Previously posted on August 11, 2015…….
This is one of my favourite quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh……to consciously imagine my feet walking upon the earth tenderly and gratefully with love and admiration, gently kissing it with my toes.
It’s been a few weeks since I wrote any posts, and it’s been kind of a hiatus for me to simply just enjoy the fruits of my labour and slow down this summer. For the past two years, Erinn’s and my cookbook (due to come out in April 2016 by Random House) has consumed me. Then it consumed Erinn. Then we started getting really busy at the bake shoppe with a humbling amount of customers, the quick expansion of staff and an increased demand from the media and more. Then we tried to balance our lives (not so well). Then I stopped really savouring and enjoying the “day in & day out” activities and routine of going to work, and living joyfully. While we both still have been immersing ourselves in the growth of the bake shoppe, and the rejoicing at all the happy faces on people coming into Kelly’s, I personally lost the connection to my own ‘self’ somewhat, as I was so sidetracked with everything crazily book-related and some personal stuff wrapped up in there too. It’s very hard to constantly stay ‘plugged in’, as they say, and deal with life every day, looking at it straight in the eyes and not being able to escape and run from it…. My creative juices went dry.
In 2015, the calls began pouring in and we were featured on the Marilyn Denis Show with Owen Reeves and then asked to appear on BT Toronto – making our famous brownies January 2, 2015, Canada AM in February 2015 and then again on the Canada AM set June 1st, 2015, and we were called to appear on CHCH TV on July 20th, then we got a call, two weeks ago, that we made the BuzzFeed List and ranked #3 of the “Top 25 Cupcake Shops Around the World to Visit Before You Die” (YES! Kelly’s Bake Shoppe made #3 omg!!!). In between all of this, there has a ton of magazine work, featured on dozens of blogs and won many more accolades for what we do too. It’s been happening so fast and I just wanted to slow things down so I wouldn’t miss a thing. If I could equate it to something, it would be like I’m learning how to breathe all over again and then, all of a sudden, a fast moving train is catapulting towards me at 200mph and I have to quickly evaluate and assess my life and priorities and jump on (to not miss it) and yet, still maintain all the loves in my life.
I’m learning how to wake up every morning in a different way now and remind myself, there are 24 new hours before me, to be the best person I can be. I do my utmost to be ‘present’ in every moment possible, and to share my gratitude with others and myself too and trust my inner guidance. I’m finding it isn’t always easy to strive and accomplish a 100% blissful day (you can take solace here that it is pretty much impossible unless you are The Dalai Lama or Gandhi perhaps). It takes deliberate, conscious practice to stay focused, to stay in ‘love’ and create new positive habits that can last forever. My goal is to have ‘blissed out’ Miracles every day.
There are two forces that really matter in this life: the force of fear and the force of love. In every moment, in every choice, in every action we are either moving towards fear or towards love. Fear comes in many forms. It’s anything that weakens your spirit. Another name for fear? Jealousy, anger, frustration, self-doubt all come under the banner of fear. It’s so automatic for many of us (me included), to go into negative self-actualization chatter and right then and there, thoughts come into our minds without us even knowing it and we can wander into not feeling good enough, smart enough, darkness, sadness, anger, ego-driven thoughts, it goes on and on. Love on the other hand is everything that lights you up. It’s joy, it’s contentment, it’s acceptance, it’s generosity, it is trusting that you are in partnership with something much bigger than yourself and it is within each of us.
One thing I know for sure is, the bake shoppe is my joy and keeps me in a ‘present’ state. My deepest passion comes from this place and goes back into this place. I get to create and share something so special with the world (alongside of Erinn), and I have to pinch myself each day that I am living my dream….my total bliss. I have been blessed to have a deeply focused and committed, passionate voice and one that pushes people to reconsider the path they are on. I love to plant new seeds deep within and LOVE what these seeds can create. And yes, I DO care immensely about other beings and the greatest reward for me is the smiles and tears of joy that I get to see and hear about daily – that we have made a difference in people’s lives. Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and Lettuce Love Cafe has morphed and grown into these destinations where now, we can have over 4000 or 5000 people walk through our doors on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They’ve turned into be these funky, fun hangouts that people resonate with. It heals, it transforms, it allows people to connect with one another on a very cool level, it’s not only about the food, it’s about the magical energy.
I’ve made a commitment to myself this summer: To take time out to smell the roses and enjoy some ‘down time’, savour the upcoming book release and the building of my/our virtual world and more importantly, to work on me. I want to be a beacon of guiding light and I need to be true to that light. It’s easy to give lip-service to people and become a voice to help others but if I’m not trying to walk the walk behind the scenes, that just won’t work and that is not me. I’m the ever-transparent Kelly who wears her heart on her sleeve and does not hold back with her inner (and outer) passionate dialogue and transformations and goals to be as incredible and as authentic as humanly possible.
There’s more to come from me very soon but to be the most creative and productive we can be, we must clear out the junk that’s holding us back. It could be people holding us back and it could also just be our story about those people that is holding us back. It could be me just needing some cherished time alone for awhile to regroup and re-connect with my own heart and soul and discover my purpose and learn how to love. Living with joy is my focus right now. Breathing in every valuable breath and being true to my heart. I ask people this all the time… I inquire as to how they ‘feel’ when they make a certain statement or think a particular thought, and to evaluate their bodies, their mind, their reactive thoughts, their STOMACH (gut). What is your gut telling you? As hard as it is sometimes, I’m learning to say, “no” to the things that don’t ignite a ‘spark‘ in me and this leaves me more time to grab the most important things to me, and pull them in and hold on tight.
For the past few years, I’ve had some personal issues that only a handful of you close to me would know about. It has remained pretty constant beneath the surface of my life and I’m praying that it will be over soon. It’s sadly about legal issues, involving my husband and his ex-wife, from their separation over 17 years ago. Yes, that’s a very long time since their split. Ken and I have been together for 10 years now and this strife has been in our life since the very beginning of our relationship. If we said it has been easy, that would be a lie, but to be able to say, compassionately, I am grateful for what she has given Ken and I, that would be the truth. Some couples may get further apart from having such adversity thrown into their lives but Ken and I have somehow become closer souls and have found each of our own truths from it. And yes, I am grateful for her.
My lesson is this: What I’ve come to learn is that there are people out there that will unwittingly sacrifice everything they have, including their own happiness, and that of those close to them, in the name of anger, jealousy and/or fear and I cannot judge this. When I simply and consciously decide to not take it personally and not own that negative energy from someone else, I am able to push it away and can compassionately feel for their suffering and send them blessings instead. My lesson is to practice this and to not engage. My only path is to compassionately send out blessings to those who are suffering and understand that is why they do what they do – they are suffering and to embrace this experience with compassion.
I love this quote by the brilliantly wise, Thich Nhat Hanh: “Life is a Miracle, and being aware of simply this can already make us very happy.” Life IS a Miracle. Every bit of it. Every day I get to wake up in the morning and feel my feet touch the ground and kiss the ground with my toes, I am thrilled! To hold onto any past attachments really only keeps us from enjoying our ‘todays’ and darkening our futures.
I’m going to take this downtime for me and work on my love for myself and my husband, my lovely daughter and Mike, our life together, my dear family, exceptional friends, and all the people that come into my life every day and those who haven’t yet (and I’m so excited to meet one day soon). I’ve got more recipes brewing, and some crazy new business ideas and igniting more creative sparks within me and most importantly, continually embracing the practice of gratitude….. and walk like I’m kissing the ground with my feet every moment I remember to do so.
Inhale LOVE – Exhale GRATITUDE. Let’s reach inside and unleash the flow of love and let the Miracles begin.