By Rebecca Robinson
So often, we enter our kitchen in a rush at the end of a long, working day. Feeling frazzled, exhausted and dog-tired, we are ravenous – but the last thing we want to do is cook. So, we grab the nearest thing to hand, often a plastic-wrapped ready meal, throw it in the microwave then collapse into a chair as we wait for the all-too-familiar ‘ping!’
Living our always ‘on’, 24/7 lifestyles can be draining, and often the furthest thing from our mind is having to come home and cook a meal from scratch. So, we reach for whatever is ‘convenient’, for whatever will fill up our belly fast… But what if there was another way? A way to make cooking more sacred, more mindful. A way to awaken a little stove-side enchantment, filling up our soul as well as our stomach. A way to empower and rejuvenate ourselves – and our loved ones – through a touch of edible magic.
I invite you now to think of your kitchen as an alchemist’s workshop.
A place where base materials can be transformed into something new. A place where flour, butter, sugar and eggs metamorphosise under the fierce lick of the oven’s flame; a place where you yourself are transformed. When you stand in your kitchen, you enter a sacred space, a place that invites you to come home to yourself and the present moment, a place that invites you to slow down and to be more mindful, a place that invites you to infuse your cooking with consciousness and intent.
Cooking can be a sensual, sensory experience.
If we take the time to be fully present, cooking can become an active meditation. If we simply pick up a lemon, cut it in half and squeeze its juice into our mug of hot honey tea, we are missing an opportunity to squeeze every drop out of the present moment. Instead, try this. Pick up a lemon and really notice its vibrant yellow colour. Feel its smooth, waxy texture as you hold it in your hands. Hear the knife as it slices through the lemon flesh, releasing its citrus-sharp scent into the air. Squeeze the lemon juice onto your tongue and taste its sherbet-sour tang. When we are fully present with our experiences, we awaken our senses and life starts to taste a little richer.
When we choose our food with an interest in its journey and its story, we feel more connected not only to the food that we eat, but also to the invisible cast of characters who helped bring it to our plate.
The lemon you squeeze into your tea may have travelled thousands of miles – by plane, train, boat and truck – passing through many hands on its way to you. When we pay attention to the journey our food has been on – from field to fork – we feel closer to nature and closer to people we have never met, and may never meet. It is said that just five handshakes connects us to the whole world. Every bite that passes our lips, then, connects us to every person in the world. When we awaken, we cannot help but become more conscious in our kitchen, and when we become more conscious, we can also become more intentional.We can introduce ritual into our cooking.
Our kitchen can become a place of magic, a place of enchantment, a place where we bake our intentions directly into our food.
If we tune into our sacred heart-space and our needs, we can set an intention and stir it into our food – heart, mind, body and soul. What do you need, right here, right now, in this moment? A sense of calm? Empowerment? Confidence? Whatever it is that you need, set the intention to infuse your food with this positive energy as you cook.
Consider, too, what foods or herbs might help supercharge your intention.
If you feel a need for peace, quiet and calm, consider using chamomile tea or edible lavender to add the powerful active properties of these herbs to your creations. Be playful, be imaginative, be open-minded. How about baking a ‘Calming Cupcake’, an ‘Empowerment Éclair’ or a ‘Confidence Cookie’?
Carve out some time to create a little edible magic in your kitchen.
Create your own ritual, your own moment of mindfulness in your busy week. Remember, though, that the source of your power is YOU. The cookie, the cake, the culinary creation that you make WILL be powerful because it is infused with YOUR positive intention, because it is a reminder to you to create what YOU need in YOUR life. The calm, the empowerment, the confidence, comes from within, and your culinary creation will work like a charm at reminding you of this.
May we remember that the hearth is the live, beating heart of the home.
May we remember that cooking for ourselves and our loved ones connects us with the oldest act of deepest nurture, that of gathering beneath the stars, around a fire, to eat and to share, to laugh and to cry. And may we remember that the most powerful ingredient we can infuse any recipe with – the most ancient, activating magic of all – is always love.
Rebecca Robinson is a writer, wellbeing expert and transformational coach. Devoted to awakening women’s inner wisdom, Rebecca weaves together our own wild magic with the wonders of Mother Earth. Follow her on Instagram @rrobinsonwriter or visit her website here