I believe we all love to receive a compliment. It’s a kind and generous word from one person to another, straight from the heart, as a beautiful gift given without expectation.
Often it also brings something to your awareness about yourself, your appearance or talent that you hadn’t noticed and even started to take for granted.
I love receiving a compliment much like most people, I always try to welcome it with an open heart and open arms. A compliment I usually receive is for the way I decorate my dinner table at my events. Receiving the same compliment over and over again started to make me wonder what it was that guests and friends loved so much about my table. The items I would use to dress up my table were just simple things I had around the house and garden, some herbs, vegetables, flowers, “surely these are all things everyone has around their house”, I thought to myself. I started digging a bit deeper and realised that it was a habit I had picked up from a young age. For others it was a talent and skill but in my mind I had taken it for granted.
At our house it had been normal to make a special occasion out of every dinner and so I had grown up believing this was something everyone did.
Growing up we had a financially very poor upbringing, but what we lacked in money my mum had always made sure to make up for in love and abundance in other areas. She saw food and eating as one of the biggest blessings of life, and so she made sure she celebrated this with her family and her friends as best as she could.
The lack of money forced her to become very creative and taught her how to reinvent different dishes using the same ingredients over and over again, and how to present the dishes in a different way.
Being the youngest of the family, and an unexpected surprise from God, my mum & sisters didn’t pay much attention to me or let me be part of the food preparations at our home. This was a blessing in disguise as I later realised, as it gifted me the time to observe and learn from them.
Like a very well oiled machine they would each have their own responsibility in the kitchen, taking their task very seriously, and moving through the motions with incredible speed. The final part of the preparations involved preparing the table, this was the part that fascinated me enormously. This was where they would regain a sense of calm and grace, a chance to celebrate that dinner was going to be served soon and preparing the table for the feast that was to come.
It’s a moment of complete silence of the mind, a moment of meditation. Being fully aware of what I am doing yet not letting it be led by my mind.
Sometimes I add some music to the mix to get me into the mood, sometimes I enjoy complete silence. It’s a moment of pure bliss of not letting my mind wander off into the the items on my to-do list.
To anyone that compliments me on my table decor I will give the same reply; please try this yourself at your home.
You don’t even need to have guests coming round to make the effort, simply having a dinner by yourself is a good enough reason to show some love to both yourself and the food you are about to eat.
If we don’t learn to celebrate the little moments, then what good will come from celebrating the big ones.
So I hope to inspire you all to try this for yourself, for the next party you’re having, for the next dinner you cook yourself, just give it a try and take that next step to source your props from around your home and kitchen.
Celebrate your life, celebrate your food, and celebrate the people you enjoy your food with!