Do you believe in being in the right place at the right time? Do you believe that your success is dependent upon ‘who you know?’
This week I had a conversation with a friend discussing those very questions. We were recognizing the success of another acquaintance that seemingly came out of nowhere. Did all of his actions get him closer to his big break or did he randomly meet someone that offered him a ticket to the top of the ladder?
I believe that everyone we meet holds a ticket. There are opportunities and experiences embedded in all of us that can advance someone else. And I believe that every single one of our actions and inactions gets us closer and closer to being in the right place at the right time. And where is that place? It is right here. Right now.
Our futures are dependent on every moment of our now and on every single person with whom we come in contact. Now that adds up to a heck of a lot of moments and a heck of a lot of people and may sound exhausting to be that alert. I’m not saying that we need to keep track of all of those people and all of those minutes on our personal clocks. That is impossible. What is possible? Keeping track of ourselves. Our dreams won’t recognize us when they show up unless we are being who we are meant to be.
I think it goes beyond being on our best behavior so we’ll be ready when that thing or that person presents itself to advance our dreams coming to fruition. Are we living our truest behavior, being our truest selves? Are we ready for our dreams to come true? And more importantly, are we really clear on what we are dreaming? Those are the questions I work on as I polish and prune my NOW to get me to my future.
I have some defining moments in my life where I was being my truest self and I met some of my special ticket holders. They are the people that believed in me that helped shape me into who I am today. They are the family tree of my dreams. I had a music teacher when I was young who opened my eyes to the idea of being a performer. She was the first person who actually encouraged my uniqueness and made me realize that the gifts I had to offer were like no one else’s. That time in my life led me to audition for a Performing Arts Conservatory where I met a professor who saw something in me that was invisible to students and teachers alike for nearly the whole 4 years I was there. He kept my candle lit so I could still see the path to my goals. Once I got to New York, I was on a tour with an actor who went on to become an animation director and he planted the seeds of me having a career as a voice over artist. With his friendship and guidance, I water those seeds and I treasure every opportunity I have behind a microphone. And then 14 years ago I was working in the home of a very famous entertainer and I met his chef. That chef opened up his kitchen and his arms of friendship to me and is largely responsible for the cook I am today. Thank you Mrs. Harrison, Byron, Darren, and Andy for championing me all of these years.
It’s a short list I have shared with you, the arms of my family tree. There are many more flowering branches and roots and leaves that are responsible for my NOW, but those are my highlights. Who is on your tree? Are you being your truest self so your dreams will recognize you when they show up?
These beautiful trees are the work of my dear friend Gene Manuel. Since I first met him I have had a deep connection to his trees and have commissioned them as gifts as well as adding to my own collection. He has generously offered up a print of a very special Tree of All Good Things to one of you readers as he did with the butterflies in The Big Thaw post. If you would like to have a chance to win your very own piece of Whirling Art, please leave a comment and share something about someone in your family tree; someone who has inspired you or helped you along the way. I will number the comments and draw a winner at the end of the week and mail it out to you. Leave your email so I can contact the winner. Thank you Gene!
When I first learned to make risotto, I was told it was a labor of love because of the effort that goes into the stirring. My chef friend, Andy, introduced me to carrot risotto and I will be making it all Spring. It is truly sunshine on a plate.
- 5 cups fresh carrot juice
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot or 1/2 of a red onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup diced carrot, roasted or steamed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper
- In a medium saucepan, bring the carrot juice and stock to a simmer; keep warm.
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot/onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is fully coated with the oil, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the carrot juice mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and adding more liquid once it has been absorbed, about 20 minutes total; the rice should be al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce. Add the carrots, cheese, and butter, season with salt and pepper and stir until creamy.
- Be very proud of your 20 minutes of continual stirring. Enjoy!