When my binge watching cooking shows turns into a blog worthy post.
Stay with me on this.
As we go into “back to school mode” we’ve got all the feels. Either you are dealing with your kids getting one year older which means one year closer to their leaving home, OR you are already there and your kids are LEAVING for/going back to college one year older and getting closer to being real life adults! Or maybe you’re just remembering your own “back to school” vibes. Most of us are a combo. For me, I am struggling with my youngest being a junior in high school and my oldest getting closer to his college graduation.
I’ve pretty much got two years and I’m going to be a real empty nester. I feel a lot of pressure, some fear and some abject terror. I mean, I’ve organized my life around being the best parent I can be. Now what do I organize my life around? We all feel it to a certain extent. We can only work so much to fill the void.
It seems the last two years have been traumatic for all of us. As we dealt with COVID and its events. Facing the health crisis, possible passing of loved ones, fear of illness… fear of everything. We washed our groceries, distanced ourselves from others, and stayed home. We’ve made it through COVID and it was traumatic in all kinds of different ways for ALL of us. Even if you had the best COVID experience ever in the world it was still a trauma that we all experienced.
Trauma of all kinds can make us think “Now that I’ve emerged from this unscathed, how can I REALLY make the most of my life?” I would argue that even sending your kids off to college is a trauma that gets us thinking along these lines. Right? You question what to do with the rest of your life, now that your child rearing days are over. You think about the finish line more than the starting point. Our mortality and our life choices become evident in our daily thoughts.
I am sure you are wondering, what does vegan pork belly and food shows have to do with trauma?
I’m so glad you asked!
I have been binge watching a show called “Street Food” and it is strangely inspiring on a human level. It’s more than just about food; it’s about food as a purpose. In the series there are all kinds of stories of people finding their life purpose (which is always street food related) after their own unique life traumas.
Every episode has been amazing. I want to focus on the episode about a woman from Portland who after escaping Vietnam with her Mother as a young girl struggled to assimilate here in the US. She went through depression, not fitting in, and having to throw away her Mom’s lovingly prepared Vietnamese lunches to avoid being ridiculed for being different at school.
To overcome this, she, along with all the other stories in this series, had to truly find and commit to being her truest version of herSELF…and to bring that SELF into full expression in the world without apology.
She did this through creating vegan pork belly.
YES! Vegan Pork Belly!
We always think our life purpose has to be something grand or ethereal, right? That it has to be some BIG thing. She found her life purpose by creating something she wanted.
Her Mom would always make Banh Mi with Pork Belly. It was her way of expressing her love. After becoming a vegan, the daughter missed these sandwiches so much. So she decided to create her own vegan version of the meat just for herself. She insisted that they do an Instagram Live showing how to make it and the orders started rolling in! The rest is history. Now she has her own successful restaurant in Portland.
She had found her niche in the world! Almost by accident! She was just focused on what she really wanted and created it.
In some ways this is the process that gets lost when we are raising kids, right? We suddenly have to spend all our time focusing on other people (namely our children’s) needs. We lose sight of what WE want….what is important to US. We can also lose sight of our individuality and our unique gifts to the world as we get lost in the day to day realities of raising kids, maybe working, taking kids to various activities, volunteer work, and all the rest. We’ve been so busy for years and now all of a sudden we have more time. How can we make the most of this time in a way that is fulfilling to us and doesn’t just add more busyness and stress?
We forget how to focus on what we need. The spark that we had in our 20’s is harder to access. It can send some of us into deep depression and fear.
What if this discomfort was only leading you to where you needed to go? What if your purpose was lying just beyond your depression and fears?
In every story of the Street Food series, it was deep depression and suffering that led each individual to find their unique expression. In this series it was all through food trucks, but the metaphor is there for all of us! Maybe your unique self expression is through book writing, painting, listening to podcasts and sharing your knowledge, or even golfing (I know you’re reading this mom and dad! My parents are huge golfers if you didn’t know).
We can choose to express ourselves fully by doing ANYTHING. We just have to find that thing that makes us light up, that brings us joy, that results in us feeling fulfilled.
I feel fulfilled when I write these blogs. I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m creating something authentic. Usually I write about things I need to hear, just like our friend in the example created vegan pork belly cuz she wanted to eat it.
I don’t have everything figured out in this crazy experiment we call life, but I have a need to use my voice and share what I think and what I’ve learned along my unique path.
I love that you’re here reading it!
If any of this resonates with you and you’re feeling a call to go deeper into yourself to find a truer, more authentic expression, I’m starting a program called “Back to School, Back to YOU” that you might want to consider.
I’ve been wanting to create it for many years, because every year at this time I get a hit to do a deeper dive myself.
It’s in its experimental phase, but I’d love to have you along for the ride!
It’s going to be a 4-week program that starts after Labor Day. We will be meeting once a week to talk about the lessons and help you really integrate the teachings I’ve prepared.
The program is all the stuff I have learned in the past 10 years that I wish I would’ve known earlier in my life! It includes actual coping skills and tools, but also a lot of knowledge about the brain and trauma and how you can have a more compassionate relationship with yourself.
You can’t learn to fully express yourself if you don’t love yourself. Make sense? And if you don’t love yourself fully, it is mostly due to trauma and undigested memories from your past. We can work that shit out! Trauma is treatable! This course won’t actually treat your trauma but it will give you the tools you need to operate differently in relationship to your trauma.
I can’t promise you that you’ll have your life all worked out in 4-weeks and know exactly what to do with all your kids in school time but what I can promise you is a roadmap to begin removing the blocks that keep you from loving yourself enough to fully express your true gifts.
It’s these blocks that keep us from the clarity we need to move forward.
I’ve created this as a DIY approach to helping you find your True Self and overcome whatever happens to be holding you back from experiencing the joy and fulfillment that is your birthright!
If this sounds interesting and you want to be kept in the loop about this new offering, please hit reply and let me know. I’ll add you to that list.
If not, I appreciate having you here on this list all the same!