Become an Explorer

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“When you do not seek or need external approval, you are at your most powerful.” Carolyn Myss- Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential

The quote from Carolyn Myss above really grabbed my attention as I was reading her book yesterday about finding your own sacred contract with the world. I felt as if those words really leapt off the page because I feel as if the two big events that happened in my life this year: the closure of the meal platform Josephine.com and the closure of the coffee shop were really trying to grab my attention in a major way and were there to teach me some really profound and important lessons about my life.

The Traditional Path VS. Your Personal Path:

I used to think that there was a certain progression in careers or callings in which you needed to follow a specific path or ladder upward in order to appear and feel successful. To me, that was running/owning my own cafe, bakery or restaurant. As I have gone along my path I don’t feel as if anyone but myself has pressured me to pursue these traditional avenues. I feel as if the external approval I was seeking was actually coming from myself. I have always put lots of pressure on myself to achieve. When I took the strengths-finder test I found that one of my highest scores was in the “achiever” category. I have always been very driven to study hard, work hard, set goals and get wherever I felt I needed to go to be successful. I don’t believe anymore that because I haven’t achieved this goal that I am deemed unsuccessful, I truly believe in my heart that there are other things left to explore and other things left that I am truly meant to do, so if I remain closed to only this one idea, I will have lost the ability to explore and to make a difference.

I believe still that these are great traits to have, to be willing to work hard towards something that is very valuable to you in life. However, I now see that my path is not linear. My path is a winding, twisting, moss-covered, beautifully uneven path through a forest like the one pictured above from a camping trip I went on to a beautiful lake.

Changing my character:

As I spoke about in my last post about changing your story, I am also working on changing my character to accommodate those twists and turns, to explore lots of different paths and side roads along the way. I can now see that exploring and becoming an explorer instead of just a linear achiever will serve me so much more on my path and allow me to help others as well.

I am learning to say yes to exploring lots of different opportunities and avenues for the work that I love and different ways that I can help people find their own paths as well. I believe that we all have forces that are either coming from ourselves or others that keeps us in a small world whereas the actual world and reality are limitless! I choose today to explore and see what comes up on my beautiful forest path and I hope you will too.

Questions for you:

What path are you on in life?

What changes in your mindset or character can you make to make that path more enjoyable for you?

I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a comment below and I will answer your comments, or you can email me at: info@thecheerychef.com

Lots of love,

Trista

I am adding a donate button on my blog posts now starting with my Dear Universe post. These donations will help me continue to provide great content on a weekly business as well as grow my gluten free baking business. Thank you so much for your generosity!


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Changing Your Story

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Sometimes in life when you start over after a big change you actually have to make more changes to your life. That can be really frightening to do. So often we want to return to comfort, to familiarity, to what we know for sure. However, in the journey of life it is precisely when we want to return to comfort that we must choose a rockier trail. We must choose to do some challenging things, branch out and explore some other paths. This is the only way to growth, both personally, in our community and in our world as a whole. This is where I find myself today. I am really enjoying the creativity of getting back into baking and I have a couple of major events planned that take me way out of my comfort zone. On the other hand, I still feel like I need to “shake things up,” challenge myself in new and different ways, find other income streams in my business and learn to serve others in new and different ways. In this post I’m going to answer my own questions on this journey and I’d love to hear back from you. What changes are you making? How are you changing and editing your own story?


Who do I want to be?

In my life I want to become someone who gives lots of value to the community by sharing my talents and knowledge to benefit others. I want to be of service by working on volunteer projects, teaching workshops and sharing my journey here on the blog as well as in videos so that others may find comfort in the path they are on and share with me and each other. Maybe there is someone I can help with my story so that they don’t feel so alone. I also want to be a financially abundant person so that I can travel with my family and also enjoy all kinds of amazing foods around the world.


What do I want to do & How am I making that happen?

Wow! There are so many things that I want to do. The activities that we do really shape who we are and who we want to become. Not only do I want to bake custom desserts and create works of art with food, I want to help others with goal setting and vision boards and other processes that have helped me. I am accomplishing this by joining TEAM Beaverton, a group for home-based and micro-businesses: https://beaverton.org/bold/teambeaverton/? at the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce and I will be teaching those workshops to others.

I want to be of service by joining the local Rotary Club: https://portal.clubrunner.ca/2431 and helping with their community projects. I am doing this by meeting with the club about membership and joining the club. I am excited to help with all of the projects coming up for the holiday season and beyond.

