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Friday, November 5, 2010

Have You Ever Tried To Put On A Sari Without A Mirror?

This query, asked by Ayurvedic Cooking goddess Elaine Dodson, stopped me in my tracks. Resplendent in a brilliant flowing sari, she posed this curious question as we headed into the great room of the Double J Hacienda & Art Ranch. Elaine was about to lead another wonderful cooking class during a weekend Ayurvedic Retreat and had just dressed in a room sans a full-length mirror.

“Um…to tell you the truth, I’ve never tried to put on a sari period…under any conditions,” I laughed. To Elaine who has been a devotee of the Krishna Consciousness Movement since the 1970s, has lived in an ashram, cooked for gurus and founded the award-winning Indian restaurant Kalachandji’s, this question was as simple as asking “Have you ever tried putting on mascara without a mirror?”

I keep thinking about her question, and I now realize what I find most fascinating is that to Elaine, she’d asked something fairly run-of-the-mill. But to me, she might as well have asked whether or not I’d ever accidentally hopped into my Lamborghini and driven off when I’d meant to take my Bentley. Her question seemed that far-fetched and exotic. 

Of course, things that are second nature to us may seem unusual and even outrageous to others. My daughter came home from school indignant after some of her friends refused to believe that her grandfather races sport cars. “They just don’t get it, Mom! They say a grandpa can’t be a race-car driver, but they don’t know my Grandaddy!”

For me, simply spending time with people like Elaine and my dad is inspiring. Believe me, I have no hidden desire to become the personal chef to an Indian Swami nor do I wish to race cars at speeds topping 100-miles-per-hour ­­– but I’m all about hanging out with people who do!

I have a friend, Dawn, who traveled to Africa on a mission trip a couple of years ago that changed her life. She can’t wait to get back there, but in the mean time she writes an amazing blog called Bringing Dinner Back which shares information about Africa in conjunction with the importance of bring her family together at the dinner table at least once a day. She also helps a group that runs a small orphanage called Congo Restoration, moved to action by her experiences in Africa.

Will I ever be brave enough or selfless enough to take a trip like that? I admit I have a tough time visualizing it, but just knowing Dawn and reading her heartfelt and intelligent insights, I’m moved to learn more about other cultures, to stop taking my own blessed life for granted and moved to make a difference when I can.

In Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching, exposure ranks as one of the most popular techniques we share for finding inspiration when you’re feeling stuck. Being exposed to the creative passions of others (be it cooking or racing or traveling) can sometimes be just the spark you need to ignite your own creative fire.

Who lights your creative fire? 
Here's a big thanks to all those who do!