In order for me to be totally fulfilled by my work, I need to contribute to something beyond myself. There’s a balance, of course. I need to take care of myself first in order to be able to give to others, but I don’t find true inspiration doing things just for me. I see that even in everyday things like making dinner. If it’s just dinner for me, it usually winds up being some raw vegetables tossed with beans. When I make dinner for someone else, I have a reason to put more effort into making something more involved, like veggie burgers with sweet potato fries and avocado dip.
My work also inspires me to make more interesting meals, because filming and posting recipes is like cooking for someone else. Although it may seem very practical and straightforward, the work I do in creating recipes and meal plans is my way of connecting with people. When you’re able to connect with people who share your values, you can mutually inspire each other. What excites me about my work is not simply sharing recipes. What excites me is that I can contribute to the health and energy of someone else. The pathway I’m using is through healthy food, but my vision is to create positive energy cycles.
Over the years, I’ve learned that when I share my energy, not only do I give someone a boost, but just seeing them get that lift, and knowing that I played some small part in it, energizes me in return.. That’s what I call a positive energy cycle – where the energy just keeps feeding itself and spiraling upward, as opposed to the downward spirals we usually think about. When we share energy with others, it can grow and magnify.
There are usually certain people in your life who feed that energy particularly well. I try to make it a priority to connect with those people often, and to build and maintain a strong connection. That is so much more valuable to me than anything else in my life because it creates the magic in any specific situation. When you have that kind of connection, you can make the most ordinary event – like going for a bike ride – into a special occasion.
As wonderful as some jobs sound, there are always some tasks and days that can get pretty boring. I spend a lot of time on my computer, replying to comments and questions or working on spreadsheets to get the right balance in a meal plan. The light that motivates me to do those tedious parts of my work is that overall vision of contributing more positive energy in the world. The really inspiring part is not only thinking about the people I connect with directly, but all the people they can inspire in their lives. When I look at life in that way, it’s both humbling and empowering. Each one of us has an impact on everyone around us. The important part is how we choose to use that power.
My moments of feeling totally fulfilled from my work come when I get a note from a client or a viewer who says that they’ve started to actually enjoy making (and eating!) healthy food, and that it is inspiring them to enjoy more in their life. Whether they’ve found energy to play with their grandchildren, or appreciate being able to go for a walk in the sunshine, or just a sense of feeling good about themselves because of the nourishment they’re giving themselves for the first time – these are the messages which inspire me to do more in my work and my life.
Too often in our busy lives, we neglect taking care of ourselves. When we remember to nourish ourselves, what tends to happen is that we remember to take care of other aspects of ourselves and our lives. What I’ve noticed is that no matter where someone starts – whether with nutrition or exercise or relationships or activities – the fundamental message is to respect and love oneself.
When you become aware of and remember to respect yourself, that awareness starts to spread into all aspects of your life. It also naturally spreads outward, so you become more aware of the people around you and then more aware of the whole ecosystem of life around all of us. It’s especially rewarding to spread energy outward when you start to see those positive energy cycles boosting you right back.
It can be as simple as smiling at someone when you walk by each other on the street. Do you ever notice how when someone smiles back at you, you feel instantly happy? Even that little connection, that little bit of shared energy, can be so powerful. I love knowing that the more of myself I put out into the world, the more energy and inspiration I can spread and also receive. In a world where we’re becoming more and more aware of the earth’s dwindling resources, it’s so refreshing to focus on an aspect of humanity that has infinite possibilities.