Many of us have been attending separated family detainee protests this week and making donations to help all of these families in need. It can feel like we have no control over our world, does it not? It’s very hard to feel so helpless when attempting to improve the plight of so many but it’s important that we take control of our home lives before we attempt to help others.
For this reason, I bring you a piece by Jonathan Yatsky who has offered to share his insights on taking control…in the kitchen. We need to nurture ourselves and our families before we can care for our communities. We need strength, yo! After you make all that food, you can bring it to others.
Take back the Kitchen – Focus
Life is a like a roller coaster, some days you get to ride the good feelings up and up and up while other days give your stomach churning drops. On days like those it can feel like the world is spinning out of control and nothing seems to be going your way… So what can you do?
On days like those it is important to find a way to reassert control in your life and find a way to stop the negative cycle of thoughts that a bad day causes. You can do this by focusing on something that you CAN do. Instead of dwelling on all the things that you can’t control, you can take back your power in the kitchen.
The first step in this process is creating an environment that you choose. This means that the music, lighting, and even the recipe, is yours to choose. Now there might be some snags, such as whether or not you have all the ingredients. If that’s the case, then you must find a solution, try a new perspective, and figure out what to do. Simple problem solving victories like these can make you feel stronger and more capable, both in and out of the kitchen.
The second step is to focus on the creative process of cooking. Each recipe that you encounter is a guide map to get you from base components to a harmonious meal. This can feel a little like life at times, as you attempt to puzzle out how everything works together to create a successful outcome. In recipes, and in life, take it one step at a time, with full focus on craftsmanship and detail. When you’re cutting carrots think about cutting carrots. Devote your attention to the task at hand and let go of what happened before. If we attempt to think about everything at once, the recipe won’t work. The same is true for life. Focus on what is in front of you and do it to the best of your ability. Don’t worry how everything will work together because one step at a time it will come together.
The final step is to taste and enjoy your food. During times of great stress, we tend to rush around, attempting to get everything done. This can raise your anxiety and stress level even more because you don’t feel like you have time to stop. After a day of rushing around and taking care of everyone else, you need to find a way to unwind from your tightly-wound state. So don’t just scarf down the meal that you have taken the time to make… sit down, be present and enjoy! Focus on the taste and textures of something wonderful that YOU have created. This will help you relax, bringing your world back into focus and under control.
Jonathan enjoys his time in the kitchen, especially when he’s preparing a meal for a group of friends. He’s even found a way to enjoy washing the dishes! He is a practicing therapist with a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology, an author, Course leader and public speaker. Learn more about Jonathan at JonathanYatsky.com