It has been said by many that food, the right food has great healing powers. It is also said that if you want to pull out of a depression or the blues, give of yourself to others. Now I have definitely had days where I was down in the dumps and by working with a client I felt better after. Who knew that cooking could also pull you out of a low moment?
For the past three years I have either been working on writing, editing, or marketing my book and have not been entertaining. Given how much time I spend at my computer, I began having regrets this morning that I had planned a luncheon at my house for four friends… on a work day. As I was rushing around cleaning, I kept muttering to myself I must be crazy to have taken this on in the midst of several deadlines I had for articles. I continued this inner dialogue walking to and from the market until I got in my kitchen and started chopping the tomatoes, pressing the garlic, and boiling the water for the pasta. Suddenly I became a different person, a familiar person, but one I hadn’t met for a while – I call her my “Italian mama” sub-personality. I was in heaven. As I played Romanza on my Ipod, I began to feel ecstatic.
My girlfriends arrived. I got up and down a million times to serve them and could not have been happier as we broke in my new Crate and Barrel dining room table. As I was finally sitting and enjoying the meal with them, I had the thought that cooking for others is really therapeutic for me. I had been feeling burned out by functioning so much in the intellectual realm and was out of balance. In spite of the fact that it added a lot of work to my day, I was so much more joyful at 3:00 when they left. As someone who believes in what I call “divine coincidences”, I thought it was an interesting omen that as we were finishing, a hummingbird came to the window. In Indian Medicine, the hummingbird brings the medicine of joy. How fitting…
Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist and the author of her new book, The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive ( not just survive) in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval.