I woke up this morning in my body, present, content. For someone who's often plagued by anxiety, these feelings can sometimes be foreign and often fleeting. As feelings and moods go, I don't expect them to hang around. Soon they'll be replaced by whatever wind will be sweeping through me. But that's okay. Right now, it's just okay.
Being an adult can feel strange at times. After all, I'm still me...the same me who after a drunken night in New York would take a train at 3am, alone without regard. The same me who grew up speaking a different language, thinking in a different language, and living in a different culture. The same me who spent hours playing by the seashore, building sand castles and collecting shells as a little girl. It's all me...
But once children come along, responsibility replaces youth's selfishness and there's work and stuff and well, shit just needs to get done. Life becomes akin to juggling fine china in a van while going 45 down Lombard Street. So the content feeling I experience in the morning most often vanishes when the day gets going. I crave a version of myself that isn't fragmented with pieces of me tugging in different directions. I crave slow living or rather a slower living.
Perhaps mindfulness is one way to get a step closer to slow living. For me, it's trying to be present in my body and aware of the here and now. Most days I'm on autopilot, going through the motions and likely thinking similar thoughts I did the day before and the day before and the day before. It's how it goes and it's inevitable. But bringing mindfulness to whatever it is I'm doing allows me to fully be in it and appreciate it for what it is, without judgement.
Cooking takes me to this place. No matter what it is I'm making, from an elaborate dish to a simple butternut squash hummus, I feel somehow part of everything that goes into the process.
butternut squash hummus
prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 25 minutes
makes: 4-6 servings
1 medium butternut squash
4 tbsp olive oil divided
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp runny tahini
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt divided
1/4 tsp pepper
optional: 2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
optional: 1 tbsp parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut butternut squash into small, roughly 1" pieces. Combine with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and add to parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, tossing several times to ensure even roasting.
Once squash is finished, let cool for 5 minutes and add to food processor along with other ingredients aside from optional ones. Adjust seasoning if you want more salt.
Serve warm or cold with carrot slices or vegetables of your choice.