An intelligent artist friend of mine once told me how, in art school, her creativity was enriched through restriction. Her teachers would create a number of restrictions on what could be produced: Only flamenco dancers and only on 8-inch canvases with pastels.
This same idea is honored in the Chinese Medical paradigm when we say that the intention turns inward for the Winter. Darkness and cold take over and there just aren't as many things to do. When we aren't going from activity to activity in the external world, our inner world becomes our playspace and our creativity thrives.
On day three of this cleanse, I am finding that the food restrictions are forcing some creativity back into our routines. Working full-time, with a partner who works full-time, has created some complacency for us around meals. It's not unusual for one of us, tired after a day at work, to say, "Korean bowls at the Laughing Planet? It's healthy."
Each day this week, my partner and I have cut root vegetables into a lasagna pan and roasted them. These go into mason jars in our fridge. We soak lentils at night and after 20 minutes of cooking, we have an easy soup. Cooked quinoa is mixed with pureed kale and sunflower seed butter dressing. Each morning, our fridge offers a few healthy options for lunch and snacks.
We are limited in the foods that we can use in our kitchen and so we try new combinations. We explore these foods in ways that we haven't done so before. It's not the cooking that's tiring, it's the decision making process: What should we have? What will the kids eat? I just can't decide. There are so many things to think about, recipes we could try, how much time will it all take?
Here we are, in the absence of choice. We can eat vegetables, quinoa and lentils. This is it. And we must make a meal of it. And taking away the thought process is so utterly freeing.
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