I really went there with a chocolate cake last night. And it taught me something about myself.
So yesterday was my husband-life-partner-favorite-human’s birthday and I was making a cake for the party at our house.* He says my baking is a form of performance art. Where anything is possible.
It’s true…I’m an irreverent baker. I treat it more like an improvisational dance than a science. I substitute a lot — and I often substitute the substitutes. It’s a comedy of errors.
I realized yesterday that I really love this about myself.
Sometimes what I make is transcendent. Sometimes it’s just passable. Sometimes it’s terrifying. I own this as a cost of the magic that I feel in the pure creation process.
I cauldroned up some hazelnut flour, mystery flaxseed/chia meal (where did that even come from?), local honey, old hardened coconut sugar, fresh eggs and grassfed butter.
No cake pan? No problem! I used a cookie sheet. Sheet cake is a thing, right? Onto the frosting…
UGH. This is where I fell out of my unique, creative baking flow and let my ego take me down.
I had miraculously managed to make the base for a gorgeous frosting, despite having almost no sugar. Gawd, I love surprising myself like that. I’d done it.
I’m a hero, I thought. Power stance.
And instead of waiting for it to cool down and thicken, I decided to put in a little guar gum (side note: do not eff with guar gum, people). Ummm, I actually put in a bunch. So much in fact, that it went from silky chocolate to a chalky, brown playdoh.
Why did I do that?!? I inside-shrieked.
Because I was mf impatient. Because I stopped listening to myself.
I let some worry about people arriving for the party and me not being ready break my flow. I tried to rush the magic.
In my guar gum-induced haze, I thought it would be better (for others) to fast forward my own joy on the journey in order to please what I thought others might be thinking.
Everyday in my work and life, I talk to brilliant, beautiful humans who spend an inordinate amount of energy imagining what others are thinking and then acting from those places.
It’s never going to be magic like that. It will only keep you in the pattern of feeling insecure, unsafe, performative, exhausted, disconnected, unfulfilled, worried and any number of other pathologies.
The major cake lesson/reminder here: Enjoy your journey on your terms. Because how you do one thing is how you do everything.**
So do it (aka anything in your life) with love and you-ness. Not a love that you think will come from doing the “right thing” from your perception of other people’s terms — but your damn terms!
You can be your own best version of a bizarre chocolate cake. Own your special ingredients.
Sometimes you’ll be transcendent. Sometimes you’ll be a little too weird*** for some people. It’s ok!
Where do you need to be more improvisational chocolate cake and less here’s-the-flavor-I-think-they’ll-like in your life?
is not about how many people
like your work
if your heart likes your work
if your soul likes your work
it’s about how honest
you are with yourself
trade honesty for relatability”
― Rupi Kaur
BTW I chucked the icing, went to the store, got new ingredients and made an INSANELY delicious icing. There’s not even a dang crumb left this morning…but it’s possible I might’ve licked a random fork covered in chocolatey goodness. :-/
Do you because no one else will and the world needs your gifts.
* It was supposed to be a bonfire and bbq. But the wind kicked up, our bbq wouldn’t light…oh haiii mercury retrograde!
** This quote (how you do one thing…) has been attributed to everyone from Albert Einstein to Iyanla Vanzant to Tom Waits. Whoever said it first, good for you.
*** Someone once told me the root for the word “weird” is the same root for the word “wisdom.” I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ll take it.