A Recipe for Perspective

September 30, 2014 by  
Filed under current, Guest Space, Wisdom Space

I am so very thrilled today to introduce you to Natalie Peluso – the Hungry Soprano. More about Natalie below.

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Let’s decide one rainy day you decide to bake a cake.

Will it be nourishing or decadent? Frugal and simple or full to the brim with sugary naughtiness? Will you improvise with what you have or follow a recipe to the dot? I suppose you might choose an icing or a ganache, or simply eat it straight from the tin because why not?

So many ingredients, so many choices, so many cakes! But in the face of all of these choices, we turn to a recipe because it shows us the way.

The dilemma is that our lives are full of recipes. We’re surrounded by them. Everywhere we turn, ingredients are thrown together to create the most sublime things. A warm coat, a lush concerto, a home to live in or an excellent cup of hot coffee. There are recipes too that produce gut-wracking anguish, or pain so well memorized it becomes generational DNA.

This is the kitchen of life and we love recipes because they give us certainty. A map. Someone else has led the way so we might follow. But how else does the comfort of a recipe come together without the leading edge of risk?

After all, someone has to be the first to try it out. The first to be curious and experiment and not give a damn whether it works or not. And this is challenging because most people would rather play it safe with a recipe, not just in the kitchen but for everything in their lives – their relationships, their careers, their creativity – than risk improvising and having major cake failure all over themselves.

Perhaps it started when we were small, gleefully holding up our limp finger paintings only to be told we were dripping all over the floor and making a mess. Or when we were told our speech at school was a mumbled mess as if the poem itself wasn’t beautiful enough. Or that time we unleashed our favourite song only to be told our voice was dreadful.

This uncomfortable connection between the art of creating and the approval of other people is what keeps us stuck. We stick to the recipes that make us feel safe. We keep our heads down, second-guessing ourselves over and over in a comparison rampage that ravages our confidence and numbs the fingers of our playful inner-child.

How much of that can we endure before the creator inside – the one who wants to write the recipes – gives up and just follows the herd?

To bring your inner chef back to life, I want to share a thought experiment made in the 1900s by the philosopher Bertrand Russell.

In the centre of a room stands a chair. Around the chair, in a circle, stand 20 people. Each person is looking at the chair, and drawing a picture of what they see.

Are the drawings the same? No, because they each see their own ‘perspective’ of the chair – from 20 different angles, some even from above if they’re taller.

Are all of these perspectives accurate? Yes. But which one of them is the chair?

In that moment, none of them. Because what they see are simply representations of the chair, not the actual chair. They see a perspective – a shadow, an echo of the chair – not the physical reality of the chair itself.

And this is true of everything we see. Look around you now, and you see a world created entirely from your perception. Even a rainbow cannot exist without your unique perspective conjuring it out of light and water.

So if perspective is unavoidable – even magically necessary – then with that comes peace and permission to let your inner creator loose.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to discover the truth of who you are by asking the people around you. They’re only judging your reflection, after all. Would you judge a symphony by the echo left behind?

Instead, gather up the ingredients of life and throw them together with abandon. Put aside the recipe book. Show up in the centre of that circle with an apron at the ready and a willingness to make a mess and lick your fingers. Forget about the approval of critics or the gate keeper’s permission. You never needed it.

Because you my friend, are the result of the most mysterious, magical and powerful recipe ever imagined. And that is the only perspective you need.

About Our Guest Contributor

Natalie PelusoNatalie Peluso is tiny firecracker on a mission to inspire you to detox your inner diva, sing your heart out and make the world your stage. An internationally-successful opera singer, voice liberator, passionate health devotee and mother of four, Natalie knows the secrets to finding the energy you need to shine! You can find her sharing healthy recipes to nourish your stage presence on her YouTube cooking show The Hungry Soprano and empowering women to find their voices at NataliePeluso.com.

Comments

2 Responses to “A Recipe for Perspective”
  1. What a wonderful article, Natalie! You’re so right when you say that everyone sees everything from their own perspective – and no perspective is the “right” one. I have noticed recently that I’ve allowed myself to get stuck with recipes, so to speak – reading about brave intuitive painting and thinking: I don’t understand – how do you do this? Such a safe, left-brain approach!
    “Show up in the centre of that circle with an apron at the ready and a willingness to make a mess and lick your fingers” is such brilliant advice! It’s in allowing ourselves to make the mess that we learn to unhook ourselves from the rules and be truly creative!

    • Yes Julia! You’ve touched on how we look to the success of other people in their fields and want to know how they did it – their ‘recipe’. And getting that glimpse into another’s process can be hugely rewarding, sparking off ideas and insights. The challenge is not to be seduced into thinking one must follow another’s recipe for success (or creativity, or whatever) as a rigid set of immutable steps. That is a roadblock for any creative thinking right there. Improvisation in theatre is a great example – the minute an actor decides how a scene ‘should’ play out, the minute the scene begins to die. Staying open to changes of direction, saying “Yes! And…” and being flexible to adjust the ingredients to suit… that’s super fuel for creativity. :)

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