Cooking Lessons

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
— Jim Rohn

The cauliflower was still in the fridge. It's the second or third time I've bought it since moving home. I could steam it. It's good that way. A little garlic and chili tossed in EVO and sea salt. Delightful. 

But I wanted it au gratin. I wanted it baked in the oven with that gorgeous, creamy Mornay sauce with a hint of garlic, a pinch of nutmeg and the cheese lightly grilled on top. At the thought of making it myself, my muscles tensed, my breath became shallow and I thought, "I don't know how." 

I spent 14 years side-by-side a very talented home cook, but 7 months ago I chose to start cooking alone. When I began to miss the diverse and delicious fare that I had come to love, I thought, "Well, crap. I don't know how to make any of that." I was what you might call the "sous chef" all of that time. I pretty much just minced the garlic and baked the bread. 

Yet, over the past several months I've been experimenting, making up my own dishes inspired by past (food) loves or whatever I am in the mood to eat. I've been feeling more like I did in my early twenties when I had my own kitchen to play in and good friends to cook for who were simply thankful for a homemade meal! 

Little by little, I'm regaining confidence in the kitchen. I can cut the veggies any way that I want to - imperfectly uneven, if it happens to turn out that way, and no one minds. I can breathe in the kitchen again. 

I thought of the quote that I shared in an earlier post, my mantra of late, and decided to attempt the cauliflower in the way that I craved. The sauce is easy enough, no problem. The method and the ingredients suddenly came to mind... I knew just what to do!

I reflected as I stirred in the milk, little by little, how wonderful our subconscious minds are. They store everything. Every. Thing. Things we want to remember and things we don't. Things we think we forget and things we wish we could. Stored. Imprinted. Forever in our subconscious, recalled as needed. 

When there is no one around to tell you that you can’t, you discover, deliciously, that you can. ‪

That stored knowledge came easily and I felt happy. I knew how to cook it! I reveled in this new awareness. I could do it myself, for myself. And I would. And I did. And, at some point in the oven, my sauce fell apart. It was fine when I poured it over the cauliflower, but broke while cooking and came out runny, separated. 

It was delicious anyway. Not because it came out right or wrong, but because I made it. I made it and no one complained. I tried to make something I loved and though the sauce fell apart, it still tasted good. 

It was delicious. Not because it came out right or wrong, but because the only thing they said was, "Thank you." Dinner wasn't ruined. The evening wasn't ruined.  And I healed a little. 

And I discovered something; something I learned a long time ago and could only finally, now, fully understand - you truly do become who you spend the most time with. When you are surrounded by people who tell you that you can't, you begin to believe it, even if you don't think you do. 

When the critical voice is silenced by time or separation, and you invite more supportive people into your life, your inner voice becomes more supportive, too. And you discover you can. You can cook. You can... anything... and that is the most delicious thing of all. 

Getting Vulnerable

I used to be a parenting blogger, blogging 3 or more times a week sharing my experience as a mom. Then I became certified as a coach and facilitator and turned all professional, separating the "mom" me from the "coach" me. I stopped writing, because, frankly, I didn't know how to write for my coaching website without getting personal and I didn't want my mom-blog readers to feel like I was trying to sell them my coaching services. 

My perfect clients are moms, too, yet I was having trouble bridging the gap within myself. Currently, my number 1 Passion is to "feel fully, freely and authentically me!" As I've delved into what being "authentic" means to me (see The Question of the Month post from a couple of days ago), I have realized that I simply can't do that without bringing my journey as a woman and mother into my coaching and website blog. 

For months I've been meditating on how to move forward in my business, asking for clear guidance so that I serve my highest purpose in the world. The funny thing about guidance is that you have to actually pay attention to receive it and because our minds are so beautifully protective of us, they often filter out the very messages that we asked for! 

I keep getting signs to create, relax, release, express... well, finally I get it. It's time to start sharing my experience again, as a woman, mother and professional coach. Because that's how you'll know if we resonate. You and me.

