a true teaching.  It is filled with lessons about life, nature, love, family, giving.  And it is full of decisions.  Having to face those small decisions over and over again forces me to continually return to one of the mantras I offer my clients, no matter what the issue: What is right in front of you?

When you are facing a problem in life, it is easy to become stressed, frazzled, and unfocused.

Choose instead to look and see, What is right in front of you?

Problems ask for solutions.  Stress creates a sense of overwhelm and desperation, which somehow causes our near-vision to become blurry.  Have you noticed this?  Have you noticed how hard it becomes to see...

What is right in front of you? 

Life offers us a tune, a music, a mystery that we cannot completely know.  When we get caught up in finding answers outside of ourselves, outside of the moment, stress ensues.  Stress ensues because we feel untethered from life, lost in our own minds, where any solution offered has no real connection to the moment at hand.

When you take a breath and try to look at what is right in front of you, you find many interesting things, and solutions that you could not have imagined.

Maybe what is right in front of you in a moment of impossible frustration is not to storm out, but instead to give someone a hug, and then to touch their face, and then to look them in the eyes, and then to say, "I'm sorry I said that."

Maybe what is right in front of you in a moment of despair is to have a glass of water, and then to go outside, and then to turn your face to the sun, and then to smile.

As I write this, a beautiful Friday Portland-Summer evening--gloriously sunny, exquisite--awaits. 

What is right in front of you right now?