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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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

 

A New Day, A New Outlook!

Rising Up Again!

Just a little while ago, a bit more than a week ago I finally began to feel that the fog had lifted from the dark cloud of letting the coffee shop go and moving on to create a new path. I think many times it is ok to let ourselves be sad, to feel the feelings, to feel like not moving on quite yet. I had to be in this state for a while because it helped me to become stronger and to move on. 

I feel like I am a wildflower seed that has been germinating in the ground all winter and now it is spring. I have taken time to rest, to read books, to journal, to drink lots and lots of tea, to dream, to think and to invite in all of the possibilities. Luckily, my "winter" has only been about 1 month. I really think I had some mild depression, a mild sadness and gloom filtered all that I saw for a while having to do with my life's work, my business and who I am. 

We invest so much and we put so much value on what we do in our day to day lives, how we use our talents, how we advance in our careers and chosen jobs and paths. It was good for me to take a forced "break" of sorts to really sort out what brings me pure joy. This is something I feel really blessed to have been able to do. At first, the closing of the shop seemed like a disaster. It felt like I was failing if I couldn't save it. I felt that I had not done all that I could have done. Now, when I look back at it, I see that it was a huge gift. The closing gave me a chance to really be quite, still and look within myself for my next path. 

At first, it felt as if I were moving backwards on the board game of life. Here I was, back at home, not cooking and baking for people every day. Not doing my life's work, my calling, not tapping into daily creativity. However, just like a forest fire allows new seeds to sprout and new life to emerge, this chapter had to die, to come to an end, in order to spring back into life again. Taking the time to stop, to ponder, to find my joy again brought me back to my true home.

I have discovered my joy is in the creation of beautiful works of art through food. I realize that all along there was a reason that I went to school and took lots of art classes to pursue my degree in Graphic Design. With all of the art courses that I took, the one that most captured my joy was a sculpture class. I really loved how the teacher taught us to to look differently at materials, to capture a feeling, a moment in our sculptures. That is one of the classes I was best at and it surprised me so much. 

On this journey I have daydreamed about creating the milky way galaxy in meringue- both from space and from Earth. I dream of the magical colors I will paint it and the spirit it will capture. I know that everything starts with a dream and a vision and I am so very lucky to have found mine again. You will be seeing lots of delicious art from me in the coming days and weeks. I hope to make your day sweet, your celebration magical! 

Falling in Love with the Details of Life

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What adventures and wondrous things life brings us at every turn and bend in our journey. It has been some time since I have had the time to sit down and write a blog post. It is because 6 days a week I am working on my life's work in and out of the kitchen. These are moments that have been a long time in the making and it feels like I am on the podium in the olympics of my life as a chef. 

Although my days are very busy, at the same time I am taking time to notice the little things. Since I work a very full day at the coffee shop now, I find that I really savor time with my dear sweet family and friends all the more. I even am taking time to really be in the moment while doing chores such as watering the flowers, noticing their colors and delicate petals. I take extra pride in doing a few chores at home after work at the shop because I have fallen in love with my home again as well. I realize how very fortunate we are to have such a lovely home and garden I relish in taking good care of it for all of us. 

My dear husband and son are so very sweet and supportive, coming by on Saturdays to the shop to visit. Lots of friends and family have come by for brunch or pastries too! I feel so very honored by their presence. I want to look at each moment in life and hold it next to my heart because that is what life is about. Not the next step, not 5 years from now, but NOW. 

I know that I have always worked very hard and I love working, but I feel that now that I have a set schedule I realize how important each moment is to be thankful for what we have and what is right there in front of us. I have everything I need. I am blessed by the love of family, friends, food and beauty all around me. 

In this moment I feel that the universe has given me all that I have ever dreamt about. Exact things are coming true off of my vision boards- the coffee shop, the community, the love and support- it is all coming together! Everything that I have written down in detail is beginning to unfold like a delicate flower opening in the springtime. 

This is a moment of enormous beauty and I don't want to miss a single second, relishing in each step. There are many wonderful things happening that I will go into more detail about very soon, but as a coffeeshop and community we are coming together as one to create something amazing! We already have everything we need! 

I'd love to hear about times where you knew everything was coming together for you, or times when you have wanted to savor every moment. 

With lots of care and love,

Trista