The days became weeks; became months and here we are. The days roll into each other. We savor small changes, small freedoms as we continue to navigate this pandemic. We see each little advance as a triumph as we try to keep our loved ones and ourselves safe.
Some of us don’t get enough sleep and others sleep all the time (or wish they could). Some of us have stopped eating and others indulge continually seeking comfort. We move from stress to optimism to anxiety to hope. I don’t know about you but if I let it, this life will have me on an emotional roller coaster that would rob me of reason and confidence in the future.
So I don’t allow myself to ‘go there.’ Thank God for qigong.
We all find ourselves caught in a constant loop of what was, what is and what might be. We are all in with it because there’s no choice.
But it’s how we manage these days, these feelings that matter. And while not every struggle or challenge can be met and overcome with food and cooking, it’s the best foundation for wellness we can create.
When I am feeling low or overwhelmed by the sheer lack of knowing what could happen, I do one of two things. I either head to the gym where I can sweat my way into controlling my fears or I turn off all the devices and head to the kitchen and cook.
Within minutes, the rhythm of the kitchen soothes me. I have found that when anything in life goes smoothly, it’s because we caught the rhythm-of nature, of the group, of life. Finding the rhythm allows you to let go; get out of your head and be in the moment, breathing in sync with whatever you are doing.
When I worked as a chef, the very best nights were when the entire staff caught the chef’s rhythm and worked together in that flow. It could be a craziest of nights, tickets flying, tables filled but we were sailing because the chef set the rhythm and we grabbed on for the ride.
Working in my kitchen on my own or with others allows me to create the rhythm; to set the pace and move with it as I create life with food. There’s nothing better for me. And my food never tastes better or makes us stronger. My kitchen is a sacred space: no yelling, no startling noises, no stress, no chaos. I create the rhythm that creates the health that my family enjoys.
So let’s shrug off the anxiety and turn off the news. Let’s head to the kitchen and create life and health. We may be unsure of the state of the world, but we can find our rhythm and assemble an array of plant-passionate ingredients and form them into a dish that comforts, nourishes, delights and gives life.
That’s something, don’t you think?