Elisabet Spaulding, one of my go-to food friends, rocked my world last night when she introduced me to 101 Cookbook’s “Magic Sauce.” The moment it touched my lips, I was hard pressed to think of one thing I wouldn’t put it on. They call it Magic Sauce, “because it makes everything it touches shimmer with deliciousness…You’re best off making a double or triple batch. This is the sort of stuff you burn through in minutes. Not exaggerating. I cook eggs in it - scrambled, omelette, frittata, you name it. I drizzle it on soups. I can attest it’s the sort of thing that makes baked potatoes even better than usual. And salads welcome it as well - particularly shaved salads, or ones made from spicy greens. You can use it to marinate or slather ingredients before grilling or roasting. And its the sort of dressing that turns a bowl full of farro or quinoa or soba noodles into something close to a full meal - just toss in another favorite seasonal ingredient or two.” -101 CookBooks
Before I did Dancing With The Stars, I had developed a pretty intense case of stage fright that was making any kind of live performance something I actively avoided. But, as with lots of kinds of anxiety, it was gradually and insidiously making my world smaller. Even though I had always loved dancing, I hadn’t done it for 20 years, so my fear of a live show was never going to allow me to say yes to something as harrowing as DWTS. It was just not an option for me. But because I’m devoted to experiencing as much joy as I possibly can in this life, while also trying to model doing something in spite of fear for my young daughter, I really had no choice but to take some action.
The hypnotist Caroline Conger designed a recording customized for me. She also has some “off the rack” hypnosis that creates deep relaxation in the body and therefore the mind. I listen to this link, in addition to my own version, to take a nap or go to sleep. I use it when I feel anxious or overwhelmed, and it has afforded me deep and lasting results. It’s great to listen to on an airplane (download it onto your iTunes) or sometimes I even go places 20 minutes early so I can reboot midday. I just pull over in my car, lock my doors, put my seat back and chill.
You won’t be squawking like a chicken, but please for God’s sake do not listen to it while you’re driving. Hypnosis is most effective when you’re not completely unconscious, but rather when you’re in an alpha state. ”The alpha state is a light hypnotic state—relaxed, yet focused and receptive. In this state of consciousness, a person is calm, able to absorb new information and become more resourceful and open to new possibilities.” C’mon…Who doesn’t want that?
Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent. For the Japanese, it’s the difference between kirei-merely “pretty”-and omoshiroi, the interestingness that kicks something into the realm of beautiful.