Life: Impossible

148-Examine-Yourself-1They say confession is good for the soul, so here goes…I’m a closet “Restaurant: Impossible” fan. This admission is made with trepidation because I don’t like “reality” television. My significantly better half enjoys these shows much more than I so the remote is always at the ready when she’s entering the room.

The Food Network’s description of the show is:

Turning around a failing restaurant is a daunting challenge under the best of circumstances. Attempting to do it in just two days with only $10,000 may be impossible. But Chef Robert Irvine is ready to take on the challenge. He’ll channel MacGyver and use a lot of muscle to rescue these desperate places from complete collapse. Can one man, in two days, with just $10,000, turn the tide of a failing restaurant and pave the road to a successful future? Find out as Robert Irvine takes on Restaurant: Impossible.”

Along with my surreptitious viewing, the question I can’t shake is, “why am I watching this?” The show has remodeling, cooking, interior design, fumigation, and sterilization. The folks, including the host, do a lot of weeping, yelling, excuse making and are often times annoying. It shouldn’t be a must see show and yet I’m hooked. So, either I’m an interior designer ready to bust out of my contemplative shell or I resonate with the show’s participants.

Although quite boisterous, Chef Robert’s insights are keen and a shakeup is needed to turn around these failing businesses. When he first arrives, with his huge muscular arms, everything is picked up and examined. With laser focus on the service, food, kitchen operations and decor, usually followed by taking the owner, head chef and waiting staff to task. He tears everything apart so he can put it back together.

In a couple of days these endangered eateries are given a new chance but the transformation is not easy. Imagine someone coming into your life and telling you all the things you are doing wrong, could do better and shining a bright light into dark places you wish weren’t there. Chefs, owners, hostesses and other employees can be casualties. For those who make it through this tough transition there is hope, renewed purpose and an opportunity to rise from the ruins.

I think this show has found a soft place in me because wisdom, like Chef Robert, is using a major transition in my life, to examine, shake things up and help me inspect dimly lit places. It is revealing character, uncovering trust issues and reminding me what’s important.

The way we live life needs scrutinizing because the line between mindful acceptance and complacently giving up can be paper-thin. It can also be incredibly difficult to remain on the path to true purpose when so many things claim primacy. The temptation to quickly abandon the important for the immediate is ever-present.

Socrates nails it (again);

The unexamined life is not worth living.”

So let the interior remodeling begin…and if you see my wife please don’t tell her I watch this show, i’ll never hear the end of it.

examining and exhaling,


About is a place for sojourners walking this spiritual path called life. - Essentialist, contemplative, author, advocate, old soul

Posted on September 12, 2013, in Mindfulness and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hi thanks so much for liking my post “Close the Can” and for stopping by my blog at: Your blog is amazing! Have a great day. Betty


  2. I too am a big fan of Restaurant Impossible, and many other Food Network shows, though I hardly ever cook anymore. I like Robert Irvine’s, and your, focus on the inner transformation that is called for during a transition and vice versa, the transition that can be caused by inner transformation. During my times of transition, including a job change right now, I often go through the “desolation” and “consolation” described by Ignatius of Loyola. It seems I need both to grow.


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