Lessons From Late Night Kraft Dinner
As I approach the threshold of my 52nd birthday, I have been thinking a lot about inspiration. I have found myself to be very reflective, taking stock of different aspects of my life to recalibrate and reconnect with what is most meaningful. It seems that this process of taking stock is necessary for me to move into the second half of my life with more ease, clarity, and purpose. This process is manifesting itself in many ways. One way it is showing up is to re-evaluate how I work so I can be 100% for my children as they enter their teen years. As a result, I am being invited to get clear about what I do and offer. This in turn is inviting me to define what I have done organically with clients for the last 23 years and start to articulate what Soul Designing (note 1) means. This includes defining what the process is, what is on offer and exploring how to help people engage in their own process of soul designing.
As I have been reflecting and recalibrating, I have organically found myself back at some of the pivotal moments and experiences of my life that emerged when I did my first SoulPrint (note 2) process 22 years ago. What I am noticing is that some of the moments, experiences and people that have been a source of inspiration in the first half of my life, don’t hold the same sense, energy or “buzz” that they once did. Yet, one person, one story, one memory continues to hold up and invites me to evolve even more.
This is where the lessons from late-night KD come in. Several years ago, during my last adventures in life housekeeping when I did my SoulPrint (then entitled BluePrint), one significant memory stood out as a manifestation of my “You Matter” Pillar of Purpose (note 3). This is one Pillar of Purpose that represents how important it is for me to show people they matter in multitudes of different ways. When I realized that “You Matter” was an integral part of my SoulPrint, I set myself on a mission to recreate the memory that encapsulated the whole experience for me. The scene I had in my mind was of a box of Kraft Dinner, in a pot on a gas stove with just a dim yellow stove light illuminating it in the darkness. My mission was to acquire exactly that right pot, a gas stove and a box of Kraft Dinner so I could recreate the memory to the best of my ability.
I have this image framed, on my desk in my office because it reminds me of who I want to be with others, at all times. This picture reminds me daily that I aspire to be someone who puts Kraft Dinner on the stove for others.
The story behind the image goes like this. Some of you may have heard me talk of this at one time or another. In my early twenties, I lived on my own with friends, in Kelowna, BC, worked at the Keg and went to college/university. It was a time of exploration, learning to live responsibly, meet deadlines while embracing a whole lot of newfound freedom. I find myself affectionately referring to this time as my “bar dazes” – not overly proud of this and had so much fun. It was late-night adventures with my friend that would bring us home to her mom’s place at 2:30 am. We were giddy and we were hungry. It always would surprise and delight me to see that KD on the stove. You see, my friend’s mom, Iona, knew that we would come home late and be hungry. She would always have a box of Kraft Dinner waiting for us in a certain pot on the stove with the rangehood light on. Here is the part that used to leave me baffled and caught my attention. What twenty-one-year-old person can come home after a night of dancing, make food and be quiet? Iona had a cozy warm home with her bedroom right off the kitchen. What struck me is that the KD on the stove was like an invitation to wake her up, even though, of course, we did all we could to be as quiet as possible. Without her ever saying it, I had a sense that she wanted us to be there, she wanted to know that we were home safe. Time and time again, we would come home and there was the KD glowing on the stove like a warm beacon of love. This broke all the rules in my mind. It was my experience that if you were out too late, don’t bother coming home. If you came home, you better not wake anyone up. If you were hungry, too bad. Without realizing it, right there and then, I decided that I wanted to be like Iona, I wanted to be someone who put KD on the stove for others. I wanted to be someone who was accepting, loving, caring, generous and safe for others to show up and be themselves with no matter what.
It feels essential for me to reflect on my late-night KD lesson because I have a sense that it will continue to inspire, guide and help me grow into the second half of my life in meaningful ways. It also allows Iona’s presence in my life, as my best friend’s mom, to continue to have meaning even though she passed many years ago.
In the spirit of my late-night lessons from KD on the stove, I invite you to do a scan of your life, your memories, your significant moments and/or people:
Who inspires you?
What inspires you?
What are your Kraft Dinner-inspired moments?
When might someone have indirectly guided you to become the best version of yourself without them even knowing it?
What is important about being inspired in this or these ways at this time?