What is art?
To me, art is free, creative expression. It can be through any medium – a painting, a poem, music, health coaching, teaching, cooking… In other words, art is life. Life is art.
Human beings are creative by nature. You might be thinking, “But I’m not creative… What have I created? What am I good at creating?”
Let me ask you, how do You express yourself? Do you spend time with other people? Do you bring people to your dinner table or invite others to meet you at a restaurant to enjoy conversation and time spent with them? Do you share your ideas with them? Do you share yourself? That is art too! That is the art of conversation, hosting, friendship – it’s how you express yourself.
What did you wear when you went out? That’s the art of fashion – your fashion – how you express yourself.
The important thing to note here is: it’s not how others perceive you. It’s how you know yourself.
If something brings you joy and you enjoy doing it, regardless of what others may think, that’s free self-expression. That’s you living art. You are embracing the freedom to be yourself and express the Light and Joy in Your Heart. And what you express may resonate with some and not others and differently for everyone you come into contact with. And that’s okay! It’s your art. It’s your life. So live it!
So how does this all relate to this blog, an expression of myself, my passion about nutrition and cooking? I guess I should start with a bit about my journey:
My life has not been the most healthy. I’ve struggled with illness and disease from my earliest moments of childhood. I’ve struggled with severe depression, which you can read about in my journey through the darkness into the Light here: Finding Light in the Dark
I’ve struggled with physical pain so crippling, I hoped and prayed to be taken quickly from this plane of existence to a place of relief.
But I have also experienced times of bliss – a life with so much meaning and purpose, full of big ideas and dreams and little happy moments. I’ve achieved health of the most exhilarating, energy-filled chapters of living. I’ve helped my body overcome moments of debilitating symptoms of illness. There have been times of consistency, and in these times, I experienced the apex of feeling good. There have been times when I didn’t practice mindfulness in what I was fueling my body with, and it’s been in these times, that I have experienced profound depression, anxiety, and bouts of severe health decline.
There were two points in my life that had hugely significant impacts. The first was:
I had been experiencing illness in 2010 and had done several blood panels, only to find that something was affecting my liver, but the doctors didn’t know what. I got to this point where I was like, Enough! I wanted to take my health into my own hands. I started doing some research, and I came across this website that was called, The Candida Diet.
Please, if you are not familiar with Candida, do your own research. At this moment, I don’t want to go into a full explanation of what Candidiasis Albicans is and what it does to the body. There will definitely be opportunity for me to do that later.
I had started doing this six-week cleanse, and the results were phenomenal! I felt amazing! I had energy! I had clear skin! I felt happy! I was slim! I felt… Alive! Symptoms of illness were gone. I wanted to shout to the rooftops, “Everyone can do this!” I thought, if I can do this and feel this good, so can others. I learned pretty quickly that telling people they can do it is one thing. Even if they can see the results in you, them making the decision themselves is something else entirely. Go easy. Go steady. Let results speak for themselves.
The second significant life altering impact that happened:
Years later, I had left the path of conscious, healthy eating. I had experienced a blow to my health and life, and subsequently was struggling with finding – remembering – my identity. I had gained a significant amount of weight. I was depressed.
During this time, I met a married couple who were so mindful in the choices they made regarding their health, they were living examples of being mindful of the body and enjoying good quality food.
That love spilled over, and without them even telling me where I was going wrong in my health journey, I just knew that I could start practicing what they were doing, I would pay attention to little things they spoke about, and I’d find my way back to a healthy life.
My friend took me to their restaurant, which focused on healthy mindful foods, nutrition, local farms, and sustainability. The first plates that came out wowed me! The plating and food was so pretty, I just had to stop and look at it before diving in. I paused before pressing the fork to it. I admired what was about to be eaten and nourish. I felt gratitude for what was about to make me feel good. At first bite: bliss. I savored what was on my plate. I had made tasty, healthy meals before, but not like this. This was a new experience for me. People have talked about cell-bursting experiences. Maybe this sounds a little too weird… All I can say is, I became aware of my cells, and they felt happy.
I had an epiphany. Food has function. It fuels our body to be able to perform to the best of its ability. Creating meals – that is an art form. Using different types of foods with different cooking methods could create something that causes us to pause and appreciate what is about to sustain us. The artist using the tools is pausing to consider what to use and how to form it. They share that love and passion with others. Then others see what they created, and they’re impacted in different ways. Just like a painting resonates with others differently, people pause and consider their feelings when they see art. They may consider the feelings of the artist as the artist created. I realized, food can do that too! I realized, I and others already do this to varying degrees. It had always pleased me to see someone find satisfaction in what I had made and were contented. I had always enjoyed when a meal brought people together. My friend’s restaurant was elevating the experience people could have. In this restaurant, I had just realized that I had been forgetting to pause before eating to find gratitude. A beautiful meal could help people find gratitude – gratitude for the food and the people who grew it, gratitude for the people who prepared it, gratitude for the sustenance food gives, and gratitude for the people you sit down with to share a meal/time/life with.
People don’t always get to know the impact they have on others. If we practice mindfulness in our own lives, we might just be present enough and be ready to cross someone else’s life path and shine light on a direction that they could take, that might lead them on a journey that could change them forever in a beautifully fulfilling evolution. You never know when you might save someone’s life. Ultimately, it is always up to that person your path intersects with to make the most of their journey. But we can absolutely live our lives in such a way that there is Light that shines through us.
I discovered a passion in my life – was awakened to something beautiful – that if I would start believing that I was worth the effort, energy, and a happy life, I could pursue a course that would fulfill Me in a whole new way and hopefully help others be more health-mindful. Good health is one of the greatest assets a human being can have. What that means for you, only you can discover for yourself. This blog will be about my journey finding the tools through nutrition and cooking to create something so beautiful: the art of life – a life nourished and well lived.