Not in the kitchen, but in the heat and pressure of these days. Today, I read that half the world is under orders to stay at home. Literally. Whatever you do and used to do, this is a crucible experience. This isn’t a challenge to rise to the occasion, it’s just a description.
Day by day the heat of unfamiliar conditions goes up. It transforms us into a puddle of our essential selves, like ore in a crucible. The bits that we do not like much are standing out on the surface of our fluid, quivering selves. The first thought is that we have to be different than that. A second thought is that this will be over eventually and I won’t have to face this.
Right now, be human rather than a hero
“Crucible” is often used to describe the story of people tested under pressure. They discover their best qualities. I’m not talking about those stories. I’m talking about my story. And your story. A better analogy for heat, pressure, and inescapable conditions is cooking. This is a time to cook our selves and see what happens when the tough bits soften.
With practice, we can bear any experience head on
This is a great time to cultivate just a little more awareness of how we are when so much of the life we know slips away. This is deeply uncomfortable. All along we have avoided giving it more attention because it is uncomfortable.
But we have great, often untapped capacity to look at our experience head on. When we do, we may feel anxiety more deeply, but we also feel joy more deeply. Our own and others’.
How can we start cooking ourselves now?
- Sit still. You could even lie down.
- In short sessions or small doses, feel the sensations in your body and the emotions that go with them.
- Relax a little by breathing deeply and easily.
- Stop when you’ve had enough.
- Naming sensations and emotions helps some people, but not everyone.
- If there are tears or laughter, that’s experience. It can’t hurt you. It’s passing, if you let it. You are not the same as what you experience.
This is not easy, but we have great, often untapped potential to look directly at our uncomfortable experience.
If you want some guidance and support as you cook, get in touch. We can do it together.