“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life and it is the main obstacle between you and a sh***y first draft.” ~ Anne Lamott
While G-chatting with my sister (she’s in New Zealand, I’m in California), we each confess that we are stuck creatively—stalled and not producing up to our own expectations. She says her obsession with being organized is hindering her creativity while I do too many things at once without fully finishing any of them.
Even while chatting with her, I am writing a blog post, making soup and taking photographs of the process all the while drinking wine and eating chocolate.
Multitasking used to be a badge of honor for me when my children were toddlers. I now see the falseness and futility of multi-tasking—but I still do it. Multi-tasking makes me feel busy, which is not the same as productivity and which I’ve finally admitted is a distraction technique to avoid my feelings of loneliness and unworthiness.
At a young age, I learned that busyness is what adults do. Not until recently did I realize that most adults use busyness and perfectionism to avoid deeply feeling and being truly present. Constant busyness keeps us from facing the fear and self-doubt that is universal for everyone. Some of us are just better at carrying on in the face of it without giving into busyness or perfectionism.
The paralyzing combination of control (from our mother) and perfectionism (from our father) that we’ve each inherited has kept us both from leading the creative lives we so desire. My sister is a brilliant photographer, graphic designer and curator of all things visually beautiful. She deserves to be seen.
So we made a pact: to simultaneously post each week—photographs for her, blogs for me—no matter what. It’s about creating content and momentum and not about whether it is perfect or important or anything else other than an exercise in doing what we say we are going to do to move past self-consciousness.
Intellectually, I realize that the only one judging me so harshly is myself. And yet, I still fear derision by this imaginary “audience.”
I am not always like this. I’ve had long stretches of productivity and creativity with barely a thought of what people might think. It feels amazing and beautiful and I want that freedom again. But this sense of flow seems to sneak up on me and, while I am in it, I rarely recognize its inherent beauty. Only in experiencing the sudden contrast of paralyzing self-consciousness do I grasp the specialness of that time. I’m seeking to be more conscious of the flow. To revel in it and foster it.
Plus, except for the mint, you will most likely already have these ingredients on hand. In other words, making this soup can be a spontaneous choice—no excessive planning needed!
What you’ll need:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2-5 garlic cloves
2 cups shelled fresh peas or 16oz bag frozen peas (thawed)
1 tsp sea salt
10 sprigs fresh mint
1.5 cups vegetable broth
1.5 cups full-fat coconut milk
Coarsely chop the onion and smash the garlic cloves with the back of your knife.
Heat coconut oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic and slowly cook until golden and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Note: Take your time with this step—it adds a depth of flavor. The rest of this recipe is cinch and you’ll be done with the soup in no time at all.
Add the vegetable broth, peas, salt, mint and coconut milk and bring to a low simmer. Turn off the heat.
Using an immersion blender, blend ingredients until smooth. Add extra veggie broth, if desired.
Garnish with fresh ground pepper, cayenne, curry powder or nothing at all.
A Credo for Making it Happen:
Author: Tahirih Linz
Editor: Alli Sarazen
Photo(s): Courtesy of Author