Pages

Photographs by Meadow Linn

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Change Happens When You’re Ready

Nothing has changed. But. Everything has changed.

Have you ever felt that way, like everything is outwardly the same but inwardly completely different?

I’m exactly where I was one year ago. Last year, at this very same time, I’d planned to spend May and June figuring out my next steps in life. It was to be a time of inner reflection and physical action. Then I got whooping cough, and all my plans were thwarted. 

So, here I am one year later, face-to-face again with an open calendar and time to build the foundation for my future, both professionally and personally. So, pretty much…nothing has changed. Twelve months have passed and I’m doing exactly what I thought I’d be doing a year ago.

But, everything has changed. I’m not the same person I was then. From the outside, my life doesn’t appear to be very different. I’m a few pounds lighter, but for the most part I look like I did last year. I still live in the same house (for the time being at least). I have the same pets, wear the same clothes, and my work is about the same, too. So, what’s different, you ask? I feel different. It’s as simple as that. Something has shifted. There’s more flow. I’m experiencing and exuding even more joy. And, although there’s a lot of uncertainty spiraling around me at the moment, I feel remarkably calm.

Looking back, I realize now that I wasn’t ready twelve months ago to make the decisions I’m going to be making in the coming months. My heart wasn’t ready to open to the possibilities that I’m welcoming into my life right now. There’s a well-known saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” However, I believe this extends to other areas as well. When we’re ready for love, a new job, or a change in direction, they reveal themselves to us and everything seems to flow with ease and joy. 

I still have the same dreams, but now they feel more tangible. For instance, I’ve wanted to write a second book for a while, but it has just been an abstract idea. Now, I actually have a working title and I’m beginning to formulate a plan for how to proceed.

Shifts in my personal life are also beginning to occur. I’ve spent years talking about my desire to get married and have a family. But this vision was something that was separate from me. I wanted it, but I couldn’t feel it. It always seemed somewhat out of reach. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I just wasn’t ready. There were things I needed to do and experience first.

I used to spend hours imagining my wedding. The white dress, fairy lights, and dancing under the stars filled my thoughts on long car rides and languid summer days. Every minute detail, from flowers to appetizers, would run through my mind’s eye like a scene from Like Water for Chocolate. The only thing … often the groom was absent from my reveries. My visions were so focused on all the trappings of a wedding that somehow I seemed to have forgotten the essential part.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but one day a few months ago, I realized that I no longer dreamed about my wedding in the same way. Instead, I dreamed about a marriage and the children that would fill my heart. For someone else this might not have been a big deal, but for me this was a huge revelation. Maybe this is simply something that happens when you get older. But, I think it’s actually representative of a more profound shift within me. Sure, I would still love to have a beautiful wedding, but now I see it as the beginning and not the endgame.

I'm a fervent believer in being an active participant in your life. You can’t just sit at home and expect mana to fall from heaven. However, I also believe in not forcing things that aren’t working. Usually, when things are meant to be, they happen with ease. When the tides turn and there’s a shift in the air, you’ll feel it, and you’ll know when you’re ready. Suddenly, your dreams will realize and opportunities will present themselves. 


Life Is Sweet Homemade Fruit Snacks
Mixed Berry Gummies

Life is sweet. When we get mired in the drudgery of everyday tasks or when it feels like life is at a standstill, it can be hard to remember all that is wonderful in this world. However, no matter how tough things are now, eventually they will come right. You may feel like nothing has changed, or maybe you feel like everything has changed. But, as long as you remember that life is sweet, you will eventually find yourself in a place where doors are opening for you and your life is expanding. Just like life, these fruit snacks are simple and sweet. Some days life may feel complicated and overwhelming, but at its core, life is simple. Love as much as you can and experience as much joy as possible.

I spent months experimenting with different ways to make these fruit snacks, but this is the clear winner. I tried using only juice, and I also tried combining the gelatin with pectin and cornstarch. But, the blended fruit gives the best flavor and the best texture. The reason for dividing the mixture is to keep as much of the nutrients in the berries and raw honey intact as possible. However, heating half the mixture helps the gelatin to melt. 

Makes about 44 fruit snacks
1 cup frozen organic mixed berries*, defrosted
½ cup unsweetened berry juice**
2 Tbsp. mild raw honey (or to taste)
pinch of artisanal salt, such as French gray or Himalayan pink
3 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin

*I use a blend of strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries.
**I’ve been using 100% blueberry juice, but you can use whatever suits your taste

Combine the defrosted berries and berry juice in a blender. Process on high until smooth. Pour half the mixture into a liquid measuring cup with a pour spout and pour the remaining half into a small saucepan. Put the saucepan on the stove over medium heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, stir the honey and salt into the mixture in the measuring cup. Sprinkle the gelatin over this mixture and stir until fully combined (a fork works best). Once the mixture on the stove reaches a boil, pour it into the measuring cup and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour into a silicone mold and chill until firm, about two to four hours. (This mixture usually fills about 1¼ of my molds). I find that using a baking sheet helps keep the mold level when transporting it in and out of the fridge. If you don't have a mold, pour the mixture into an 8x8 baking pan lined with wax paper. Once it’s firm you can cut it into squares or make shapes with a mini cookie cutter.

These are the molds I use: http://amzn.to/1Drw0gK
(This is not an affiliate link. I do not make a profit when you click on the link.) 

This is the gelatin I use: http://amzn.to/1bd3tVJ

(This is not an affiliate link. I do not make a profit when you click on the link.)