Secret Recipes

My grandmother, Abuelita Falcon, is a fantastic cook. In fact at age 97, she creates meals that are delicious, nutritious and comforting regularly. As a child, I spent many afternoons after school visiting with her and watching her cook as I sampled away.  Upon entering adulthood, people would ask me, how had I learned to cook?  The answer at that time was simple of course, I just do what I saw my grandmother do but I make a few adjustments and in some cases a conscious choice of ingredients that may be a little healthier with increased nutritional value.  Traditional Cuban fare will always be at my core, as I have continued to pass this on to my own children and it is a piece of culture that is transferred with great ease and love.

While I honor my grandmother and her secret recipes, I must admit, that some things that I have altered or fudged on if you wish are truly spectacular and with a little dialogue among my foodie friends who enjoy cooking and sharing recipes as a part of our friendship I notice an improved or suggested flavor that makes these precious traditions stand out. (And even Abuela acknowledges my own version of the Falcon family recipe de Flan.) Now, not everyone feels this way, because many people choose to do things exactly the same as others, with rigidity and constant control; but me, I like trial and error because it is one of the best ways to learn, learn about your weaknesses and strengths as a whole being, or as a spiritual warrior or maybe just as an individual learning to trust your inner voice and stop allowing others to influence or make demands that bring on anxiety.

In life, like in recipes, there are substitutions or alternatives, modifications or replacements.  You see, their needs to be flexibility to believe that you can reach your goal, your destination, your one pot meal or your four-course spread by recreating when you are missing some ingredients.  Believe it or not, there is more than one way to do things, and if you are unable to notice that in your daily life it may become arduous.  Now if you really need a specific ingredient for something, then you need to go and get it, but if you have almost everything you need and could possibly interchange to produce a variation, then you have a pretty good chance of making your own secret recipe.

It is an art form really to have such flexibility, most people, need an answer, need an outcome, a timeframe and deadline to keep them motivated.  Fortunately there are those that can go with the flow and feel rooted, move with the times and stay grounded, allow for mistakes and gain knowledge.  In the area of being comfortable enough to allow your own self worth to guide you and experience a freedom, if you may or detachment from what everyone thinks you should be doing then full support goes to you.  It takes courage and discipline to be able to convey to friends, and loved ones that their opinions are welcome and valued but that you must go at this new recipe with fresh ingredients, alternative solutions and creative breakthroughs in order to enjoy the taste of your latest conception.

Thank the universe, that yoga is this very simile for union with self, we go through asana creating a series of safe countermovements that fulfill the need to move and reflect simultaneously, finding stillness or self worth in the mix.  The lesson being that every movement that you make needs a supportive movement to follow, but that does not mean it is the same each time, in fact with mindfulness and openness you might find that flowing in yoga could be that you land and allow your body to direct what is best for you at the moment, it is possible, in spontaneity or your own secret recipe.  Repeat or not, alternate or cultivate, substitute fresh quality that is an improvement to whatever you have been using and notice, that if you just make one change you will see a difference, the formation of shaping something that is yours, making choices for better, changing a pattern or just simply omitting something, may be exactly what the cook requires.

Yoga is such a beautiful practice, and when you are away from it for a while, what you do notice is that your connection to it is eternal really, once you depend on it, you will go back to it, because as you become more united with yourself; you are able to allow others that same gift. Listening to your voice while unveiling self-respect and sense of worth are one of the merits of secret recipes.  A few of my favorite ingredients are encouragement, compassion, appreciation, honor, patience and love.


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