I went to the supermarket yesterday -- I had a beef and shallot stew recipe I wanted to make for my husband, Bob. If all went well, we planned to replicate it during an upcoming family gathering in VT. For those of you aware of my culinary skills, you recognize this as the big deal that it was!
The recipe called for thyme, so I went to my reliable Fairway Market (it was the one ingredient I was missing).
I looked and I looked in the fresh herb section, but there was no thyme. I thought that an interesting conundrum because I never have any time. Somehow the afternoons and then evenings creep up on me daily, but I digress.
I had a 4lb chunk of thawed meat from the farmers market in the fridge and no thyme! Ordinarily, a hiccup like that would throw me into a tizzy, running to every market in the neighborhood utilizing precious time, usually with the same result – everyone out of thyme. The stew experiment a disaster before it even started!
Instead, I shrugged and got rosemary. I didn’t know if that an appropriate substitute, but I like rosemary, and Bob could care less and wouldn’t know the difference anyway.
I thought about it afterwards. What made me grab for the substitute with a smile instead of getting derailed and panicked?
Leading up to this, I had spent a significant amount of time over the holiday weekend organizing piles of work and personal papers in our small apartment. In a small apartment, one short stack of paper easily takes over the whole place, and I had a good five stacks in various locations to get through.
I am a pack rat by nature, but piece-by-piece I filed, organized and chucked. I paid special attention to getting rid of things that wouldn’t serve my future. It’s amazing how you’re able to breathe easier when there’s less crap around, especially crap that’s dragging you down!
It’s also incredible to discover parts of yourself that you’re newly able to access, from the physical to the spiritual. I practice yoga a few times a week and slowly but surely am getting stronger, able to move more freely and access additional poses. There is one pose that has always eluded me, Utthan Pristhasana (or Lizard Pose). When a teacher would integrate that pose into a class, I would always sigh and look in wonder at the yogis around me as they moved into it with what seemed like ease. I wouldn’t be very generous or yoga-like with myself, and use words in my head like “never happening”, “yeah right”, “you suck”, etc.
In this past Sunday’s class, however, without any special notice from my body, I was one of those yogis – I got into the Lizard pose! Not with ease mind you, but I was in it, able to hold it, find joy in it. I was…open (or at least my hips were)! Or perhaps I was actually opening up?
Either way, it felt good. Was it because my home was more spacious after the mass organization so other parts of me were now too? Was I open to replacing the thyme with rosemary instead of foregoing the whole recipe for the same reason?
Did something as simple as tackling those piles at home make me more receptive and open in other areas of my life?
I think so. I think that by creating space and openness in my home, I created space in my body to achieve physical poses I couldn’t before, as well as open my mind to fresh thinking.
Try it and see if you agree. Please take one small simple step to creating physical or emotional space for yourself. Whether it be a quick 5 minute clean up at home or at the office (it’s amazing what you can accomplish in just 5 minutes!), making that call to schedule an appointment you’ve been meaning to get on the calendar, or finally tackling an annoying errand. Do it now!
See how it feels to get that behind you, and if you feel more open in other areas like I do.
I look forward to hearing what opened up for you!
The stew turned out okay, and I will make it again, but better. Next time with some additional veggies, less liquid, and definitely with pre-cut chunks of meat. I will create my own beef stew, because I’m open to it and I can. Maybe this time, with thyme.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™