I came back from a weekend of yoga training, and one of the topics covered in class was the idea of values. Our teacher asked the group what we value. The lot of us began volunteering various values to the discussion, and our teacher pointed out how the value that each of us named was directly reflective of our unique character – who we are us individuals on this planet.
Taking a moment to reflect on what we value can be a positive exercise. Our homework was to develop a personal creed based on what we value, sort of like our own guide to living. I discovered something important about myself through this experience: whenever I am not living in accordance with my values (ie. walking the talk), I have a sense of extreme unrest in my heart, and it is VERY uncomfortable. So uncomfortable, in fact, that it makes engaging in one of my various numbing behaviours look very appealing. When I look back at some of my worst binges, I can see that a lot of them were propelled by my trying to ease discomfort of this origin, to silence the voice inside that was telling me I wasn’t being true to myself in one way or another. Stepping up into who we are and living a life in accordance with our values is a tall order. But we must, because our hearts won’t let us get away with not living our truths for very long. We are faced with a choice to either heed the call of our hearts, or be marred by self-destructive behaviours in a futile effort to silence it. Take a moment and make your list – what do you value? Truth? Safety? Health? Environment? Respect? Kindness? Equality? Let whatever your values are be a way you can return to your true self, a reminder of who you really are. When we live in accordance with our values, we value ourselves.
I made some more soup. I couldn’t get squash off my mind – being Fall, its rich orange colour, velvety and hearty texture, and its sweet taste were a’callin’. This recipe is unbelievably simple – just be sure to leave an hour or so of squash-baking time (which I find preferable to trying to peal an uncooked squash. If anyone has any tips on this, please do share!). I have modified this recipe from one by the late, great James Barber, who taught me everything I know about cooking from a very young age.
Here a squash, there a squash (everywhere a squash squash) Soup
1 acorn squash
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups of veggie stock
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp maple syrup
½ cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped green onions (garnish)
Slice squash in half, scoop out seeds and stringy bits and place face down in a baking dish. Fill with ¼ inch of water. Bake for 45 minutes (or until easily punctured with a fork) at 400 F. Once cool, scoop out flesh.
In large pot, sauté onion 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat until translucent. Add garlic and cumin, cook for one minute. Add stock and squash, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. With a hand blender, puree soup, add coconut milk and maple syrup, pepper (and salt only if needed). Bowl out, and garnish with green onions!