A Recipe for Solitude

by Sara Marchessault

Written January 30, 2010 while on retreat

*Note to the chef: Remember that not all “ovens” (hearts, minds, or souls) cook quite the same. Adjust ingredients and seasonings accordingly. Prepare dish in a healthy, calm space, and allow what you need to shine through. Listen to you spirit, play music to awaken, sing in your space. Above all, know that your solitary care nourishes not just yourself, (although that’s enough) but those who love you best. A recipe for solitude

Step 1: Prepare crust from your favorite flour/grain combination. Lovingly mold or shape the crust into your favorite pie plate or other dish. Artisan plates with wavy edges are easy to fit your crust into (even if you’re starting out with pieces that need to be pressed together) and look beautiful when finished. Create a think and hearty foundation, a support system to hold you safe in times of need, a safe place to call “home.”

Step 2: Create a filling from the bounty of the earth. Choose vegetables, fruits, sweet or savory tastes, with which to appreciate your solitude. Delight in the simple actions of your time alone – the graceful feel of slicing a tomato, the ease with which ink transfers from pen to paper, or the simple time spent gazing, reflection, and soaking up the richness of this gift. We need time alone, its part of a system of perfection. Let it fill your crust.

Step 3: Allow the perfect topping to come to you in the heat of the moment. This will often be a flavor or activity you are led to through your time of solitude. Follow your intuition. If whipped cream would be the perfect addition, try making it yourself. Fresh basil and garlic with a bit of cheese can cause jubilation of the pallet! The key to this step is to embrace it with ease and joy, like acting on an inspiration after an hour of quiet journaling.

Step 4: Celebrate your time alone! Bake your creation and enjoy the fragrance that permeates your spirit while the flavors meld and blend. Indulge the body with rest during cooking time. When it’s time to savor the delights of your labors, feel free to share the peace and sweetness you’ve gained through your experience of solitude with others; it all depends on how the mood strikes you. Above all, celebrate life, it’s seasons and cycles, honoring the gift of being alone.

Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb: Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, teacher, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit joyfulbydesign.com or saramarchessault.com.

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