It is amazingly fun and cool to see signs in my own life. But it really takes on a whole new level, when another person, in this case my husband, also experiences the SAME sign in his life. It becomes harder to deny that SOMETHING metaphysical and also real is happening.
The latest sign started off simply and easily enough. My husband was talking about a recipe he had made from an issue of Bon Appetit magazine. His take on the recipe, a rather elaborate “grilled cheese sandwich”, contained buffalo mozzarella, braised elk, fresh arugula, and caramelized red onions on a toasted white Italian bun. Watching my face contort in ecstasy, he said, “This recipe is simple, but it’s not easy.”
That night, I was laying in bed reading the book “Julie and Julia”. I turned to my husband and said. “You’ll never believe what I just read in this book!” There it was, sitting there in black and white. Simple, but not easy. We were both pleased, thinking back to his sandwich.
The next morning I happened to notice the business book “Small Giants” in the bathroom counter. I noticed my husband had read another quarter of the book, since I last looked. I casually picked up the book and the first sentence that caught my eye was: “Simple it may be, but easy it is not.” He’d obviously read the same page that morning, that I’d just read. The same message again?
“Simple but not easy” was the message received, though I hadn’t intentionally asked for any particular sign this week. However it was an intense week where my husband and I were both talking about and planning our new business ventures should look like. We both saw the message and started to analyze it.
“Simple not easy” seems to encapsulate most genius. My husband’s sandwich was made of simple ingredients, but the thought required to combine all those ingredients together was not arrived at easily. I thought about other genius. Picasso’s paintings may look “simple” but it was only from many years of constantly painting, and experimenting for him to arrive at the place where he could execute his paintings so “simply”. Bach’s musical structures are simple – that is exactly what makes so pleasing to listen to – but that did not mean that it was particularly easy to write.
It is interesting that I was reading “Julie and Julia” about a woman who created a blog about her cooking project to give her meaning, as her job in the real world was devoid of meaning for her. She was able to transition to a whole new career because of it. I am also in the middle of transitioning to a new career which aligns with my true values, and my blog expresses my authenticity. My husband was reading “Small Giants” to figure out how he could be successful, but also remain true to his own values.
While editing the business plan for the restaurant, it occurred to me that what my husband is aiming for with his food, is ultimate simplicity. The taste and presentation of his proposed food aims to highlight the brilliant simplicity of bringing out natural flavours. This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have to ponder what flavours, textures and colors to combine. His ponderings on how to combine ingredients is the hallmark of excellent cooking. Thinking about food, and how to make it is the thing he absolutely loves about cooking. He thrives on the challenge of cooking and the endless pondering about it.
SIMPLE, BUT NOT EASY is a huge message to me about valuing myself. My skills may appear simple on the surface, but not everyone has my abilities. This has been an ongoing struggle in my life, and this message helps direct me back towards the meaning of my life. If something comes to me simply, I don’t value it. I’ve had amazing talents, apparent to my family from my childhood, like singing – true gifts from God – that I didn’t value.
I believed that since my inborn talents came so easily to me, since I didn’t have to “work” for them, I took them for granted. Somehow I had the mistaken thought, that “everybody can do this!”, which I only realized years later was so very false.
My devaluing of my gifts, and my fear in pursuing them as “work” in the big wide world, caused me to discard them. Instead of pursuing my true gifts, I tried to force myself to learn things that the “world” valued more, like being a lawyer, most of which did not come easily to me. In fact, I hated law school and much legal work, as most of it didn’t align with my true values.
I have to remember this important reminder as I go forward in developing my new skills. Just because what I do appears to be simple, it is not necessarily easy. Not everyone can do what I do, and I have to honor and value my ability and my experiences, that enable me to do it.
So I’m committing to valuing my “simple” talents. Hopefully it’s a recipe for genius…..
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Copyright 2010 :: Kara Thompson