The other way I am being of service is setting up volunteer work with Feed the Mass. They teach local cooking classes and are a non-profit: https://www.feedthemass.com/ First, I’ll help out with a class, then create some of my own and teach the classes in their downtown Portland location.

I want to become a custom baker and specialize in custom ice cream cakes and meringue desserts and showpieces. I am doing this by practicing each week different ideas that I have, tasting them, giving out samples and posting the photos on social media. I am so thrilled that my first creation got a great response so I know I am on the way.

I also want to use my writing/video skills to create some workshops, online products that will help others and in turn will help me have more income streams in my business.


What value do I want to add to the world?

Both on the path of custom baked goods and with helping others on their journey of growth, change and abundance in business, I want to add the value of positivity and light. There are ups and downs to life and sometimes life’s signals can be very confusing. I want to be open and honest with others, share what I am going through and what I have been through in the past so that they can in turn open up and share too. When we don’t share our stories with the world it is not just us who lose out, it is others because maybe something you share could help someone else going through the same thing.

To start doing this I am committing to regularly publishing blog posts once a week on Monday mornings. Also, very soon I will be starting a 30 day video challenge to share stories and hopefully help others in their journeys.


What legacy do I want to leave?

I want to leave behind lots of information in the form of blogs, videos and more that can help others to not feel alone in their journey, know that they matter, that they have something to contribute and that the world is a richer place because they are sharing their heart.


Who am I in my daily life?

I have embarked on a lot of projects and habit changes as of late because I want to change my story both inside and out.

Neat and Orderly:

In my daily life I want to be someone who is organized, neat and orderly. Because of this I decided I would tackle the garage and make sure that only things that we use are on the shelves, that everything fits on the shelves and is in a spot where it is most accessible. To accomplish this almost every morning for several weeks I have been de-cluttering for at least 15-30 minutes. Most of the time it was in the garage but I also de-cluttered the front closet, my own closet and drawers, kitchen drawers and cabinets and more. Now, the garage is almost finished! It feels good to actually go in there and be able to find things again. Another part of my change to daily life is to get a handle on my enormous ironing pile. Again, I worked on that for a few minutes a day for quite a while and as of yesterday I finally finished ironing over 90 pieces of clothing, tablecloths, etc. Now, my ironing drawer is actually empty! However, de-cluttering and ironing will still be on my daily “watch” list so if there is any to do it goes on my daily schedule to take care of that.

Financial Abundance/Awareness:

Lately I have also committed to staying on top of my accounting and budgeting in my business. It is not something that I really enjoy doing, but I realize I must do this daily so that I am very aware of the numbers and how things are going. It is important to really prioritize what to spend money on in my business, especially right now when I am starting over and resources will be coming in very soon. So, I do a few minutes of money work each morning by checking my business account, entering in receipts/payments, budgeting or prioritizing money to spend on upcoming events. This has really brought me peace of mind because I can be aware daily of the finances of my business. I will become financially abundant by finding more ways to make money in my business.


Exercise Habit:

I am part of a great accountability group on Facebook where we post about the exercise that we do each day. This has been a great help in re-establishing my exercise habits. On days that I either go to the gym or exercise at home on the elliptical are days that I have more focus and energy, so I know it is vital to my journey. I also feel better health-wise when I get regular exercise. I am so grateful to have begun this habit.


Monthly Goals/Projects:

A great friend of mine and I have started working on keeping each other accountable weekly and also sometimes daily for our goals that we set for September, October and November. Once that process wraps up we can set new project goals and perhaps some habit goals. I have 1 goal for each month that is project-based and then 4 habit goals: exercise, de-cluttering, ironing and money work. The exercise and money work will always continue, but the de-cluttering and ironing work as I said before will be a case of “awareness” if they need to be dealt with that day or not. My September goal is to finish the relaunch of my business which is nearly complete. Then, my October goal is to prepare for the Gluten Free Food and Allergy Fest in November. My November goal is to increase my business income. I’m excited to say that I’ve made progress on these 3 goals due to the daily/weekly check ins with my friend!


How does my outside appearance effect my feelings/outlook?

