The full title of this post is “How to be where you are when you wish you were anywhere but.” I have said it many, many times: What you resist persists. And never is this more true than when you are at a place psychically or emotionally that is painful and uncomfortable. So what’s the trick to being where we are without simultaneously wishing things were different or denying what is?
Well first of all, I am a big fan of praying for relief or help, which is sort of like action but non-action at the same time. It’s saying “I know I am where I need to be, but I don’t have to like it and a little help might be nice!” I’m also a big fan of doing small things to look after myself that make me feel good—which is action that isn’t about suppression or denial, but more about easing into things as they are. After all, if we have to be here, we may as well be comfortable, right?
Let’s be clear about this. This is not a position of resignation that I’m talking about. This is a position of surrender.
Surrender is a lofty word, a fan favourite frequently thrown around by spiritual gurus. “Just surrender,” they say, like it’s easy peezy. It sure doesn’t feel easy when the ground feels wobbly under our feet and we feel scared and lost in darkness. I’m certainly no expert on surrender (I much prefer control!), but one thing a wise soul recently reminded me is that wishing we were anywhere else implies that we believe we are not okay where or how we are now. What if, in this moment, we are exactly where we need to be, be it in the pain, the darkness, in the sadness or despair—what if it’s really okay that we find ourselves in this place, this particular facet, of the human experience?
While it may not be easy, two things might help this surrender thing along. The first is taking it one day at a time. If you’re like me, you’ll accompany that with a lot of praying to get through. And the second is to trust in the value of our experience; rather than seeing it as some form of purgatory or karmic payback, recognize that there is gold in the experience, even if we are clueless as to what it might be. For example, the value could be in the opportunity to love and comfort ourselves through our pain, to recognize our own resilience, or even to reach out for support and connect with love in our life. You don’t need to know what it is when you’re in the thick of things, but trusting that it’s there can help you connect with the bigger picture of your experience.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or, in my case, when life gives you chocolate, make chocolatey things. And so that’s what I did—I attempted to make my own homemade Sweet Georgia Browns, which for those of you who don’t know, are Purdys’ take on the caramel pecanny goodness that is the Turtle. I must warn you, this recipe is not vegan but I did modify it in an attempt to make it a little less insulin-spiking than the store-bought variety. I do plan on making a vegan version, so stay tuned for that. For now, here’s this one for you to enjoy if you don’t mind a little dairy now and again.
(Modified from this recipe at Cleanse Your Palate.)
- 3 cups pecans
- 3 cups of good quality dark chocolate or chocolate chips (or a mix)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 vanilla bean split
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup brown rice syrup
- 6 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp salt
I learned some things the hard way making these, so heed my advice. There is an order to operations that will make things much easier for you.
Start your pecans first, toasting them in the oven at 300F for 30 minutes or so or until fragrant. Watch them closely so they don’t burn (oops!).
While they are roasting, you can start to assemble your caramel ingredients (everything but the salt) in a small heavy pot, one that you can pour out of easily. You can also ready your chocolate too (see below).
Once pecans are done, place pecans in the bottoms of a greased muffin tin, about 4-5 to a muffin cup. If you have extra, you can place piles of pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I found this will fill a 12 cup muffin tin plus make about 5-6 additional ones on the baking sheet.
Fill your sink half full with cold water.
Bring caramel to a boil on medium low heat and let boil until caramel appears to be climbing up the sides of your pot, almost as if saying “let’s get this party started!. Make sure you stir this constantly (sorry, no multi-tasking!).
Once she’s there, stir in your salt and then shock your pot in your sink of cold water to stop from cooking. Moving quickly, began to pour or spoon caramel over each pecan pile; you’ll notice the caramel firms rather quickly and becomes difficult to work with over time. Once done, let cool.
Break chocolate into pieces and place in heatproof liquid measuring cup. Fill a pot with an inch of water and place the liquid measuring cup inside. Melt over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, pour over your GBs to cover. Allow to cool before devouring.