This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.
So. Where were we? Last time we spoke it was March and it was snowing. Now it’s July and it’s hot and I’m in all my glory. Summer suits me well. One would think that the time off would allow me the space to sit and write, and tell you all about my 10th visit to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and how much my celiac markers have improved. One would think. Instead, I’ve been lassoed by a monkey mind unlike ever before. According to Buddhist principles, the “monkey mind” is a term that refers to being unsettled, restless, or confused. Writer and Buddhist Natalie Goldberg suggests that the monkey mind is the inner critic. It’s the part of your brain most connected to the ego, which contends that you can’t do anything right. It’s also the part of you that stifles creativity and prevents you from moving forward with your passions.
Part of what I’ve been thinking about is how this space started with so much vim and vigor to share my health journey and my passion for eating good, wholesome and nutritious food. But here’s a funny thing that happened; The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. And if that isn’t a creativity killer, I’m not sure what is. I’ve also been thinking a lot about my “passions”. I look around me and I see so many people doing so many interesting things, and I can’t help but wonder: when will that be me? When will I find my specific niche? And yes, that leaves me feeling a bit unsettled, restless and confused.
And then one day, I heard a talk by author Elizabeth Gilbert and here’s what she said:
Follow your curiosity. Curiosity will never take, curiosity will only give. And what it gives you are clues on the incredible scavenger hunt of your precious life. Curiosity is accessible every single day because it’s so mild and the stakes are so low. There’s something in your life that you are a little bit curious about, and that is the trail of breadcrumbs… If you can let go of your passion and follow your curiosity, your curiosity just might lead you to your passion. And when it happens, it feels like it has been guided by a divine hand.
And just like that, I relaxed a bit. And relaxing is one of the best antidotes for the anxious monkey who took residence in my head.
One of my favorite parts of some of the forums I follow is when creatives talk about “What I Know for Sure”. I love the glimpse into their minds and their seemingly self-assured nature. It got me to thinking… What do I know for sure. That one stumped me for awhile. A long while actually. But here is a bare bones list that will serve as my starting point.
~ I am happiest when I have someone or something to take care of.
These two top my list:
~ I need light. Natural light. And lots of it.
Spring and summer light are my favorite. Meals on porches and decks are life giving:
~ I am happy when I am surrounded by books. Real books. Not the Kindle or iPad variety.
A view of my bedside table at any given time:
~ I am happy when I am creating something. A meal. A dessert. A card for a friend. (A blog post…)
I made this grain-free coconut cake for my sister:
And this grain-free “hummingbird cake” for a friends birthday:
~ I’m good at taking the next most logical step, but I’m not a great visionary. I see things in piecemeal, but struggle to see the whole picture.
Moments like this keep me grounded and trusting that I’m on the right path:
So, this place where I am right now? There is no place I’d rather be.