The beginning; the best place to start.
Today, I wrestled with the most frustrating (conceptual) opponent; simplicity. It is the Jackie Chan of nouns – turning an elaborate choreography of ideas into something so remarkably, comically effortless. All with a ponytail and broken English.
For I was reminded that the main challenge in learning ‘how to be healthy’ is not knowing your facts, but being able to harness them, distill them into an achievable goal.
The biggest, most ball-bustingly inconvenient part of it all? The more you ‘know’, the harder it is to slash through the thicket of all that scrubby, thorny information. It’s easy to become lost and disoriented if your healthy hedge has overgrown – you lose sight of the homestead (and the end of the increasingly irrelevant metaphor).
So today, as I pondered the best way to take alllllllll this information, nutrition knowledge and 10 000 ways to use coconut oil…how to smush it all together and dish up something vaguely appetising…this inspirational lady suddenly came to mind:
Everybody deserves a bit of cheesy musical whimsy in their life. And who hasn’t torn down the living room curtains and fashioned themselves a fetching drape-ensemble, Mum coming home to find naked windows and her daughter declaring she wants to become a guitar-weilding nun…? Who hasn’t, indeed.
Yes, Maria certainly imparted a plethora of punchy life-lessons.
The one to which I refer today is a favourite. As a prelude to all the Doe, Ray, Meeeee-ing, Maria reminds her wide-eyed, Austrian charges that it’s always best to start at the beginning. It’s a very good place to start!
It is such sound advice, for when we traverse the depths of our chosen interest, we sometimes forget which way is up. Even more tricky is passing that information on; teaching others. Where to begin? How to implant that knowledge into the brains of your students, clients, family or friends in a way that is retainable? Sensical.
Truth is, it’s not up to us to ‘implant’ – that’s kinda creepy and George Orwell-ish. A better way is to help others find the starting point. Leading gently; guiding them to the beginning, a beginning, their beginning, and letting things unfold.
Same goes for us, as we stack an increasingly precarious pile of information high in our minds. It can feel like we’ve read so much, like every dietary philosophy is so soundly backed by science and sense that choosing just one torments and confounds us. Once again, start at the beginning. Cement the basics. Go with what you know to be personally true and work from there. The beginning – don’t forget its fundamental importance.
I could go on (as always – it’s a problem), but that’s all I really wanted to put out there today. The wisdom of simplicity once again challenges and liberates us.
How do you cope with information overload? How do you keep it real & simple? What are your Doe, Ray, Me’s of nutrition?