After de-cluttering my clothes this season, I realize that there are certain clothes that just don’t bring me joy. Those are jeans and other types of cotton pants that are not leggings or those types of comfortable pants. I really am more of a formal-dresser than a sporty type, but I always felt like I “should” wear certain things because most people wear them. I could never really find jeans that I really loved to wear no matter what kind they were or how they fit. In that spirit, I have asked for clothes for my birthday so I will be shopping to add to my wardrobe and really change my closet to one that brings me joy through dresses, skirts, leggings and tops I really love. There are still pieces that bring me joy that I now have, so I don’t have to start over completely, I am just becoming more aware of how the clothes make me feel and how I am able to show up in the world because of that.


What changes can I make?

I have already started to make changes by working on getting out into the community more, create more events, work on my custom baking more, becoming a more orderly person and the list goes on. :) However, I believe that change is a very good thing for all of us. I will continue to make changes and I welcome any suggestions on changes I can make for the better. Please comment below with any ideas you may have.

I will be starting my video challenge to get me moving again with sharing more with people, but I welcome other ideas as well.

I focus a lot on giving and charity work which is fantastic and I want to continue to do that, but I also have to focus on making money in my business as well so that I can do more work with my family as well as meet my personal goals of travel, self care and more!

I am learning that it is ok to make money. It is a flow of abundance from me to others and from others to me. I love to give of myself, and I also love to receive. I allow myself to receive abundance from others because I am putting out a lot of value into the world. I am so grateful for what is coming my way! :) One change I can make in this area is to balance my charity work with my money-making work. I am joining forces with community organizations that will help me help others in my area. Then, I can spend my other time working on products and services that provide value that I am paid for.


How can I learn and grow?

I believe that in order to have a wonderful story and to change it, we all need to be constantly learning and growing as human beings. I will continue to seek out books, videos and other materials that stretch my thinking and my actions as well as my spirit. I will also be aware of my self care and my time off. Those are also great parts of learning and growing, giving back to ourselves as well and honoring that we are special too.

I welcome any feedback on this post and would love to hear how you are changing, learning, growing or needing a change in your personal story. I’d love to hear from you! You can comment here, or leave me an email at:

info@thecheerychef.com

With love,

Trista


I am adding a donate button on my blog posts now starting with my Dear Universe post. These donations will help me continue to provide great content on a weekly business as well as grow my gluten free baking business. Thank you so much for your generosity!


Donate


Dear Universe,

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Preface:

This is an open letter to the universe that is from all of my heart. I am doing lots of personal growth work right now and have done a lot of that this year, especially in the wake of the shut down of Josephine.com and then the closing of Murray’s Coffee Bar. I am working on lots of learning right now, not only about how to start over but about myself and how I want to show up for the world. This journey has had lots of ups and downs, but this I know for sure: it is a journey that is full of amazing twists and turns and we all must be awake enough to really soak it all in and appreciate it all. With lots of love, this is what I’d like to express to the universe right now.

Dear Universe,

This is a thank you letter to you for all of the wonders we have in the world. I remember when I was a little girl and every day I would have an imaginative plan to go and do something like run my restaurant or have a picnic with my dolls. Everything was so vivid in those days of play out in the forest, the yard and the field. Every day my grandpa would ask me what my plans in my realm were that day. I really, truly felt so amazing every single day playing, imagining, pretending. There was almost no line between real life and imaginary because in my world it was all possible.

I always imagine you to be a beautiful galaxy of stars swirling around, sparkling with light and a million colors. You love to see our dreams, our imaginations, our faith in what is possible for our lives and our destinies. Sometimes you send us challenges or setbacks to test how well we can do, to train us for what is to come. At the time those can take our magic away if we allow it, or it can make us stronger to face what is to come to reach our dreams. Today I choose to allow everything to make me stronger, to make me wiser, to help me face the challenges to reach my dreams and help others along my path.

I know that inside I still have that imagination that I had as a little girl, every day when I am baking at home I am really in my fancy patisserie, surrounded by lots of amazing people, beautiful music and all of the delights of the culinary world. Every day when I prepare to work and put on my apron I am entering the sacred universe of dreams, I must not resist doing the work because creating works of art out of food is what I was born to do. I am in my realm and that gives me daily joy. I ask that you help me see this magical world.

Sometimes we lose sight of our imaginations, our dream world, because our physical reality is otherwise. However, every day we see others who have overcome amazing challenges because they kept the dream, they kept the imagination and they kept going no matter what. They are evidence of the fact that everything can become our reality if we choose it to be so.