It's how I'll unfold into the most authentic version of myself, relaxing and releasing into me. Writing is how I find my voice. 

That also means being vulnerable and vulnerability is scary. But like I'm always saying, 

So, I'm going to start sharing more of who I am, not just what I know, with you. My ego feels afraid, my heart feels free. Join me on this new adventure, won't you? After all, I am you and you are me (more on that another time!). 

 

The Question of the Month

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I have decided to take a short break from Your Monday Minute as I put my attention on learning the ins and outs of my business, and myself, for the next 8 weeks in Marie Forleo's B-school. Even though I won't be appearing in video on a weekly basis (though you may get a few, just because I love you so much), I intend (intention!) to write here on the blog more frequently. 

Writing is the way I process. Writing is meditation. Writing is how I explore within. 

I'm exploring the concept of authenticity at the moment, to find the greater truth of what being authentic means to me, so I can show up authentically for you. 

A couple of years ago, to me, the word "authentic" merely applied to things, not people. And it doesn't just mean, "I am who I am and you can all just.." you know the rest. It is more than that. It is showing up in the world speaking your truth, growing into that truth and doing so in the energy of love. 

Today, this word is paramount to my entire existence. Purpose... Meaning... Authentically bringing those things to life passionately within myself to be a light for you to do the same is why I am here. Yes, I believe in purpose. I believe everyone has a life-purpose. For some, the purpose is only to live and experience and learn in preparation for the next life. Their next life.

For others, much of the learning has already been done and they are here to teach, to guide, to reflect, to love, to light the way. 

Word Origin: Authentic
from Late Latin authenticus coming from the author, from Greekauthentikos, from authentēs one who acts independently, from auto- +hentēs a doer

So this month, I'm asking the question, "Who am I?"  Who am I when I am my authentic self? What does "authentic" look like to me. How do I show up in the world and to the world when I am being and feeling, fully, freely and authentically me? From The Passion Test:

When you are clear, what you want will show up in your life, and only to the extent that you are clear.

Who are you? What does being authentic mean to you? Please share in the comments below. I appreciate multiple sources for any endeavor into deeper knowledge.  

Leap Through Your Fear

Everything you want is on the other side of fear... leap and the net will appear

I've made a practice of leaping this past year or so. It's kind of fun. Exhilarating, really. All of my life I subscribed to the boxed-in mentality that most of us are raised with. The predetermined who you can be, what you can achieve, how much you might possibly earn in your lifetime... I'm stripping away the programming, dropping it piece by piece. 

I once thought that I was stuck, then I learned that my thoughts are not reality. I once believed that I couldn't leave an unhappy situation, then I did it anyway. I'm starting to realize that it is actually true... anything is possible. 

Intention. Attention. No Tension. The formula that I've been living by for the past 2 and a half years works. It seems like magic and it isn't. It's you. It's me. Making up our minds, getting clear on the how, what and who of our lives and drawing it into existence. 

If you won't join me, I invite you at least to watch. See this regular girl create an exceptional reality. It's happening now. B-School, here I come. 

I signed up through Danielle LaPorte's affiliate link, because the bonus is simply the best. Are you ready to join us? Enrollment closes at 3pm EST today. bit.ly/DLPbschool

I signed up through Danielle LaPorte's affiliate link, because the bonus is simply the best. Are you ready to join us? Enrollment closes at 3pm EST today. bit.ly/DLPbschool

Your Monday Minute - Everyone is on a Journey

Everybody is on a journey. Everyone has a story. That strong woman you admire or envy because you think she's living the perfect life and has everything flawlessly put together... but maybe she falls apart in the quiet of her solitude. 

Maybe she really is that confident, capable woman you see and only because she's been through her own shadowland and come through it sure and strong to be a lighthouse for others to see what's possible for them... for us.

