Most good cooks are masters of the art of reinvention. Why? We have to be. In the kitchen, we quickly learn to expect the unexpected so we also learn how to adapt and find another way. As it turns out, this is a good thing to know if you want to live a peaceful life. So this peaceful kitchen warrior can tell you this…
1. Trust Your Instincts
Cooks are always fussing with recipes. Each time we make something, we want to make it better than the last. We also know that sometimes we fuss too much, and that this rarely works out. This teaches us to trust our instincts.
2. Always Keep Learning
Sometimes we add something new to the mix just to see what happens; just because we’re curious; and this keeps us adventurous and always learning.
3. Be Resourceful
We’re great at finding new uses for things because in a pinch, we’ve had to. And so we learned to be resourceful.
4. Learn to Let Go
When we don’t have an ingredient, we simply substitute it with another. We make due with what we have and hope for the best. So we learn to let go.
5. Get Your Priorities Straight
If we’re missing an essential ingredient, we go get it, or we make something else. This sets our priorities straight.
6. Begin Again
If we try something and it doesn’t work, we begin again. This teaches us that it’s that simple.
7. Learn to Forgive
We understand that sometimes we make mistakes, so we forgive ourselves. And this makes it easier to forgive others too.
8. Trust Your Mistakes
We’re trained to trust because often our mistakes turn into something delicious.
We look at a clump of dough and see the bread it will be; and so we learn how to envision.
10. Keep Things Balanced
We learn the importance of balance because every good recipe has it.
11. Don’t Judge
We know not to judge, because some of the ugliest looking things are the most exquisite to eat.
12. Be Generous
We’re inherently generous because we love sharing what we make.
13. Embrace Change
We know that recipes by their very nature are never static, and neither are we; they evolve and change, and so we do too. This brings us peace.
In the kitchen, these simple lessons were repeated to me almost daily, even when I didn’t know they were such. Slowly they began to seep into my awareness and I began to apply them to my life outside the kitchen. And when the unexpected happened there – as it does in every life – sometimes I fell…and the lessons of the kitchen would begin again.
After decades of cooking almost daily, I think I’m finally catching on…
“Life works the same way a recipe does. It’s simply a guide. What we do with it is up to us.”
A version of this appeared on Mind Body Green. Click here to see this post