Saturday, December 19, 2009

living with less

Ok, here's my confession. My last move has told me that I have A LOT OF STUFF. I have either of these 2 excuses for it: 1) "I am a teacher of young children, and children love usable junk!" or 2) "There's a lot I like to do in life - all of which require STUFF. I teach kids. I am a student. I teach and practice yoga. I cook. I bake. I do photography. I like DOING things. All of which require - yes, STUFF."

Well, as my friends can attest - I do have a lot of stuff. Excuses or not, I am guilty as charged.

My last 3-4 months have been a time of transition. I packed most of my things into boxes and put them in storage (thanks to my brother's large basement). From August to November, I lived in a friend's place (to CD and MK -- THANK YOU!), with only my essential things that can fit into the guest bedroom.... and their pantry (of course I had food.). Then in mid-November I packed and moved again, and I am now living in a tiny apartment in graduate student housing on a university campus.

Ok. My point is, I have been living without my baking equipment. For MONTHS. (Gasp!)

So yes, I am living with less. For someone who used to bake at least once a week, this is huge. I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms from the unthinkable - not baking. I always baked and shared them with whoever accepted my homemade treats with open arms and an appetite.

I thought about it, and wondered, am I too attached to my stuff?

Yoga always taught detachment. Why am I having such a hard time with this?

I realized though, it's not really JUST the "stuff" I miss. I miss the sense of BEING that comes with baking - with the act of quietly measuring, scooping, stirring and pouring. Baking provided that sense of calm for me after a rough day. Or that sense of delight and enjoyment in celebration of happy times. And all moments in between -- I bake.

In this month's issue of Yoga Journal, I read this:

"Every Saturday morning I'd roll out of bed bleary-eyed, fill an empty bundt cake pan wiht batter, and give the resulting cake to someone in need of comfort or a little celebration. As I listened to the city wake up, I counted and chopped, mixed and measured. And in the process, my mind became still, my breath slowed, my body felt balanced and at peace. What I experienced was more than mixing butter and eggs -- it was a practice in baking and giving from the heart." - Rachel Meyer, The Joy of Baking, Yoga Journal December 2009

Ok, so maybe I don't jump out of bed to bake in the morning. Night owl that I am, I'm more likely to stay up at night to be in my kitchen. But I can totally relate to what she wrote. Baking - or cooking, is a practice of something that's almost... yogic. In the sense of emptying the mind, feeling centered and being present, and offering an action with a sense of full intention.

See why I miss it? (And why I miss my STUFF?)

This time of year is usually a frenzy of activity in my kitchen. But it's not happening this year, until I get my baking equipment out of storage. And as soon as that happens, I'm going to bake like it's nobody's business.

(Background: chocolate chip-walnut banana muffins;
foreground: vegan chai spice cupcakes with vanilla buttercream,
recipe from my go-to cupcake cookbook)

Pin It!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...