I love nut butter! Shocked? You shouldn’t be! I’m referring to the product of pulverized nutmeats, like peanuts and almonds, cashews and hazelnuts. In particular, I am a huge fan of Justin’s Nut Butters. Justin and I go way back. No, I’ve never met him, personally, but I like to think I was one of his first, loyal customers. On a high adventure Boy Scout backpacking trek at Philmont Scout Ranch, in our supplied provisions, we were given packets of peanut butter, all natural peanut butter. Tear off the top and squeeze the wholesome nut butter right into your mouth, supplying you with a healthy dose of protein, the right amount of natural sugars and beneficial fats.
There’s something about backpacking, if you’ve not indulged; when living on freeze dried, dehydrated and squeezable foods, you develop a certain affinity for some of this unusual fare. I, for example, am not ordinarily one to buy and voluntarily consume any kind of processed cheese-like product, but I become quite excited with packets of jalapeño squeeze cheese. Especially on about day four of a ten-day backpacking trek. Justin’s Nut Butter far eclipsed any fondness I had for jalapeño squeeze cheese. Far. As a matter of fact, upon my return home from Cimarron, New Mexico, I went in search of Justin’s Nut Butter for my own, personal consumption. I had a very difficult time locating it anywhere. I found Justin’s Nut Butter on Facebook and “liked” their page, and through that connection, learned that Justin’s popularity grew a little faster than his ability to produce nut butter. His fans, myself included, patiently waited, and, alas, Justin’s Nut Butter was spotted by a family member on the shelves of the local R.E.I.! Joy! I stocked up! Before long, Justin’s Nut Butter, in certain varieties, could be found at Whole Foods. And, now, a few years later, even my local market carries a few varieties. Justin has expanded to include candy bars, peanut butter cups and even jarred products, but I only buy the packets that I originally fell in love with.
Last night, I was craving something a little sweet, but it was late, I’d had pizza and beer for dinner, and I really didn’t want to have something too decadent. I rummaged through my purse, through my computer bag and, finally, through my daypack, and I found exactly what I was looking for. A packet of Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter. In my purse, I’d found Justin’s Classic Almond Butter and in my computer bag, Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter. As you’ve probably gathered, I’m pretty well supplied with nut butter, Justin’s Nut Butter. I have more in each of my suitcases and various other totes, packs and bags. I live ten minutes from Whole Foods, why do I hoard Justin’s Nut Butter? I consider it a resource, a very valuable resource.
In my job, I travel quite a bit. Most airlines I fly with have a fruit and cheese tray for six or seven bucks that I consider a worthwhile meal. Occasionally, though, the don’t have it, or don’t have enough, so I can just have a couple of Justin Nut Butter packets and be fairly well nourished. True, they don’t pair with red wine quite as well as the fruit and cheese, but no need to be too picky with such limited resources at 35,000 feet above the crust of the earth. Once I’ve landed at my destination, I provide training and consulting on software and professional skills. I never know what options will be available for mid-day meals while training, so, I am prepared with, at the very least, a packet or two of Justin’s Nut Butter, and, hopefully, an apple on which to apply it. Hiking, fishing, driving, canoeing, running or any other activity I may find myself involved in often requires a quick, nutritious snack, and, again, I am always prepared with Justin’s Nut Butter.
Justin’s Nut Butter, in my opinion, is a very valuable resource and one I keep close at hand. I may go days, weeks or even a month or two without ever enjoying a packet of Justin’s Nut Butter, but, if I need it, wherever I am, whatever I’m carrying, I’ve got at least a couple packets in one flavor or another. In life, we should have similar resources. What resources do we keep nearby, on hand, within reach, as we work towards accomplishing our goals? What tools do we occasionally need as we evolve towards a more enriching, fulfilling life of happiness and success, success in work, in family and in relationships?
For example, when a stressful event arises, how do we overcome it? What resource do we rely on? Stress ought not be a part of our daily life, it should be occasional and brief. If stress is anything more than occasional and brief, we have more to talk about. As an occasional and brief occurrence, the resource we use to resolve stress is not likely one we employ all the time, but it should be identifiable, available and ready to use. Like a packet Justin’s Nut Butter after a few hours of hiking.
Perhaps in one of our relationships, whether with family or a love interest, there is a shift or a change; a move, a new job, the loss of a job, change in health, some shift of dynamic. What resources do we rely on to work through the period of adjustment that will allow the relationship to function as it should, in support of the parties involved, sensitive to the changes, the feelings and emotions surrounding those changes? Are we, perhaps, listening more acutely, more sympathetically, offering more praise and positive reinforcement? Again, these are resources we know, we are familiar with, they are resources we use often, but perhaps we just need to employ them more generously or more frequently during this period. Maybe we find solace in a couple of more yoga classes a week, or a few more minutes a day in meditation. Maybe a weekend away, in the wilderness or a favorite urban center. It could be you find respite from stress from reading, or crafts or a good, long, hard run. Whatever the method for relief, you know it, you’ve practiced it, you rely on it. Like my packet of Justin’s Nut Butter, it is a known, proven, resource that I use often and that I always have at the ready.
When we find ourselves frustrated or unsettled with where we are in relation to our goals, our values and our guiding principles, what do we do to rectify the situation? Normally, we are, or should be, very clear about where we are headed, the direction to go, and the key step or steps to get there and it should be foremost in our daily task list or agenda. The One Thing. Or, it’s possible, that our goals are no longer aligned with our values. Whatever the change, whatever the shift, whatever the cause, we need to be able to resort to some known, easily identified and readily employable resources to get back on track. Or to lay a new track. We should have a plan for developing our plan and measuring our progress towards the accomplishment of that plan. It isn’t something we spend time on everyday, the plan, the steps towards accomplishing the plan, yes, but developing the plan should not be a daily task. So, the resources we rely on for developing, adjusting or redeveloping our plan are most likely exercises that we know of and know how to work through, when needed. Like Justin’s Nut Butter, it’s there when I need it.
So, whether you’re a fan of nut butter, or not, whether you know of Justin and his nut butters, or not, you should have, in moments of need, a supply of ready to use, easy to grab and go, effective, wholesome and nourishing resources. As we march, daily, in pursuit of our goals, in an effort to evolve, things will crop up that could delay or derail us if we don’t have quick, simple, tried and true resources to employ. Like a squeezy packet of all natural nut butter, having something quick and wonderful, close at hand, to rely on in those times of need is true wisdom.