Nigella has managed to discover the magic that comes with combining her passion with her mission, vocation and profession. It has enabled her to live her life purposefully and to enjoy the abundance which comes with having these aspects in alignment. She has developed a knack for transporting others into her world of sensory experiences and of sharing the joy these bring to her. This I think is her secret sauce recipe:
Nigella has trusted her instinct, allowed her passion to shine through and pursued that which she loves. Even without any formal training she has developed her culinary skills organically, following the desire to express herself creatively through food. She mentioned telling the “experts” that she’s “too old to be told what to do”. Remaining authentic and true to herself, she has managed not to compromise her own inner guidance. Following her own rule of “it has to feel right to do it” in making decisions seems to have worked for her. “You never make good decisions from a bad place” are also good words to go by as is her advice to be prepared for failure along the way. It is not always going to be an easy path, but the main thing is to learn, grow stronger and keep going in the direction of your instinct.
2. Profession: Find that which you are good at.
For Nigella it is not just about taking care of the basic human need to eat, or carrying out a necessary chore at home. She is all about sharing the full sensory experience, insisting that every crunch and sizzle is captured for her TV show audiences, and that colour, texture, smell and taste is conveyed in a very sensual way. Similarly her books reflect the essence of Nigella in every way, from insisting on the warmer brown font rather than the harsh black, to meticulously reproducing the exact colours of her kitchen and home on her book cover, as they both energise and calm her. Nigella is able to transport her audience into her world, home and personal space and to share with us some of the joys and sensory experiences that cooking brings to her, along the way. We feel that we are right beside her.
3. Mission: Find that which the world needs.Don’t we all need some inspiration to make the preparation and enjoyment of food an uplifting and enjoyable experience rather than thinking of it as a tedious chore which keeps having to be repeated, day after day?
I don’t know about you, but after a long, hard day at work, cooking for me would be the last thing I would think of as providing a calming and relaxing recharge. Nigella experiences it very differently! It is nice to see this reframed and to be able to experience it through her senses. The world needs more people who are lit up from within to embody what’s possible when you follow your own path.
4. Vocation: Find that which you can be paid for.
Judging by the long winding queues and the number of books that were snapped up, and later repeated on the rest of her Aussie Tour, this element also seems to be working for Nigella. We all want some of what Nigella is having, or at least to experience the joys of cooking through her senses while enjoying the contagion effect that her energy has on people!
But my biggest take-away wasn’t really about cooking, or Nigella’s Cookbook. We all have our own unique preferences, strengths and passions which have the potential to light us up from the inside and to radiate out if we live our own lives purposefully. There is an energy about Nigella and others who live a purposeful and aligned life which draws people in, the contagion spreads. The biggest take-away for me was to see this alignment of strengths and purpose embodied in Nigella. She allows others to experience the subject of her passions more vibrantly and to see greater possibilities.
What might have happened if Nigella didn’t follow her instinct?
What ignites one person may be soul-destroying for another. What works in one environment may be misplaced and undervalued in another. We are all individuals who need to find our own ways. I hadn’t really given it much thought until now, but I wonder what life would have been like for Nigella if she didn’t have the trust or ability to follow her instinct and to remain authentic and true to herself. Let’s say she drifted into a career where she wasn’t free to be inspired and creative in her approach and felt somehow stuck and unable to express the fire within her. How would she have fared in an environment where new ideas and change were not encouraged and where hard facts, data and the meeting of rigid status-quo goals were valued and recognised while her free-spirited approach was frowned on? She may have felt like a bit of a misfit, feeling misunderstood and unappreciated or may even have considered herself a failure in an environment in which she could not thrive by being her authentic self.
It is hard to imagine Nigella in such a compromising situation, but unfortunately many people do end up in careers that don’t fit and often don’t have the courage to do something about it at all, or until late in their lives. I would say to them, take a leaf out of Nigella’s book and see what’s possible for you. Look deep inside, discover and re-connect with your best self, look for the possibilities, take control of your life and design ways to achieve the more rewarding and fulfilling destiny you were meant to have. You may have been living life in black and white without realising it. Take a leap and enjoy the full sensory experience. Open up your senses to every sizzle, crunch, aroma and vibrant colour that is waiting to be discovered. Find out what those uplifting experiences might be for you if you achieve alignment with your own purpose.