I am passionate about artichokes.
I mean, I L-O-V-E them.
They are my jam.
And though I scarcely indulge in their deliciousness, when I do, it is a process.
Firstly, I prepare my dipping sauce, a careful concoction of garlic, lemon, butter and salt.
Then I choose my first victim: the smallest, toughest leaf, closest to the base.
This is never my favorite bite.
Some might even deem this fibrous foliage inedible.
Nonetheless, for me they form part of the ceremony.
From there, the leaves grow in meaty abundance and I drag my teeth along the base of every last fleshy one, savoring the journey towards the best part: the heart
But as I close in on the middle, my anxiety turns on its super powers.
The closer I come to the heart, the less appealing the leaves start to look.
They lack the meaty texture of their beefier counterparts.
They seem to cling to each other like insecure school girls.
Suddenly, the desire to arrive becomes more and more urgent.
The buttery epicenter is calling my name and I find myself wanting to rush through the final layers, to speed up the process, and in doing so, I miss the overall enjoyment of the arrival.
During the first stages of any new adventure, be it a start-up, a long awaited journey or a new romantic relationship, we often encounter a tough outer layer.
For many of us, this is the point when we either quit, procrastinate or run in the opposite direction.
Difficulties, all too often, deter us from moving towards our goals.
But if we embrace the process, moving past the less delectable parts of the path, the prospects begin to plump up.
And once they do, we tend to encounter a certain level of comfort.
A comfort that allows us to enjoy the nectar of the process and in doing so, prepares us for all that has yet to come.
Because, as your launch date approaches, that flight home looms in the near distance or the day you say, "I do," is upon your doorstep, appeal is often lost in the wake of stress.
We find ourselves rushing through the crucial final moments with the bearing weight of arriving.
And when we finally reach the heart, when we finally greet our goals, it feels more like a relief than a celebration of achievement.
Passion is not hidden in the arrival, it is woven into the migratory experience of traveling from tough to succulent. Embracing the process is the only path to enjoyment of the heart.