When Nothing Is Everything
A while back a friend of mine recently asked me what I was doing that weekend. I scanned my mental iCal…two solid empty blocks other than time blocked for a quick online date meeting.
"Nothing". I said. I felt that self depreciating fall in my stomach. Was I being judged? How lame was it that I had nothing to do?
That weekend of nothing unfolded I was able to make decisions in the present. I made some bourbon honey poached pears, planned, baked and shot an impromptu breakfast shoot, drunk copious amounts of coffee while sitting silently in my kitchen watching the army of neighbourhood cats run around my back yard. I read. I wrote. I ate. I sat. I listened to music (Chet Baker, my dead lover crush). I cleaned my house. I took stock of my current situation and worked on/planned for some personal projects.
WHAT IF NOTHING IS EVERYTHING YOU NEED?
This weekend of "nothing" turned out to be everything. Everything I needed to be happy, to be recharged and whole is right there in front of me. Not at the birthday dinner I have so many times tried to squeeze in for a friend of a friend, or the 100th social obligation I needed to but didn’t want to attend. It seemed my "Everything" was found in these "nothing" moments.
We over program ourselves. We over strategize, over plan, over squeeze (is that a word?) and run ourselves dry. We think more is more, and that by doing more we will be happy. The construct of happy as a thing that is achieved by an experience, a tangible item, a goal met.
I recently came back from a very long (as in month long, long) holiday in London/France. I came back with an unshakeable sense of calm, clarity, focus and peace at a level I had never experienced before. One of the best parts of travelling is that you always come home having learned something about yourself. In this instance I learned that I had changed. I had changed a lot in the last three years. It made me consciously aware of how much I had been filling my life with things my "old self" would have wanted, enjoyed and run after and how increasingly tired I had become. I wondered how many moments of dissatisfaction I had felt in the last years had been a result of me feeding myself with the wrong experiences.
MAKE SPACE TO CREATE
I've come to appreciate the importance of curating your existence - the people you surround yourself with, the things you say yes to, those you say no to. What comes into your life and builds the frame of your home, your community, your life. So this weekend, the last one before I went back to my gig at The Harvest Spoon I made an effort to do as much "nothing" as possible.I went and saw some people, did a few social things but made a conscious effort to leave tons of grey space in my life and then see what unfolded.
And that, is exactly how these cookies were born. It's part Thalia Ho's recipe, part bourbon street memories, part personal preference. A little bit of this and that, grabbing current knowledge and blending it together with past experiences and new things you want to try. I've said it before and I will say it again, the mindfulness and self directed nature of baking seems a lot like a recipe for success in life, no?
Anyways, carve out some nothing time for yourself to make and eat these cookies. If you see something you don't like, or something you think would be improved with a slight tweak, then tweak away. Curate your life, fill it with delicious experiences, that meet your needs and you won't be disappointed.
Want this delicious cookie recipe? Head on over to the baking archives via the image below:
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