Art of Artichoking

What is your favourite vegetable and why? Mine is the artichoke. I love artichokes.

On one of my trips to California I was looking forward to visiting Castroville, just north of San Francisco famous for two cultural icons, the artichoke capital of the world, and birthplace of Norma Jean Baker, aka Marilyn Munroe. (Who was ‘Artichoke Queen’ in 1947) I drove past fields of artichoke plants as far as the eye could see but when I pulled into town, every store and most importantly the big restaurant were closed, likely due to a civic holiday. I didn’t get a chance to eat an artichoke burger but I did have time to think up a new metaphor for rethinking life’s challenges.

This week’s Monday morning inspiration of the week garnered so much response that I thought I’d send it to everyone.

So here it is a new verb, “artichoking”

Art of Artichoking

I have unsuccessfully used the image of the onion to get at deeper understandings of life but if you peel back the layers of an onion you get nothing left in your hands and it’s hard to see clearly with tears in your eyes.

The artichoke, however, gives a perfect metaphor. The artichoke has a tender succulent spot on each “petal” as well as a thorn on the tip. Just like a complete life, a delicate mix of pain and pleasure, challenge and support, chaos and order, loss and gain, the balance of life.

How to make artichoke a verb.

Every layer you peel reveals the deeper truth and when complete the insight at the heart of the matter is revealed.

How to Artichoke UP

This is used to shift perception and yucky feelings that something or someone is disliked or a problem. Artichoking up works if you forget how to love something. Ask what is the benefit repeatedly until your heart pops with gratitude.

Step 1: What is a task, activity or job you dislike to do at work?
Step 2 ++ : What is the benefit to someone else that I do this?
Step 3 Take the first response you thought of from step 2 and ask the question again.
Repeat until you get it. You will know.

How to Artichoke DOWN

If you have a problem to solve this works to reveal the essential truth ,issue and starting place.

What is bugging you?
What’s the problem with that?
once the answer comes, and trust your first reaction, then ask again,
What’s the problem with that?
keep asking until the deepest layer is revealed.

Recently I was working with fantastic group of people with big hearts who serve others and encounter difficult people frequently. We selected a characteristic of a difficult person, and artichoked it until we arrived at fear of failure. The lights went on as we realized that one of the deep motivators or drivers with a difficult person is to avoid failure. This leans towards greater empathy for the person and helps us hold space when people are crazy around us. I even have an audio CD on the topic if you are interested, just click below.

Artichoke (rather than choke) a Difficult Person


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