I procrastinate. Especially when it comes to my creative practice, and 90% of the time, I procrastinate by cooking. If cooking is what I default to over art, should I be pursuing the culinary arts instead? How do I determine my true path?
When it comes to my career or future in art, I worry about not being motivated enough. If the sight of fresh juicy red tomatoes, or the thought of freshly baked bread are enough to distract me from my creative practice, am I on the right path? Or is cooking my true creative practice? Instead of working on the handful of fibre art projects I have on the go or learning some new knots or techniques, I spent 2 hours in the kitchen today making a panini. Yes, I am embarrassed to admit I spent 2 hours making a sandwich, but my goodness was it ever a good sandwich! A gourmet sandwich I might even add. I made a fennel frond pesto, roasted butternut squash and beets, maple miso mustard tofu, and homemade vegan cheese. Mmm…my mouth is watering just thinking about it! And yes, this was all on fresh bread that I made on Sunday instead of touching my wall hanging (which is slowly starting to collect dust).
With my full day of cooking today, I was inspired to start a business. A business cooking nourishing whole-food plant-based soups, soup toppings (think cheeses, cashew creams, nut mixes, all the good stuff) and bread using my health experiences over the past two years. I speak from experience that it is so hard to find prepared gluten-free whole-food plant-based food that does not contain a bunch of additives and preservatives. And such food is key for healing from chronic illness. On top of this, I could bring in my design skills to create recipe books for customers that illustrate how to use the bread, soups, and toppings to help them get creative in their own kitchens and get them excited about healing through this lifestyle.
However, yesterday, a day spent in my studio space, I wanted to start a fibre art business. A business that explores the connection of using art as a meditative, healing practice. Art, and having a personal creative practice, has been integral in my healing journey as it has allowed me transport myself into that meditative flow state. A state that I so struggled to reach through meditation itself, and trust me when I say I tried all the different types of meditation! On top of sharing my message through the physical art I create, I could create books and ebooks, courses and coaching programs that again, serve the purpose of helping others explore their creativity to help them heal.
I’ve been caught up in the belief that when I cook or find myself in the kitchen, I’m procrastinating from working on art, from nurturing my creative practice. But maybe I’m not procrastinating; maybe I’m holding onto the belief that I’m procrastinating. So if I’m not procrastinating, maybe I’m flowing; flowing through my healing. And maybe I’m just swimming back to shore, to the familiarity and safety of the kitchen, when things get too challenging, too uncomfortable in my fibre art exploration.
I recently listened to a podcast that talked about the incubation effect. You do all the research, buy all the materials, do all the preparations to do the work but then you go and do something else – in my case, cook or bake – and that’s when you get that aha moment. You need this incubation effect. You need to give your brain a rest. This doesn’t necessarily have to be 10 minutes of meditation a day. It could be 10 minutes of silence while cooking, driving, journalling or even taking a shower…the key is to just be. Be with your thoughts. Be with yourself. Just being, can bring incredible breakthroughs. So maybe that’s why I find myself retreating to the kitchen when I feel challenged or stuck in my creative practice. My mind is looking for that rest, those moments of ease to just be and bring that incredible breakthrough that I’ve been looking for.