Monday, July 13, 2015

3 Facts About Change I Learned From Cherries

How you do anything is how you do everything - B.E.S.T. Coach to me in early 2014

And once again, it was food that shed light to me on how I approach life.

I am a berry gal. Raspberries. Strawberries. Blueberries. Blackberries - pretty much any berry except cherries. I cannot tell you why, how or when my aversion to cherries began but as long as I can remember, I have not liked cherries.

Until now.

A few weeks ago, my husband came home with a big bag of fresh cherries. Even the kids questioned the purchase, we don't normally get cherries. Within minutes the bag was devoured by the both Barreto kids and the mister. I passed with no questions asked. The next bag came and went as fast as the first and the next thing I knew cherries were on the grocery list. 3 bags in, my kids asked why I was not joining them. I simply declined with some quip. But my youngest insisted I "try them again." I ate one and remembered the tart flavor, hoping to keep them from asking me again. Week by week, I started picking them up in the store and familiarizing myself with what a ripe cherry looked like versus a prematurely picked one. Each bag disappeared as quickly as we bought it and now cherries are a fruit staple in our house.

This morning, my breakfast bowl of fruit was equal parts cherries, blueberries and strawberries.  What changed? How is it that just 6 weeks ago, I would not have touched a cherry let alone many cherries? What does my cherry story tell you about change? As my family in embarking on a huge change, I could not help but reflect on how my cherry story is very similar to any change in life and why I'm so glad I'm eating cherries today.

First, change requires humility. The courage to recognize what you don't know. Many folks lack that. Imagine how silly yet really telling it would be if I stuck with my "I don't like cherries" line. I didn't know if I liked cherries, I hadn't eaten them in years. Instead of balking, arguing or making my family force me to try them, I readily recognized that I knew little about the cherry besides my very uninformed opinion that they were less than strawberries, blueberries or raspberries.

Change also requires education. When you don't know, it's better to admit that and commit to "finding out." That's right. In the early days of the cherries coming into our house, I observed the family eating them; which ones they winced at, which ones brought a smile. I was even watching the brand name and noting the farm they came from. By the time, I randomly grabbed a bag at the store, I was well educated on how they'd taste.

Finally, change is life giving.  As silly as it sounds, my snacking is so much better now that I have cherries added to the mix. The tart flavor offsets the sweet fruits I love and am accustomed to. Further, adding that variety to my palate opened the door to new desserts I did not have just a few months ago.

While the analogy of cherries may seem trivial, think about all the applications of this story. Is there a recurring theme in your life that you've been resisting or ignoring? Have you been nudged by those around you to explore something or try something you insist you don't like?

Humble yourself and check it out.
Educate yourself and see what you learn.
Allow your life to be changed by something small.

My cherry transformation was 5 weeks in the making and I'm glad because that is a representation of how I view change overall.  Always remember, the way you do anything is the way you do everything.