Mar 10, 2009

Brussel Sprouts

You can fry them, sauté them, blacken, batter dip, or marinade, but
there's no mistaking the horrific taste of the brussel sprout.
Yesterday I was assigned the thoroughly unpleasant task of preparing the little sour balls for lunch.

Whenever I share my revulsion with my brussel sprout loving friends
(almost an oxymoron) I inevitably get the "Have you ever had them _____ ?" line. The answer is always "Yes, I have" and "Yes, I still hate them." I'm amazed that my mother never made us eat them, she was so big on other culinary attrocities like calves liver or brewer's yeast orange juice "shakes".

Anyway, people here at Esalen eat the nasty greenies like crazy. Yes, I do want to be of more service to the world, just don't breathe on me after I've served them to you.

I've never believed that the universe gives you exactly what you need when you need it, but I have to say that after a month here I am starting to give the idea more credence. With the exception of this month and part of my time in Viet Nam, I've always wondered if I'm on the best possible path. I spend enormous time and energy researching all potential choices, weighing the pros and cons of each. Once I've made a decision I then have to deal with the insecurities and anxiousness that comes from wondering whether my chosen path is in fact the best one.

An alternative is to just choose one, then be quiet and open enough to receive the learning from whatever happens along the way. Case in point are two people with whom I had close contact the past three weeks, both of whom are substance abusers. One of the issues in my life that I've come here to work on is my lack of discipline. Professionally and personally I often succumb to the temptation of the moment instead of choosing the initially less gratifying path that is ultimately more supportive of me living up to my full potential. It's
not substance abuse, but I recognized the same feeling of avoidance with these two people as I feel when I choose to surf internet porn instead of promoting my work.

These two people were squarely in my face, almost as if ordered up by my healing shaman spirits, except of course that I don't believe in spirits. In addition to my sadness for their condition, I was deeply disturbed by the parts of myself i saw in both of them. Both people are bright, compassionate, talented and loving. Both are also wasting their life's potential. I tried to tell them that, but both were too far gone to listen. If I view my encounters under my old way of thinking, I would consider myself unlucky to have my time here so disturbed. Instead I'm grateful for how the encounter has allowed me to see myself. I now wonder if I have the courage and the strength to use what I saw to help me realize my full potential. I hope so. Just as long as a fully realized life still allows for a healthy avoidance of brussel sprouts.


Linda said...

are you talking about me as one of the substance abusers sparky? are you too afraid to just spell out my name "LYNDA"?

Christopher Stribley said...

I totally share your revulsion for Brussel Sprouts! They are utterly vile. Love the pic though. You look great!