Before we dive into the awesomeness of this veggie cake…
I recently fell in love with an expression I read in this insightful parenting article : “exuding trust”.
It is the perfect way to express something very intangible. A way to be within oneself that can be sensed by others. All between the lines. Just a feeling, an impression of someone. I have found this to be one of life’s best kept secrets. Sometimes we get so anxious, scared, threatened, insecure, competitive. We project too much into the future, our expectations are unrealistic, projections of our neurosis. Too many nervous “what ifs”. And when we feel all those things, I am pretty sure what we “exude” to those around us is a far cry from trust.
In the past, I have often felt that I needed to have things “figured out”, and have felt uneasy and anxious about life’s uncontrollable variables. Pablo is turning two in a few days, and interestingly, my recent birthday had me thinking about my shortcomings, whereas his birthday is reminding me of how much he has taught me.
And he has most certainly taught me the importance of exuding trust. An inner trust in the process of things, in trial and error. A trust in the beautiful struggle that life is. A trust that things will happen naturally, when and how they need to happen, even if I have no idea when and how just yet.
It’s being optimistically open-minded, in a serene, peaceful way. I’m pretty amazed I’m even able to achieve that state. Not 100 % of the time of course, but getting better at it.
The thing about this open-minded-optimism-trust-exuding business, is that it is self-fulfilling. Just like the anxious-insecure-stress-inducing-doubt-exuding is. And the serenity that comes out of that trust, is contagious (just like the antsiness that comes out doubt and fear.) When someone we trust exudes trust, it is so reassuring, isn’t it?
With Pablo, it’s been about exuding trust that he will learn what he needs to learn when he is ready to do so, that his strong emotions (i.e. tantrums, he is 2 after all) are normal and come and go, that he can listen to his body… This inner trust makes me feel grounded, gentle, clear and calm, and I can be the gentle leader he needs in order to thrive.
I have also found this to be very true at the table. Having this inner trust that my child will enjoy good food, if not the first time, then the next time or the 10th time, that he may like something I dislike, that he will eat what his body needs. I am always optimistically open-minded about food, and as a result, so is Pablo.
When it came to food and Pablo’s education of taste, maybe because of my culture or upbringing in France, I never had doubts, I trusted that if I exposed him to good foods, he would enjoy them. Or at least some of them. I had this inner (somewhat unconscious at first) certainty that the enjoyment of good food, of a pleasant meal, would not be a problem. That it would be a natural thing. And so it is.
Applying that trust in other areas of my life has been the real lesson for me. In parenting, writing, marriage, work… Letting go of doubt, of those uncontrollable variables, and trust that life will take its course as it must, and that I will learn, survive, grow from what it brings.
Perhaps exuding trust is simply being able to tell oneself (and believing it), “It’s going to be okay, even if I don’t know how (or when).”
I am facing a considerable trust-exuding challenge this coming weekend as we are preparing for Pablo’s birthday party. Much much cooking, and logistics, will be involved. In the past, I have faced such events with a lot of stress and have spoiled the mood a bit for those around me.
This time, I am exuding trust that things will be great even if they are not perfect, that Pablo will have fun and feel loved and celebrated, that our friends will have a nice time and enjoy good food. I shall report back on this and let you know how I did 🙂
In the meantime, I would love to share the recipe for one of my favorite “party foods”: the savory veggie cake. There are countless versions of it, it is fairly easy to make, and most definitely a crowd pleaser. Kids usually love them, it is similar to a savory “bread”, a fun finger food. I make them on a regular basis for barbecues, picnics or potlucks. They also make an easy and delicious cold lunch (very convenient for a lunchbox as well, I would think).