Get Cooking!

I’d guess that most “real” chefs don’t work this way, but for me, I clean as I go when I’m cooking. Of course there will always be pots and pans at the end of the meal, and the dishes you eat on, but everything else I wash as I’m done. I’d just prefer to have less of a mess to clean later. I wouldn’t try to convince anyone else of that, maybe you like to make a huge mess in your kitchen because doing it any other way would disrupt your flow, but in life, it’s definitely the way to go.

For lots of people, the pain of acknowledging that they’ve screwed up is so great, they’d rather hold it in, push it down or run from it. As we’re all human, we will all make mistakes, have moments when we don’t act from our highest selves, make choices we’d love to do over again, and differently. If you come from a background where you paid dearly if you screwed up, the words, “I’m sorry, I blew it,” may get strangled in your throat, they may get choked off by fear. The more you can take ownership of your actions and apologize quickly and from your heart, the less energy you’ll have to spend trying to convince yourself or others that you’re never wrong. The ability to forgive yourself and other people is in direct relation to your chances of opening to love and true intimacy.

Most people want nothing more than to be understood. Most arguments stem from the sense that we’re not being seen clearly, we’re not being heard; this is why people raise their voices. Maybe if I just say it louder, this person will remember who I am, or see things the way I want them to, or admit that they’re wrong. Very often, people dig their heels in and fight for their position. Defenses take over, and the object becomes winning the fight, but there aren’t any winners when two people who love each other hurt each other and compound things by standing their ground. I know so many people who’ve lost years of time with family members over arguments that were completely meaningless.

There are other ways people create a huge mess for themselves. Sometimes a person’s addiction takes over her life, much to the dismay of those people who love her. Sometimes a person’s rage is so intense, it drives away the very people who love him, and want nothing for him but his happiness and peace. Sometimes we do things we know we shouldn’t, but we convince ourselves it’s okay. Making a mess is part of being human. The more you can own it and do your best to make it right, the less energy you’ll spend kicking yourself, or feeling guilty, beholden or resentful. It’s not uncommon for people to shun those they love because they’ve gotten a glimpse of something that’s not so pretty. Years ago, I had a teacher I idolized. Eventually we became friends and I realized he was just a human being like everyone else, but he didn’t like that. He liked the adoration. I offered real friendship, but he wasn’t interested in that. He didn’t want people around who had really seen him, or who poked a hole through the perfect facade. Not everything is pretty and light. Everyone has pain. If you want people to know you, see you and accept you, you’re going to have to be willing to let them see your pain, too. They’ll either receive it and understand and move closer, or they’ll flee. If they flee, they aren’t part of your crew; better to know that.

Life is really too short to let things fester. The more you open to what’s true for you, the more you accept yourself, the easier it is to live in alignment with what’s in your heart. When you’re living in a state of peace with yourself, you’ll screw up a lot less. You’ll never be mistake-free, it’s just that you’ll get used to speaking your truth calmly and with compassion. It’s a lot easier to move through the world without having to hide how you really feel; you’ll make a lot less of a mess that way. Don’t overuse the words, “I’m sorry,” or they’ll lose their power. If you have to be sorry a lot, figure out why that is and get busy working on it. As much as you can, forgive yourself when you blow it, and forgive others, too. This is a challenging stew we’re in, after all. If you want to boil something, get out a pot and make yourself a nice soup. Don’t boil yourself, though. Don’t give yourself a meal of disappointment that you serve over and over again. Clean up what you can, savor everything else and eat good chocolate sometimes.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here, and my yoga classes and courses here.

One thought on “Get Cooking!”

  1. Dear Ally, I have been receiving your blog for about a month now. Everyday or every other day, I look forward to the next one! I have only been to your studio in Santa Monica a couple of times, on a Saturday, to Kourtney¹s class.

    I just want to tell you, that I find so much depth, insight and many times, humor in your posts. They make my day! Even my sister, now, subscribes to the blog.

    I started doing yoga about 3 years ago, at a time when I thought I just had to find something to help my soul find some peace. Well, I did, and, on some days, sure, I feel completely peaceful, and on others, well, not exactly, but as I have learned, you keep moving forward. Feel ³it², acknowledge ³it², release ³it².

    Funny, how we can apply this to many situations in life. We¹ve all have some trauma (battle scars). We all carry some kind of suitcase.

    Anyway, this isn¹t about me, this is a compliment and thanks to you, for sharing, with the rest of us, your thoughts, wisdom, love and tranquility.

    Thank you, Nancy

Leave a Reply