If you find yourself saying, "I could never be as..." confident, outgoing, as good with money, a good of a mother.. fill in the blank... you're not only wrong, you're lying to yourself. 

You can be anything you want to be if you put your mind to it, when you choose to, and it starts by loving yourself completely and unconditionally. Watch today's vlog and then read on! 


Today, I'm prescribing you a meditation by the wonderful Lisa Nichols. She's an amazing woman, author and speaker who was featured in the movie The Secret, which introduced the Law of Attraction to the masses. It's about 20 minutes long and your prescription is to watch it 3x a week until the symptoms of self-doubt and loathing are completely replaced by self love and appreciation. Then, as needed. 

It's a guided meditation. Find a quiet time and place to give this gift to yourself. At least once a week, even if it is before everyone is awake or just when you put the baby down for a nap. Find... no, make... the time. After that, if you're a busy mom, as I am, and had my hands full with a very active preschooler when I first discovered this meditation, put earphones into your smart phone and listen to it while you vacuum or do the dishes or fold laundry. While you're nursing or even (pretending) to watch something with your toddler. Ear-buds in, eyes closed, and get your daily dose of self-love. 

 

Spread the love! Please share this with anyone who might benefit. See you next time!

Your Monday Minute - Feelings Want to be Felt!

Do you ever find yourself judging your feelings as bad or wrong? Like you shouldn't be feeling how you're feeling even though that is what you are feeling? Does that sound futile to you? Me too. 

Byron Katie says, "When I argue with reality, I lose, and only 100% of the time." With that in mind, watch today's episode and then read on! 

Our feelings are natural byproducts of our thoughts. Try to release your judgement of whether your feeling is good or bad and allow yourself to simply be aware of your feelings and actually feel them. Notice what happens. 

There is a wonderful, quick and easy read in the form of an e-book called From Sad to Glad. I encourage you to read it virtual cover to virtual cover. It teaches you how contraction and expansion are a natural part of life and how to gently move through it.

It is everywhere in nature from the flower that opens (expands) during the day and closes (contracts) at night, to Mother Earth expanding in Spring and Summer and contracting through Autumn and Winter. It's how we're made. It is our nature to contract and expand. 

I hope you're feeling good and loving yourself today! If not, that's ok. I love you and I'll see you next week! 

Your Monday Minute - The 3rd Step

Congratulations! You're about to learn the third and final step of the Passion Test Formula for how to create a life that you absolutely LOVE to live! We've covered Intention, Attention and now (drum-roll, please)... No Tension!

 That is the Passion Test Formula! Now, press play below and find out what that means! 

Make sense? These three pieces are just the icing on the cake. To fully step into creating a life you love, to really understand the process, you need to go through it. It's a lot to communicate in just 3 short videos. One vital aspect of the entire formula didn't fit into this week's minute, so be sure to tune in next week because you do not want to miss it.

In the meantime, I promised an example. Remember what I said about getting to the other side of the pool? If we're grabbing on to the water, we're more likely to drown than to get to the other side. We must relax and flow through the water. One passion that comes up for about 80% of my clients is friendship. If you feel like you don't have a few good friends to laugh with, cry with and simply be with, you are not alone. 

Just over two years ago when I took the Passion Test with a Certified Facilitator for the first time, I had just moved overseas to England and felt completely isolated. I remember dropping my kids off at school and longingly watching the easy greetings and conversations shared between a sea of unfamiliar faces. 

One of my top 5 passions turned out to be having an "open-minded, expanded circle of friends" with whom I could have fun and be myself.  I didn't want just any friend, my intention, my passion, was very clear on the kind of friendships that I wanted to cultivate. 

So, I gave friendship my attention. I approached other mothers with children in the same classes as my kids. Even though I felt a bit nervous, I gave my attention to maintaining a state of no-tension. If I had gone up to someone and grabbed her shoulders and said, "Be my friend!!!" Do you think she'd want to be my friend? No way! She'd think I was crazy. 

