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Passion and Cooking

I have become obsessed with the movie Julie and Julia–it actually was in theaters last year and was released on DVD a few months ago. The movie follows the lives of two women.   Julia Child and her struggle to get her cook book Mastering the Art of French Cooking to be published and Julie who decides to take a year to cook every recipe in Julia’s book and then write a blog about it.  The movie flips back and forth between these two stories, in the 1940s-1950s and in the year 2001-2001.  I admit I enjoy the Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep) parts better.  But overall, I love the movie because it talks about passion.

The movie shows how these two women discovered their passion for both cooking and life.  I love watching them go through the joy, self doubt, passion, love, fear, self-judgement that all goes along with living passionately.  Somewhere we were taught that once we find what we are passionate about everything will just fall into place.  Finding what you are passionate about simply helps you engage in an activity you love.  Finding what your passionate about helps you live happier because you are feeding your soul with an activity that makes it soar.  Anyone who saw Julia Child cook (and I know I am dating myself here) saw her passion for cooking, her absolute joy in it.  That passion wasn’t discovered until she was in her 40s, before that she was a secretary for the US Government.  Once she discovered cooking she just couldn’t get enough.  She took classes, she became a teacher, she wrote a book, she appeared on TV.  All those things took years, years of self doubt, of risk of fear.  However, what she kept coming back to, was her passion for cooking.  She moved through her fear, self doubt and continually went back to what she loved.  And with the support of her husband and friends she did finally reach her goal of having a book published that made French cooking accessible to Americans.

I think passion has gotten a bad rap.  Passion has become something that we search after, something we think we need to find. Passion is thought to be this ONE thing and once we find it all will be good with our lives.  I believe, passion is not something we find, it is how we live our lives.  When we live passionately, we participate in activities that we enjoy and spend time with people who engage us.  Passion can infiltrate everything we do from playing with our kids, having coffee with a friend, to working on the computer.  Passion is a state of mind.  However, having passion doesn’t prevent us from having self doubt or wondering if we are doing the right thing.  Passion allows us to live with zest and zeal and embrace all of life:  the joy, the fear, the thrill, the doubts.  Julia Child lived her life with passion, from how she engaged with her husband, to how she ate her food she was a passionate person. And she also experienced self doubt and frustration.

So today think about your day as a chance to live with passion.  How can you add more passion to your life?   Where do you get your passion?

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