Fall is a great time of year to reconnect to your kitchen and so this can be a perfect opportunity to practice Presence. As summer holidays have ended and the school year starts, life starts moving fast again. Stress, fast-paced and hectic days become part of our lives again but the kitchen and cooking can be a wonderful place to slow down, breathe, focus, and practice Presence.
The following are 7 tips to help you practice Presence in the kitchen.
1. Set the mood in your kitchen. Prior to cooking or preparing a meal, light some candles, burn some incense or boil a pot of cinnamon sticks and cloves that will infuse your kitchen with a scent of calm. Turn off the television and turn on relaxing music or choose silence. Make your kitchen a place where you want to spend time and hang out in.
2. Turn off your cell-phone. Make your kitchen a cell-free zone. Texting and cooking do not belong together! It is completely distracting and having it on and hearing it go off every time you have a message instantly takes you out of presence, makes you feel scattered and unfocused. Up until 6 months ago I never had a cell phone and since I have had it, I have noticed how distracted, scattered and unfocused I have been, especially in the kitchen. No more cell phone in the kitchen for me!!
3. If you are solo in your kitchen than enjoy the silence and time with yourself. If you enjoy having others around, invite your kids or partner to help or to sit at the counter or table and talk about the day.
4. Focus on what you are doing. Be very present with each step of your cooking. Cut, boil, chop, mix, season, stir, prepare and wash with presence.
5. Find a recipe you would like to try. Recipes help you to be present since you have to follow it step-by-step and be methodical.
6. Slow down. Bring some slow to what you are doing. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to cook, still try to sprinkle some slow into the time you do have. Rushing and being stressed while you are preparing a meal doesn’t make your meal taste great and takes away from the nourishment of the meal.
7. Eat with presence. Look at your food, taste it, smell it, chew it, savor it, enjoy it and fully experience it. The more present you are the more satisfied and nourished you feel.
Presence while cooking and eating is a key ingredient to nourishing yourself and optimizing your nutritional lifestyle. Practicing Presence in the kitchen has been so helpful in slowing down my day, bringing more calm and breath to my life, connecting with myself and enjoying the experience of cooking. I hope that you find a daily dose of Vitamin P in the kitchen is helpful and nourishing for you as well.