“And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to bloom.”
This moment is your time to bloom. Bloom into the person you want to become. Spring is a season that ushers in growth and expansion: the flowers are in bloom and the temperature rises. It is a perfect time for change and to renew your energy. To celebrate the season, I am baking delicious strawberry cupcakes, and I am vowing to follow my heart.
Spring Cupcakes Recipe
Ingredients: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs, Pillsbury Moist Supreme Strawberry Premium Cake Mix, 24 cupcake wrappers, your choice of frosting, your heart.
Place the cupcake wrappers individually in each groove in the cupcake pan. Combine cake mix, water, oil and eggs in a bowl. Mix and beat for two minutes. Pour batter into cupcake pans. Cook on 350 degrees for 23 minutes.
Cool cupcakes completely before frosting. I frosted my cupcakes with pink Pillsburry Fluffy frosting. Frosting cupcakes is a soothing experience; make the most of the experience. When frosting the cupcakes let go of your worries, and redirect your attention back to the task at hand. I decorated my cupcakes by writing “HAPPY SPRING” on them in Betty Crocker’s Decorating Pink Gel and also by adding red sugar to some of them.
A few cupcakes can make a nice treat on a special occasion, but if you’re more focused on weight loss, spread some spring cheer by baking cupcakes for others. Baking, as a meditative practice, can help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and the food you choose to put into your body. When we make our own food, we relearn how to eat. As adults, we must reestablish a relationship with food now that we have become responsible for feeding ourselves. We reestablish this relationship by becoming more mindful of our eating habits.
Ask yourself a few questions to become more mindful of your own eating habits:
How do I choose what I will eat?
This question requires thoughtful examination of your food consumption behavior. Do you eat out of convenience, only when you are hungry, when you feel sad, or when you feel happy? Look at what motivates you to eat. If you understand your motives, you begin to understand yourself better. Get to know yourself. Love yourself! Stay away from labeling yourself out of fear, and instead allow yourself to become closer to the person you wish to become. Find happiness within your own self acceptance and the knowledge of your capacity for growth.
Do I truly choose what I will eat or am I conditioned by my habits?
If you are not fully present when you are eating, you may just be eating out of habit. When we frequently over-indulge ourselves, we make it a habit and the true pleasure from the experience is lost. We often condition ourselves to eat more than we need when we are not present while eating. Consuming food should be an engaging experience that fuels our body with the power we need to simply be true to ourselves.
Do I recognize the impact my food intake has on my body?
You are not the size and shape of your body. Your body is your instrument. It should be your most useful tool in this life. You are never limited by your body. You can only be limited by your attitude. If you don’t fit into society’s standards for beauty remember that society is a socially constructed concept. You are beautiful. Society is not a person. In fact, if a person told you that you do not fit into their standards of beauty, you may even think a little less of that person’s autonomy. If you have the opportunity to express your freedom, I can’t believe you are being your best self by putting others down. You are your best self when you help pick other people up. Give yourself permission to be yourself. You don’t need acceptance from others to accept yourself. Accept yourself. Open your heart, and live your truth. Allow for your lifestyle to feed your heart, soul, mind, and body.
Does my nutritious lifestyle allow me to open my heart?
Replacing “diet” with “nutritious lifestyle” allows for you to state your intake intention. When intaking food consider your own intentions. Often “weight loss” and “diet” go hand in hand, but the word “diet” does not empower us. Diet too often means deprivation instead of moderation. I don’t eat cupcakes every single day, but I also don’t deprive myself of cupcakes every single day. When you examine your intentions, you uncover what is really going on. The aim of mindfulness should always be to open your heart. When you open your heart you practice self acceptance. Accepting yourself will help you follow your heart. Follow your heart this spring! Listen to your heart. If you want to lose weight and become healthier, focus on what your heart is telling you. If you want to bulk up and gain muscle, focus on what your heart is telling you. Listen to your heart by silencing your mind by being present in each moment.
What or who am I trying to satisfy?
Sometimes we eat for satisfaction, but does that really make sense? We must replace our need to satisfy with our capacity for acceptance. Don’t try to satisfy others, try to accept yourself. Remember to accept others, and don’t ask for them to satisfy you. We can only truly satisfy ourselves when we accept ourself. The goal of eating isn’t satisfaction, it’s nutrition. Sometimes we continue to eat when our stomach is already satisfied; this phenomena can be combatted with mindful eating practices. Experience your food when you are consuming it. Next time you feel full, reflect on what that means to you. Next time you feel hungry, reflect upon that feeling and what your body is asking you for.
When is the time to bloom?
IN THIS MOMENT!
Spring is a great time to relearn how to treat yourself in better, healthier ways. Instead of binge eating cupcakes, share them with friends or strangers and learn how to treat yourself in other ways too. For me, I treat myself by picking up flowers. Today, I brought home beautiful tulips. Reading about flower symbolism expands my mind and deepens my understanding and capacity to live with intention. Tulips come in different colors, each with their own symbolism. Red tulips symbolize passion, romance, and true love. The modern interpretation is that yellow tulips symbolize hope and cheerful thoughts; they were once thought to symbolize hopeless love. This is interesting, because meanings change and can be refined. When we refine meanings, we have the choice to make them positive or negative. White tulips symbolize forgiveness and renewal. Pink tulips symbolize happiness and confidence. For me, my bouquet symbolizes passionate hope. Dare to hope passionately!