Creativity can found in so many places, particularly the kitchen. Perhaps you are not one to enjoy cooking or baking – if that is you then this post is probably not for you. However, if there is an inkling within that is drawn to making something homemade in the kitchen, it truly is a place and space to let your creativity burst forth.
And why pie?
In my humble pie opinion, it’s one of those baked goodies that can be as easy or as challenging as you want to make it and/or need it to be. No matter what level you take it to though, baking a pie can create a space for creativity like none other.
You have the choice of type of pie and can change it up as you see fit and are drawn to do. You can choose ready-made pie crust and focus on the filling or you can perfect your pie dough technique – what would be most challenging of all for me! There is also the ritual of using your hands and mind to create something special and delicious for you and your loved ones.
Even better, once the pie is in the oven and the scent comes piping out of the oven — oh! Is there anything better? The scent alone can bring forth a burst of your creative self at play.
Along with the creativity, baking a pie can also lead to a felt sense of being grounded in a tactile activity that uses our hands and our hearts and minds. United in the act of creating a pie, it is an activity that holds one in the moment. So, not only is it an activity to turn toward for a creativity burst, but also to find grounding in one’s self.
All of us experience some level of anxiety. It’s normal. We are humans and we worry about a whole host of things – real and imagined in our minds. Most of what we are anxious over is never going to come to pass. Alternatively, it can definitely be something that is going to happen in a matter of time. Either way, how to calm one’s anxious mind amidst these stormy seas?
I have always been drawn to taking a few moments and picturing a thick, long piece of rope – sort of like the one in the picture in this post. In my mind, though, the rope is one long strand. I think about all of my worries and concerns and as I do in my mind I picture myself picking up one end of this heavy mental rope with my two hands.
I find it is hard to pick up the rope, but I struggle and pick it up. From there, I pull the rope in to myself — literally “roping in my restlessness.” As i pull it in to myself, I picture all of the knots and knobs of my worries and concerns related to whatever I am feeling anxious about.
I continue to pull the rope in to myself until I have none left, i.e. all of my concerns, cares, worries have been pulled in and gathered up. My restlessness regarding the matter is contained within me and to a large degree settled as I have faced all of the matter and pulled it in so that it does not have me flinging around in my mind making my life overwrought with anxiety, but rather I have allowed myself time to reflect, give time to the whole of the matter, and contain it within me.
All the while, I remind myself all of this will come to fruition and pass one way or another. After this little meditation, I am often able to move my mind and day on to other things that are no longer hampered by my anxious state.
Rope in your restlessness and calm your anxious mind.
A professor of mine mentioned one day that she was off on a Forest Bathing adventure with some friends one weekend last year. My ears immediately perked up! What is this Forest Bathing. I had no idea, but the idea sounded delightful.
Basically she explained that she did not know much about it either, but that she and her friends were going to the woods and be with the trees. So, she was not going to actually take a literal bath out there, but rather become immersed in the forest, i.e. in the natural world.
This idea was on my mind when I ran into this book:
Now here was an interesting book that seemed to know all about the subject. I bought it given all of my intrigue over the concept. First, it is a gorgeous book full of calm pictures of forests and trees that immediately relaxed me.
From there, I was amazed at the many different ways to be with the trees in nature, as well as how we bring ourselves to the forest. Much of the book incorporates meditations and mindful activities to practice when among the trees, which seeks to help people incorporate practices that will reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by sharing time with the natural world.
This may just be another gimmick in the realm of uber self-care practices, but I believe the notion of Forest Bathing can just allow us to be present to ourselves and nature when we are in it and also make it a priority to spend time there. I know for myself, I always feel rejuvenated to be on a hike in a forest – perhaps I will find more time in 2020 to Forest Bathe.