At the current moment , the entire world is having to shift, the world as we know it. With daily routines of getting the kids up for school, shoving a quick breakfast into our bellies, and rushing out the door to sit in excruciating traffic while we listen to news or music to pass the time. Then, we work all day, kids come home from school, we feed them, rush off to sports, eat dinner .That was the routine for many families. Every. Single. Day.
Now that routine has been thrown out the door, there is no alarm waking us up to get ready for school and work. We don’t have to get dressed. We can just take our time doing whatever our “new normal” has to be. However, our new “ab-normal” as I call it, is even more stressful than ever.
These days, I wake up and have the time to sit down each morning and scroll through Facebook and Instagram leisurely. I am bombarded with countless pictures of cookies, cakes, muffins, and brownies. Many Adults are posting pictures of their proud creations. I also see
adults posting pictures of their children proudly baking and eating their creations. I see big smiles and proud faces next to beautiful baked goods. And I know exactly the reasons why this simple act can bring so much joy.
Baking is a very mindful act, much like meditation, which is one of the few reasons why we shouldn’t shy away from the mess that we and our children are making. We should perhaps put down that extra package of toilet paper and pick up that extra bag of flour instead.
Baking is a very mindful act. We choose a recipe. We choose to begin. We gather the ingredients. We measure. We pour. We stir. It’s a step by step process that requires 100% of our attention. As we measure, pour, stir, mix or knead, we are being productive. Our minds are centered. We are present and fully aware of our actions. We are being MINDFUL of everything surrounding that kitchen counter.
As we pour, mix, stir, knead and continually repeat that process, it becomes routine. That repetitive flow can have a very powerful calming effect. You can tune out the world or perhaps put on some music so that you can enter that ‘zone’, where it’s just you and that batter or dough. Much like an athlete, you are in it for the long haul and you will cross that finish line.
Once that mixing is done, into the oven it all goes. The anticipation of the completed product can give us a sense of excitement. That sweet smell of sugar, chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla; it’s all so nostalgic. Perhaps a memory of grandma baking with us comes to mind. All your senses are now in overload as we are in anticipation for that sweet first taste. For more than a few minutes, we have just escaped reality and forgotten about all the bad things currently happening in the world.
Then, that oven bell ‘DINGS’. All done baking. We rush to the oven holding our breath as we again as we anticipate for a positive outcome. The sweet smell and hot air gushes out of the oven. The trays are so hot.
The finale of baking is the sweetest part! With that first bite into a warm chocolate chip cookie or warm banana nut muffin, the oooh’s, aahh’s and yumms. We are nourishing our bodies. It’s self-care. And, as most bakers do, we share. Sharing with our family, neighbors, and friends is a very intentional act. It sends a message of love, care, and connection. It’s a love language that bakers and their loved ones understand.