If your dream had a smell, what would it be?
Think of your ultimate vision for your life. A life of pure joy. Now using all your senses, what fragrance can you call up to go along with what you see? What taste? What colors?
If people could smell a corporate culture, I wonder...what would Microsoft smell like? the Trump organization? How about Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream or....Starbucks?
I know, it's not fair; the latter two examples are of food companies, so it's easy for them to evoke a smell in our minds. But I'm actually serious here, I think we (individuals, artists, dreamers and big companies) overlook our senses a lot in our pursuit of joy and meaning...would you agree?
In the course of your day, do you notice your sense of smell? How does today smell to you, for example? Like your favorite bouquet of flowers or has it been a dank-alleyway-near-the-fish-market kind of day? We all have those.
For me, the smell of my business when it's going well, and the smell of joy, is somehow tied to lemons. That's a regular everyday kind of smell that I associate with my work. And it's the smell I hope subtly, and not so subtly (as when I write about it like this) gets communicated when someone visits my website or reads one of my books.
Tangy, thoughtful, awake and energized.
On a really great day, or when I'm blissed out and basking in the bloom of full creative flow, lemons get bumped up to peaches...but lemon is still in the background. Yum.
Here's my favorite Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe based on one from Ina Gartner, the Barefoot Contessa. It's easy, good for you and delicious. Exactly the way I want my life and my business to be.
Andrea's Favorite Lemon Yogurt Cake
1 and 1/2 cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt
In a separate bowl mix:
3 eggs, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla and the zest of 1 lemon and 2 teaspoons juice from the lemon. This makes it really lemony.
Then add the dry mixture to the wet mixture until just mixed (not too much.) Add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and blend together.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden. A loaf pan is best but I like it when Mike makes it in a round bundt tin too. It stays really nice and moist through the week - perfect for lunch in the middle of a lemony day.
Recommended: A trip to the favorite sections in your most glorious grocery store or market. Leave your grocery list alone for a moment and let your senses be your guide.
Ask: What attracts you? Where do you find yourself most wanting to linger?
After you leave, how might you recreate the energy you feel when connected to your sense of smell?