Preparing a meal for your family, friends or even just for yourself is, in a way, “pursuit of happiness”. That exact happiness you feel while dining is a joint manifestation of so many factors. Cooking is a process that makes us more mindful of the moment, of our loved ones, of our creative energy, our ambition and desire to excel and bring joy to others. That is also why cooking can boost our creativity in all aspects of life.
Cooking enhances Mindfulness
Regular mindfulness practice has proven benefits for people’s wellbeing, both physical and emotional. It reduces stress, makes us more focused, open and creative. Mindfulness means paying active attention to the present, being truly in the moment. Cooking can be a way to practice Mindfulness. Yes, to some it may sound a bit unorthodox but just try it. Focus your mind on the ingredients you choose, their preparation, their transformation, the meal presentation and, of course, the taste. Engage your mind fully with each action you take and that regular cooking practice may, in reality, make you more mindful in other areas of life.
Cooking engages all senses making it a perfect source of Creativity
- It heightens your sense of smell as you experience the aromas of the ingredients and their transformation when they mix together
- It directly influences your sense of touch as you experience different textures and temperatures in the process
- Your sense of hearing is intensified through the sounds of chopping, cracking, boiling and how they intensify or slowly transition as the melody of a song
- Your sense of sight is stimulated by the colorful ingredients, how they mix and blend, how they change as the meal progresses
- Of course, your sense of taste as you finally experience the results – good or bad, expected or unexpected, triumphant… or something like that… 🙂
The important part in all of that is to be open. Open to experiment, experience and to the results of it. After all, openness is at the heart of any creative process.
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Traditions are solid creative bases
Holiday dinners are one of the most memorable occasions because they combine the joy of being with loved ones and the traditional meals we share together. Can we still be creative? Absolutely! It is actually the perfect stage for creativity. Tradition is not a constraint, it is a point of inspiration, a creative center around which we can build up, add our distinctive touch and dash of personality.
Does it have to happen only for the Holidays? Absolutely not! We can play with creative cooking any day… To some of us, it may seem like a chore BUT instead of thinking about it as means to “get our belly full”, let’s try to be mindful of it’s creative benefits.
As an expat, you have the unique opportunity to experiment with local ingredients to create your traditional meals… maybe add a new spice you discovered or cook the meat in a new way you learned or add a veggie that you have only seen here. The possibilities are endless… yet sometimes, it is quite difficult to add that unusual touch because we are so used to our own ways. Here’s an advice that can help:
“A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.” ~Albert Einstein
What does that mean? It means observe and learn! There are variety of ways to do that. Ask a friend to show you how to prepare a traditional meal from their country or just take Cooking Classes to learn from the experts. Draw inspiration from the holidays of other cultures and countries – through in some Chinese peppers, think of the juicy Thanksgiving turkey, match up the colors of Diwali or experiment with Indian spices… Maybe this way, you’ll add a tasty surprise to your holiday meal, unexpected treat for you and your loved ones.
GloberWeb.com started as a community project to help expats discover and enjoy their new home-away-from-home. Together, we immerse in local culture, stay healthy, learn, meet new people and have fun.
Along the way, we discovered that venturing into activities and workshops has even deeper benefit for people. It is a way to foster creativity, boost innovation and imagination. Let’s continue to build our community and inspire each other.
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