I am learning day by day to tap into my inner self, to believe in myself, to really look into my creativity and believe that I can make anything happen. I thank you for showing me the beauty of nature, the mystery of a lucky penny on the sidewalk, the amazing conversations with my son (whose imagination is simply stunning and filled with detail), the invitations to lunch and coffee from people in the community lately and so many other daily surprises.

Often we focus on the things that we don’t have, that is so easy to start to do, but I thank you for the opportunity to start over each day and try again. I will begin each day focusing on the magical, beautiful world that is already here and all of the magic yet to come.

I realize today that meditation is like a chat with the universe. It is a very quiet chat, but if we listen we will find clues, ideas, actions we can take that take us closer to our dreams. I am working on learning to meditate. It is not an easy thing for me since I love to be so active, but I realize that to quiet the mind is a beautiful thing as well.

Thank you for all that has come into my life, positive or negative. From the positive I have learned joy, from the negative I have learned and grown.

So now I find a new focus and I am asking you- the universe- for work that brings me joy and creativity and abundance each and every day, to me and to those who I serve, for work I can do in the community to help those who need it, for lots of opportunities for travel all around the world and for opportunities to spread joy everywhere I go. I am on this path and already have taken action on so much of this. I am excited by what you will send me next and I will be listening each morning for answers.

With lots of love,

Trista

I am adding a donate button on my blog posts now starting with my Dear Universe post. These donations will help me continue to provide great content on a weekly business as well as grow my gluten free baking business. Thank you so much for your generosity!



Donate


It's Not About Me!

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There is a realization that has come to me in the past few days as I have been learning and growing (a continual process, as life is) with all that I do that I love so much- it's not about me! 

As I learn to let go of the outcomes of all of my goal-setting, planning and starting a business again, it has all become so very clear to me what I have been missing all of this time. It is a very simple statement, but it is so profound. I used to think: Why haven't I been more successful, why don't I have better numbers? Now, I am more focused on the people, the rich experiences and all the joy that I can create for others in my life through the vehicle of doing what I love- baking and cooking! 

I have learned from some material I have been studying and others ( I am lucky to have found a great accountability partner and we cheer each other on weekly), I have been learning from that the most important thing in life, success and business-building is: other people- helping them, helping your community, creating joy every day. Those are the most important building blocks. Letting go of how things turn out, how much money you make, how "successful" you are, how many followers you have, or any other external outcomes makes life so much more joyful! 

This is not to say that I have let go of goal-setting or planning or dreaming by any means. I have just found a better way to go about things that brings so much more joy into the world. I have now decided to let go of numbers and outcomes and focus on being in a joyful space each day. Building a joyful life is made up of so many things! This can take many forms as I'll outline below. 

1. Focus on community: I'll be focusing on how I can help others with my baking by holding a charity bake sale, donating to other events and seeing what else I can do to contribute. 

2. Let go of numbers: I no longer have number goals. I cannot control numbers but I can work towards getting better each day, growing as a person and helping more people. 

3. Say yes to more opportunities: I was recently contacted to teach some cooking classes at Feed The Mass, a local non-profit and I said yes to this! Also, I am working on getting a booth at a gluten free fest this fall! 

4. Work on my art: Every week I'll be working on more baking projects to build my portfolio and get feedback from others to see if those are items they would like or if I should create something else. 

5. Join community groups/volunteer: I have always wanted to join a Rotary Club because I was an exchange student to Mexico in 1991-92 and in the year 2000 I went on a group exchange to Japan for a whole month. I really love how they have service projects in the community and I want to be a part of that. I will also look for other ways to serve. 

6. Set 3 month goals, 1 year goals and beyond for the rich experiences that they bring to life. With the help of my accountability partner I have set some great goals that are both project based and about habits. Life is all about the experiences you have and the memories you make with family and friends. These goals are in alignment with those and they bring me great joy! 

7. Work with others: See how I can partner with others instead of working alone. I really love to work with other people and I am mostly extroverted. I love spending time with people and learning how we can work together to create something amazing! 

8. Keep learning, sharing and growing! I love to keep learning about the world and how I can do better each day. I continue to take courses, read books and work with others to discover lots of amazing things! 

Thank you for continuing to be with me on life's journey! It is an amazing place and there is much joy to be had! 

I'd love to hear from you big realizations in life that you have had- feel free to write me back about your experiences or comment below. 

With lots of care, love and joy,

Trista