What do you get when you mix a somewhat tumultuous home life with an uncomfortable adolescent school life?
These days, a whole slew of pretty normal problems… At a young age, I developed anxiety caused by a combination of parental arguments and playground bullies. I constantly worried which ball would drop next and where that might occur. In the midst of all that, though, I found comfort in one thing… Baking.
I had natural skills in the kitchen and would memorize recipes, Thumbprint Cookies being the first. I would make them over and over again, persisting if I failed until I got it just right. Baking became my passion, and the kitchen became my creative place, the place I would go for security and confidence, my flow zone, the only place I could think clearly and have control. No matter what happened I always made time to bake, until… Well, life.
As I got older and started pursuing a college degree and career, I started leaving my passion behind. I landed my first “big girl” job right after graduation and felt convinced that I had arrived at my happy place. Over time, though, I started feeling unhappy and unfulfilled; I didn’t know why. Some might say I developed a mild case of depression over it, for which I sought help through my trusted therapist.
My therapist introduced me to mindfulness practice as a means of relieving the mild case of depression I had developed and little did I know, it would slowly start to change my life. I started with simple breathing techniques to relieve anxiety and then tried sleep meditations to cure insomnia. I downloaded Welzen and other mindfulness apps to further explore the practice. The more I practiced mindfulness, the more I started to notice a positive change.
While I started to feel more positive, I still felt like my life lacked something. I tried dating thinking that maybe having a partner would help, but the dating didn’t work. So, I dug deep… I tried to remember what used to bring me joy and quickly remembered baking.
In that moment I vowed to set aside one night a week to bake, and boom!
The void started to became more and more shallow and the joy started to roll in. That’s when I realized that baking is the sweetest form of meditation, and I had been unknowingly practicing mindfulness since childhood.
When you bake, you have no choice but to live in present moment. You have to pay attention because the exclusion of an ingredient or a second too long in the oven can ruin everything. Your mind and body work together while you use your senses; you touch the flour, smell the vanilla, taste the batter, hear the timer go off. In the end, you have created a tasty treat that has the capability to transfer your joy. When you give someone that baked good, you can see their taste buds send a smile to their face.Baking each week showed me the path to true mindfulness. Click To Tweet
Baking each week showed me the path to true mindfulness. This sweet meditation filled my void, reignited my creativity and helped me rediscover joy. In an effort to spread this joy, I have started a motivational blog called Mix & Mull that features my recipes and tips for everyday mindfulness. I invite you to explore it and can only hope that you might find inspiration and motivation to live more mindfully, or at least snag a new recipe: mixandmull.com.
Let it bake,