Sunday, October 26, 2014

You've Been Chopped!



Long time no blog.  There's really no good reason for it except that I've been spending a lot of time with my two best friends, pain and exhaustion.  They are fun but super high-maintenance.  Really, I'm blogging all the time in my head.  Too bad they haven't invented an app yet that reads our thoughts and then types them here.  Although, as any meditator knows, it's slightly repulsive and weird to start seeing your thoughts - so repetitive and self-centered and meaningless.  On and on they go all day long.

I like to spend most of my thinking hours focusing on what I would make if I were a contestant on Chopped.  Which is an effective and useful way to spend my time because I will NEVER EVER EVER be on the show.  I was thinking (see, there it is again) that I might write a little guide for chefs who are actually going on the show.  Or maybe set up a small consulting business for contestants, and I get a portion of their winnings.  Which by the way is 10,000 DOLLARS.  For cooking food that no one would actually ever eat because of the strange ingredients in the mystery baskets.

Still, I can't help watching and enjoying such silliness.  And then thinking about it and planning lots of menus and strategies for when I won't be on the show.

For instance, I made a great dessert (in my mind) and the judges said, "We don't get what you were thinking when you paired the pickled herring gelato with the coco cola gummy bear ganache. Although it tastes great, it doesn't read dessert on the palate."  And I was missing the all-important crunch element.

If you, or one of your Facebook friends, are going to be a cheftestant on Chopped, then here is a sneak peek at the vital information I will pass along to you should you choose to hire me as your cheftestant consultant.

1. Don't use the white truffle oil.  EVER.  Put it down and walk away.
2. Heat up the grill pan, whether you think you will use it or not.
3. Don't make pasta when Scott Conant is one of your judges.
4. Salt your food.  Duh.
5. Don't use Sriracha as a decorative garnish to add color to the plate.
6. The bacon in the Chopped pantry needs to have the rind cut off before using.

Don't you feel better already knowing you have my expertise behind you?  What a relief I haven't wasted countless hours on my meditation cushion codifying this extremely important information.

When my Inner Typist isn't busy narrating a Chopped episode through my neural networks, she is usually writing a biography on my behalf.  She is very talented.  She can type about the past, as well as the future.  She can perseverate on themes year after year without getting bored.  She is always willing to work, especially if the typing involves hope, fear, disappointment, or something like that.

In meditation, we are big on dropping the thinking mind.  What does this mean?  It means give the typist a break, already.  Poor thing has been typing your whole life.  Take your fingers off the keyboard and put your mind in your heart.  Free your Inner Typist!

Our Western culture is big on thinking.  We are highly trained thinkers and praised for this ability.  But it comes with a loss. We have forgotten how to feel, we have forgotten that thinking is a tool, not a way of life.

In HeartMind, I teach a practice called the Heart Pause meditation.  It lasts a few seconds to a few minutes and is the reset button for your brain and body.  It is free and infinite.  We all need a little time out, a break from thinking and talking.  Push pause.  Place your mind in your heart.  Breathe long and slow.  Ahhhhhhhhh.  Smile.  Repeat.

This is a practice for a lifetime.  A practice to be done dozens of times each day.  A practice to teach young people.  We don't need to think all the time.  We can hang out in our hearts and bodies, we can swim in our cells, we can enjoy just being.  Imagine that!

When you hear your inner typist clicking away, retyping the same old story you've heard again and again, see if you can do a little Heart Pause.  Feel and be.

And if you think you'll be going on the Food Network soon, give me a call.


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