Change: Growth: Realization
Sustainable Personal Growth
This month, as most months, there is a lot happening. Most importantly, I find quite a bit happening inside my head… my psyche and in between my intellect and my emotions, what is exactly happening? Change, Growth and many realizations are happening to me this month on a very profound and articulate level. We talk a lot about sustainable growth in our company, on our website and throughout our business. We speak about the need for steady, precise growth that considers the well being of those around us, including our environment and planet. WE believe that all of this sustainability of growth is what will keep us surviving on more than a subsistence basis for the long run. I believe this is necessary in our personal life and growth as well and I believe the two are running parallel for me in my life lately, making a different bit of sense as the tow side, business and personal move along the same parallel lines. Thus sustainable growth in the personal realm is the overall theme here. I have grown as of late, as a cook, a business woman and a person. There are times in life where we go through these spurts of growth, some more profound than other times, there is something about the timing of life when everything simply begins to “click”. (Like my favorite Hebrew expression..Ha simon nafal, which translates to “the coin click” or the moment you make an understanding of clarity in an situation) Of course as we assume, what is currently happening in our lives during the times of change, growth, and realizations make a big difference as does our own mental state and past changes, growth spurts and realizations. Not all growth spurts are totally positive and not all growth spurts move us towards a sustainable personal growth, but for me these days of growth, I feel are most definitely moving me to a new realm of sustainable growth. Perhaps this is part of my age, growing up and recalling feeling comfortable in adulthood, shedding my ties with my youth and coming to grips with all that my past has influenced me to be while being stable in the notion that as an intellectual adult I am in control of most of it. As I have stated, a lot is happening in my life and for sure many folks who read this blog and are a part of my life or some recent experiences in my life or in my business will surely think this is “all about them” or “influenced by them” or better yet, “because of them”. But the truth is all of that is true and none of that is true. Basically we are all just little ants….as I was reminded by a drawing sent to me by my niece Svea, living in a world comprised of millions of other little ants, on our own we are nothing, but yet it is really all we ultimately know.
So how does all of this correlate to food you may ask since this is a food & culture blog? Well I can answer that in two parts: one, it’s my blog so on some level I can do what I want, which I enjoy (which is why many literary people are not happy with blogs in general, they tend to be more diary than substance but I believe the substance is also in all of it, less defined by standards). And second, as I grow sustainably in my personal life I see my cooking and my food interest and knowledge really come into its own. I not only feel I am a better cook, but I feel I am more efficient, healthier, and overall more conscientious while still remaining true to flavor & substance. I also believe my understanding of food culture is much greater and thus I have a deeper respect for food in general and certainly the people who produce it, that is partly due to my job and partly due to my growth and my better understanding of the connections real and true connections within the entire food system.
My life had become cluttered recently, stressed and many things in my life were over bearing and not balanced enough. I think my cooking had been similar for a while, too many items, too many things undercooked and over cooked, potent flavors overwhelming the others, vinegar for example and lemon. I love these items but they can be very powerful if over used and I believe now I spent years over using them and have only now learned to use them subtly and gently. My life like my cooking has needed to concentrate on a simpler plate, more balance, more focus on the purity flavors of the ingredients. Simpler, healthier and focused more on technique but still whopingly creative, this is my cooking style today. The most difficult part I think in cooking and in life is learning when to let go…it is certainly easier for me to do in the kitchen and many can tell you this is my mastery in the kitchen, although I think I have no learned a better balance, it’s no longer such a free style as it is done with conviction and is distinctly me. Personally I am trying to improve in this same realm. Less feeling, more conviction. Much progress has been made lately in this realm with some specific incidents and issues in both my business and my personal life.
Fear is something I have never felt in the kitchen under any circumstances. We laugh about this as we are deciding what classes to teach as I will volunteer myself to teach a class on thing I have no clue on, knowing I will be capable and I will learn it, this has been my personality since I was a child and in most everything I did, I did without fear. My personal life and dealing with people (personally or in business) has been the one place where fear runs deep…I am lucky as for whatever reason it doesn’t control me, but I feel it so profoundly. But life lately has given me this new sustainable growth in this realm, so as to be able to begin to deal with this fear in a healthier manner, using my mind, my very capable mind in conjunction with a clear(er) understanding of what my feelings are, instead of feelings overwhelming me, fear overwhelming me and I react like a person vomiting. Now I can see some of my co-workers laughing here as I still do my fair share of vomiting up feelings on any given day, but the truth is, today my feelings and my fear are not only more in check than ever but I can tell that this latest growth spurt will catapult me past the point where I can go backwards. From here out it will only get better, as I imagine my cooking will as well.
For whatever reason life has given me this recent awakening of sorts and as life so often accomplishes it came at a time when I was not only ready for it but needed it, life has forced me personally and in business to refocus on the next stages of life and the personal skills required to achieve greater things both mentally, physically and financially. The lessons of these latest days are realizations of a new clarity of what I actually want in my life and for myself. The lesson is of the ability to create my own dismissal of the fear that ordinarily may hinder me from achieving the exact success I want. Whether the fear is personal insecurities, external factors causing monetary stresses, business related issues and whether I know what the correct answers are or simply “other people’s mental junk”, I have learned to focus on finding out what is real before I react.
It’s basically time to take the next stage of life more seriously and like a good student place focus, detailed focus on what it takes to be the person we want to become, the same goes for cooking. What do I want to achieve as a human being, what are my personal goals and how do I attain them, what do I want to be surrounded by and what do I not want to be surrounded by on a daily basis. I have to take control of all of this, just as others should, I have to take responsibility for my own junk I give to others and notice when they give me theirs.
Being a healthy individual who makes healthy choices for my community and planet is important to me and I have begun to really define what this means to me, even though it seems simple. I am lucky I am a woman with few food issues, I don’t battle what I should or should not eat due to the fact that I will get fat or thin, and I do not exercise as a means to get skinny. Contrary I believe in eating what I want I moderation and in a healthy manner and with ingredients that are real, organic, sustainable and fair-trade. I exercise as a means to staying fit, enjoying myself and alleviating stress. I over indulge on occasion and do not beat myself up about it too much. It’s funny but as I age I feel better and better and with each year that passes me really do believe I am growing more and more sustainable as a human being and it makes me proud. I am more and more accepting of myself for who I am. I see my flaws and I see my highlights, with a large amount of clarity, I sometimes fail to make changes I want to make quick enough but trust that they will come and hope that the friends and family I have will continue to support me through those times.
So as I babble my way through another blog, this one inspired by recent growth and an inspiring trip to San Francisco, I remind all of us out there one really important fact: letting go of fear is a useful tool, both in and out of the kitchen. Bon Appétit in life & food!
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