Have you ever attended a celebration or gathering where all of your favorite foods and treats are displayed? It is as if each dish is calling your name, and your mouth waters as you imagine how amazing it will be to taste them all. It’s all so tempting that you proceed to fill your plate with a little of everything in sight. As you go to sit down, you realize your plate is heaping. With all the dishes mixing together, each item has lost a little bit of its luster. Enjoying each bite becomes a chore as you tackle the plate of food like it’s a mission to get to everything before you feel too full. You end up feeling sick and lethargic, vowing to never do it again.
I have absolutely done this many times and it got me thinking about the options we have and the actions we take. We are presented with so many choices every day and when we are in times of transition and change, our options and paths can multiply before our eyes. Starting each day by filling our plate with each thing that comes along often results in an overflowing plate and leaves us bloated with tasks and commitments while still taking on more. We become servants to clearing our plate without enjoying and savoring the portions that fuel us.
Alternatively, we can pause at the beginning of the day with our clean plate and imagine our balanced meal before us. This includes clear portions of each meaningful and nourishing dish in our lives. There is space between each portion and you are relaxed and energized as you see what lays before you. Because we are clear on where to focus our energy and attention, we move through our day with ease and are fulfilled with what we accomplish. While we dive in and consume the dishes that seem enticing and exciting, they often aren’t the dishes we need on our plate to nourish us. We must gracefully notice and acknowledge all the dishes on the buffet table while directing our attention to filling our plates with what we know nourishes us.
Every day we are faced with choices and decisions, big and small. If we aren’t clear on what is most important, then we can find ourselves in a buzzing, busy mode, constantly in a state of execution without purpose. We have the power to fill our plate with what nourishes us and to focus our attention on that.
Remember what makes up your nourishing plate not only each day but also as you make career, life and everyday decisions. It will serve you and guide you when the buffet before you is overwhelming.