I’ve been forcing myself to slow down. If you can imagine a Formula One car at full speed coming to a near halt of an old 1960s VW Beetle you should get the picture of the backlash I am having. Finding myself in a new routine and a different job situation has turned things around for me, giving me what everyone is referring to as “more time.”
This “more time” does look tempting in theory but in practice I started doing what I often do - planning, organizing other projects to fill the “more time!” In reality is was justification not to have to tackle my inner thoughts and emotions that still needed attention and tending to. I was still carrying a lot of the resentment and negative feelings with me and it was weighing me down. So I decided to face this “more time” from a different angle and use a little of it for me.
There is something rather indulgent about being so self-absorbed and self-seeking, I thought and at first I felt extremely uncomfortable with having to deal with so much of the ME in Meeta! But I had to cross back over to the positive side I was familiar with. The negativity that was creeping up was driving me crazy. With the help of a group of supportive friends and colleagues I am being motivated and animated in all kinds of different directions to find … me.
The spiritual me: the one that needs to look at her inner self from the outside. Hmnn! I have no idea how to detach the outer me from the inner me - we come in a pack and the mess one is in the other is in it too. I am really having trouble with this one.
The emotional me: the one that needs to let her emotions loose. There are no negative emotions, I am told, but they are all gifts. I need to take and accept these gifts and analyze what each gift does for me. Nope not getting far with this one. If my emotion is making me feel furious there is no way I am cool enough to open myself and take it as a gift AND analyze it too. Hec … I’ll be the one kicking in the trash cans! That is what I understand as letting my emotions loose.
What I am doing is taking snippets of each advice and motivation and piecing it together to suit me. I am using the time to structure myself again because the me I know needs to have the safe haven of a structure around her. I have started a happiness and gratitude journal. Inspired by Kristen’s Happiness Reports, I have taken to putting down all my happy things into a journal. An hour or two offline: away from the social media, blog, notebook, apps and co. instead I am surrounded by scissors, glue, washi tapes, colored pens and magazines. I write my favorite quotes and poems, clip and paste artwork and patterns, and put ideas for happy recipes in my journal. I end each day with 5 things I am particularly grateful for that day. If I experience the negative I make it a point to turn it to a positive comment in the journal. This helps me focus on the good and positive aspects.
I’ve been working on my happiness project for just a few days now but I am already noticing how my inner me is relaxing and letting go of some of the frustrations and negativity. I am sleeping well without waking up with panic attacks and being rested makes me happier and more at peace. I feel stronger everyday … I am dedicated to keep on this track.
Next on my happy list is getting back to the gym and train regularly. I failed my sport test for my knee last week. It’s been 6 months since I had the knee surgery and while I have been committed to doing my physio to keep my knee fit and stable, I have not done much to build up the muscles and my strength. That was what failed me at the test - “muscular deficit.” With those results I went straight to my gym and have worked out a training plan with my trainer to awaken those sleeping muscles again. I start next week and am raring to go. My second sport test is end of April and I will pass that with flying colors.
The Christmas feeling has also arrived and we’ve been decorating and getting ready for the festivities over the past few days. Soeren’s Christmas concert on the weekend put me into the spirit that was missing. He rocked some popular Christmas carols and songs on his e-guitar and the second advent went down with cookies and other Christmas treats.
I was not in the mood for stollen. After having baked three in September for magazine features, I decided to skip baking the traditional stollen for Christmas this year. However, I could not get over the feeling that I was committing an act of sacrilege. Inspired by the flavors and ingredients in a stollen I decided to cheat. Making sweet yeasted doughs have been a bit of therapy for me and after last week’s cardamom infused challah, I was on a roll.
So in my second Christmas post for you I bring you a fusion sweet treat using the German stollen as my basis for inspiration. The dough for these soft and moist stollen buns is spiced with allspice, cardamom and cinnamon. Marzipan, orange and cointreau add that special touch.
These disappeared quite fast. I was expecting comments asking for the real deal – like last year’s Orange Marmalade Date Fig and Quark Stollen but these buns went down a treat. Boasting flavor of a German stollen hugged by a sweet yeasty dough – what’s not to love? With a cup of coffee these are the little things I am grateful for.
Do you have a journal recording things that make you happy?
Next week in my final Christmas sweet treat post I'll be sharing a delicate buttery pastry ... it's what happens when French pastry meets German flavors. Stay tuned!More Christmas treats from WFLH:
|Sticky Toffee Pudding||Almond and Pink Praline Spekulatius||White Chocolate Cardamom Mousse with Spekulatius Crumbs|
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