So, I relaxed in the knowledge that if I simply kept my attention on my intention in a relaxed, peaceful way, friendships would bloom. I trusted the process. I took action (action engages attention) and released the outcome, trusting in my co-creator (God/the Universe) to provide me with the right people and opportunities to create the friendships I so desired. 

It didn't take long before I had an amazing group of friends. A few were those other 'mums' and a few more were further afield and equally incredible. I have never been so blessed with friendship since setting that intention and giving it my attention in a state of no tension. I have never felt so completely loved and accepted by so many incredible people. And do you know what? Quite a few of my marvelous friends were feeling very much the same as I was... they just didn't know (yet) what I knew (The Passion Test!).

Now you know how it works, so you're 3 steps ahead of the rest of the crowd! When you start living life with your Passions leading the way, magic and bliss become an everyday experience. 

I love you! See you next week. 

Your Monday Minute - The 2nd Step of the Formula

Welcome to another edition of Your Monday Minute! Last week we discussed the first step in the Passion Test Process to create a life that you LOVE (click here for a refresher)! This week we're moving on to the second step: Attention. 

What you put your attention on grows stronger in your life. Watch this week's Your Monday Minute to learn more and then, reader, read on!

Make sense? How about a real life example to clarify? Since many of my readers and viewers are parents and nearly everyone else has some experience with children, I'll share with you the story of when I decided to stop yelling at my children. 

I was a big, serious yeller. You wouldn't think it of me, would you? But I'm a passionate person and that translates into every area of my life. I had been on this personal growth and development path for several years (well, a lifetime, really, but that's another topic) when I realized that the old excuses no longer jibed with me. I was at the point where I had become my own coach, calling myself out on any crap I was still throwing out there, like, "What else can I do?" "They only listen when I yell," and other such things you may have spewed a time or two yourself. I felt like a great mom most of the time, but man did I lose my temper a lot. 3 kids + a (kid-like) husband + the stress of life. Good excuses, right? Excuses keep us stuck and I was (and am) on the fast-track of growth. 

As it does, the Universe put a post in my path by a woman who was calling herself The Orange Rhino. There was a 30-day challenge to "yell less and love more." It was just what I needed! I felt so relieved that I wasn't the only one out there struggling with this issue. 

So, I began the challenge and set my INTENTION (remember, part 1 of the formula?) to STOP YELLING. I managed to get a few days under my belt before snapping again and becoming a thunderstorm over my children. Then a few more and eventually almost two whole weeks! Confession: the last 5 of those days were spent in Oslo completing my Passion Test Facilitator training. I slipped just a day or two after getting home. 

I was yelling less and I could see a definite affect on my children, which was great! But I was still yelling far too often to feel good about it. Then, everything that I had learned in Norway clicked into place. What was I putting my attention on again? To "stop yelling." 

My attention was on yelling! When that became clear in my heart and mind I immediately rephrased my intention to "speak with loving kindness to my children." Now, all of my attention was focused on speaking with loving kindness. That's a big difference. Can you see and feel the change in your own physiology when you read those two phrases? 

"Stop yelling" vs. "Speak with loving kindness"

You get more of whatever it is that you are putting your attention on in your life. Set a positive intention, give it positive attention and you'll get positive results. It worked wonders. I still yell once in a while, but there is such a dramatic shift in the energy of my relationship with my children and therefore with myself. I broke the guilt and drama cycle by setting a very positive, loving intention and we have all bloomed because of it. I stepped more profoundly into integrity, as well, which enabled me to love myself more and fully embrace that I really do matter. 

Attention: You Matter!! Now go and act like it and I'll see you next week with the 3rd step in the formula to create a life you LOVE! 

Do you have any examples of how this has worked in your life? We'd love to read them! Please, share below! If this post resonates with you, I welcome you to do that other kind of sharing, too! Share buttons below! 

*** Photo Credit to Harold.Lloyd via Flickr.com