Accidentally On Purpose

This morning my daughter’s school hosted Masterchef Nadia Lim for their annual Mother & Daughter breakfast.

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I am always reluctant to book for morning events because they require me to wake so early.  I have to set the alarm at 5am so that I can wake, take my time getting vertical, let the meds work, put on makeup and get dressed.  The makeup part is the most difficult because our brightest mirror has standing room only.  If I sit between applications I manage it okay.  My slow body and I muddle through fine, with enough wake time.  Miss Bee was very excited that I was coming to school with her.  She’s as tall as my shoulders now and getting to that tween time when hanging out with Mum isn’t always cool.  But today… she held my hand on the way to school!!!  Probably because it was so early there was no one around to spot her.  But, awww. That made this mummy heart all warm on a cold wintry morning!

Nadia Lim is a bit of an It-Girl in Auckland at the moment.  Her success since the 2011 Masterchef series has been followed by recipe books and an innovative new healthy eating business, called My Food Bag.  She’s a nutritionist with a passion for showing people how to make healthy food.

But more than that, she is a strong and wonderful role model for young girls.  And for old girls too, as it happens.  (Grin!)  I wasn’t sure if Nadia’s address was going to be very interesting.  I’m no cook… food is a functional necessity and I churn through the dinner-making chores like any other task.  Jaw set with grim determination, step one, step two… keep going….  It’s not a love for me, which is an odd thing.  Because I really love to eat.  So why doesn’t being a foodie-cook-whizz-in-the-kitchen go hand in hand?  Unfair really, because that would be a match made in heaven.

Somehow as Nadia began to enthuse about the pathway into her brilliant career, she made me want to hear more.  She spoke of her younger days watching Jamie Oliver on TV.  About devising exciting recipes, like lavender and chilli shakes, when she was twelve.  She spoke about studying Nutrition at University. About working with the Diabetic Foundation and the realisation that just knowing about healthy foods, didn’t make people eat healthy food.  She said it was clear to her that knowledge is not, in fact, everything. Her purpose was clear to her. To teach people how to make their own healthy meals, meals that came directly from the land, sea and sky.

Nadia went on to explain that when things became their most stressful on the filming of Masterchef, she held on to three little words.  They reminded her of what she was doing there, why it mattered. The kept her focused on the bigger picture.  She wrote them on her hand.  Those words were so important to me today, I needed to hear them.  I wrote them on my hand too.

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According to Nadia, luck isn’t such a good fortune, after all.  If you are handed something on a platter in this life, in a ‘lucky’ fashion, it will never be satisfying.  But if you have to work for your dreams…  if you have to plan and prepare and suffer for what you care about, your success will be immensely satisfying. You will be fulfilling your purpose.

I’m not religious, but Nadia’s talk about purpose reminded me of a bible verse my Mum used to always quote to me.  It is a verse full of warm intention.  It was a benediction for her child, a reassurance for the pathway of life.  And it came back to me today, listening to Nadia.  It was something from somewhere in Jeremiah.  Something about God giving us a purpose and a hope.  

I really like those two words working together. I know my purpose.  I know what I must do.  Even when it is hard, I know I must keep at it, keep pushing through.  Do you know your purpose too?

“we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds”.
Ellen DeGeneres

8 thoughts on “Accidentally On Purpose”

  1. That would make a great tattoo. Except, no. Don’t go there.

    Loved this post as I love all your posts, Rachel, you inspiring little creature you.

    I struggle with my purpose and I live in hope of my life unfolding, as you and Ellen put it when I finally work it out.

    I keep trying just to be as authentic as I can and hope that points me in the right direction. It’s easy to feel a bit aimless though, sometimes. x

  2. Ah yes, purpose. That I (still) don’t know what my purpose is in this life, when my dreams are fading into impossibility, has sent me into a flat spin that I currently cannot get out of, despite trying everything I can think of. So for the Jeremiah verse, I feel my lack of purpose is leaving me pretty hope-less…but I rejoice for everyone who does know their purpose, it is such precious knowledge to have. And especially, that you Rachel, know your purpose as you navigate your challenges!

    1. It’s a simple purpose S. I don’t really know how to describe it except to say that I feel like my purpose is a lot about LOVE/empathy. I used to think my purpose was to do certain things and I was really attached to them, to how it was all going to be, my achievements. I had to see who I am for other people, what my role is, to find my purpose. It surprised me because it was simpler than I thought it was. I am needed. You are needed too! I am so sorry that you are feeling so bereft about your dreams. I hope that life will surprise you with some “impossible” things and you will feel joy again. There is always hope, even if it is just a seed in need of some water and sunshine. X

      1. Thanks for telling me a bit more about what you feel is your purpose. I guess we do sometimes miss things because we overlook the simplicity in our efforts of trying so hard. You said “You are needed too!”…but you know, you putting that into words made me be able to verbalise that I actually don’t feel that I am needed, and that’s part of why I don’t feel I have a purpose. Given me some food for thought – that is why exchanges like this are so valuable!

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