Lemon and Thyme Vegan Boudt Cake + The 3 Myths That Keep Us Away From Our Dreams.
Hi there, if you are reading me today it is possible that you feel deep inside that something is holding you back from pursuing your passion.
Well done, because I didn't know. And worst, I did not know that I didn't know.
It took me some serious work to become aware of and unlearn the harmful beliefs and behaviors that held me back.
It is also possible you have an Instagram account, maybe a blog and you are dreaming of taking the leap, or shift a current situation, and become a photographer or a recipe developer or an influencer.
Wow, you are a STAR. Do you know how many people strive to follow their true passion? Not many.
That means you already have made a cut, and you stand out from the crowd just for taking this decision in your heart.
So just to be fair, what I'm writing here is my own experience but also the sum what I’ve learned from TED talks, podcasts and serious Audible binge listening.
No seriously, I'm not in a position of teaching anything to you, but I like to think we are friends taking a walk, talking aboutcreativity while we walk in a sunny park.
(My fav is the Regent Park Boating lake, there is a spot where water lily and the greenest plants are caressing a little steam to the lake and looks like we are in Japan).
In the past years, I've hustled to self-learn styling, with the dream of working from home, get the perfect life balance, and be creative as I need to be to stay sane.
I also had some pretty BS convictions coming with these dreams that made my life hell and signed me for perennial failure — not kidding.
I was stressed, overworking, and underachieving stretched in all directions.
And because as humans we experience very similar emotions and situations, I'm shamelessly taking the assumption that some of the BS I have been saying to myself, you are likely to have been saying to yourself too.
So hthese are the 3 Mhyts that have stopped me from reaching my goals.
Perfect Life Balance
The life balance dream was actually one of my main goals - they say setting the right target but being in the wrong jungle. Meaning you don't see the big picture, and you end up striving for the wrong purpose.
Perfect life balance does not exist, and I state my case.
I used to believe the perfect balance is possible, and that I was not organized enough, or productive enough or whatever, to achieve it.
It raised shame and guilt, and the only thing I could do is to work harder, push more.
And only now I acutely see that the perfect life balance it is only a myth (or BS more appropriately).
For years I fell into this trap, especially as a mum. I thought, as a woman, I should have fit everything in the 24 hours, and graciously. And if we are honest with ourselves, most of us believe so. Then we beat ourselves up when it doesn't happen.
The so-called life balance is a constant juggle, made of a series of conscious, intentional choices, each of them with their implications. Once you get intentional with your decision, and the implications are acceptable, your actions become centered in your truth, and things get way more straightforward. Because it becomes aligned with what you want to be and become.
If you need to finish a shooting for your portfolio you cannot be taking the kids to the park, doing all the house chores, or going for a drink with frends. Our resurces are finite, and the time we have is limited.
As mum, parenting guilt especially still creeps in, but when it does most of the time is because I tried to fit all in. Because I respond to the image of the perfect wife and mama that runs her business during invisible hours and is 100% present to make everyone else content first. Because I try to be to what people expect from me and I don't prioritize who I want to be.
If in thes season I hustle to be an entrepreneur I will not be able to go to the park with my kids that much, but this summer I will be able to taking them to a long vacation because I can work from anywhere!
It's all been done.
Yes, it is, all possible love songs have been written, all recipe books have been done, and we have been even to the moon!
Also, how many types of waters are out there? I mean they must be kidding. But possibilities are infinite, and I’m sure there is someone buying water at 7£ per liter. Personally, I filter my tap, but that’s my sustainable choice in line with my beliefs.
We don't see people sitting on the streets out of their offices wondering what to do with their life because there are already 1.3 million layers doing the same job only in the US (yes I checked).
The insecurity that hunts us is the fear of discovering we are not as good as we think we are. That we won't make the cut.
This for me was an other face of perfectionism and comparison. We always with people that are in a more advanced pint with their lives without considering how long it took them. And that maybe they have been crappy as we are, or even worst. I was the crappiest when I started taking food photographies. Like horribly styled shots with terrible light, horrible orangy light temperature. I had no sense of proportions whatsoever.
If you are a beginner photographer and compare with me as I’m now, probably you’ll feel not good enough, buy I have done this for 4 years now. If you could compare with me as beginner, you’ll probably will feel much much better and capable od doing it.
Yes, it has been all done, and was done before me and before people that are much more succesful than me. We are all unique. Your voice is unique and special, and you deserve to share it as much as everyone else! You’ll bring another precious and unique view, other possibilities that haven't been explored yet and only you can bring!
I don't need help, I should do this all by myself.
We are powerhouses, and I believe we can do everything we can envision.
I strongly believe it. If I can imagine it, I'm capable of doing it.
But here is another truth. We think we don't deserve to invest in ourselves, and or that we have the right to ask for help.
I'm self-thought at styling, and I'm so proud of it. Was hard to learn by myself? Yes. Took also forever. You might think otherwise, but styling doesn't come naturally to me. I had to hustle.
I could have done a course or something to at least inspire me, but I didn't.
On the one hand, I had time to learn by myself. I was on maternity leave with 2 babies 18 months apart and no family around so I could think to go to work. But, I also felt deep inside, that I couldn't invest money in the dreams I had.
I felt it was so selfish and irresponsible to put my dreams before my children and my husband and financially invest in them.
And apparently, this belief is hard to eradicate for me.
Is clear this is my career now, so this year I took business courses, practical management stuff I didn’t know. That’s serious, that’s appropriate of a responsible person.
But in the same period came out a creative retreat created by one of the best artists I know on Instagram.
I needed so much a creative course, something to bring me to the next level and inspire me, after years of doing this all by myself. Again the fancy dream. And yet, I dismissed it.
Instead, I bought a super expensive carpet for my children room renovation. Because they come first and they deserve the best. Even my husband tried to talk me out of that carpet decision. And you can bet, they don't give a damn dang they have a premium wool carpet. And which 4 years old or 6 years old would?
But I need to give them the best, right? Right goal but wrong jungle. I tell you, the best was a happier and less tired mum that makes an example of both strength and self-care. That shows respect and serious commitments to her dreams .
And this creative retreat was as crucial as the business course to take my career to the next level. Lesson learned in the bitter way.
I believe we must make sure that we ask for what we need, and put our dreams on top of our priorities is an act of responsibility toward ourselves. We cannot be our best version and simultaniusly deny ourselves what we need to be the person we want to be. We need nourishment to fuel our strengths, help to get to the end of the week, especially when we want to embrace a long term career.
If we want our lives to be sustainable and our creative business to have longevity, we need help to break our glass ceilings, and we need to believe we deserve to invest the money and the time in ourselves.
So what do you need right now? Do you need a course, a retreat, a cleaner to help at home so you can shoot one more hour?
What can you delegate and what you should invest your time and money in?
Be honest and be gracious towards yourself, I will try the same. Show the same compassion you have for your family and close friends when dealing with your needs and dreams.
And now that I said what I was literally burning to tell you my friends, I’m ready to give you cake. :) Recipe below, enjoy and much Love.
Bundt form Ø 20 cm
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Baking time: 65 minutes
230ml oat milk
100ml extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 9 Tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 2 un-waxed lemons
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme.
200g raw sugar
350g plain or GF self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
for the lemon glaze (optional)
1 cup vegan icing sugar ( I powdered my Xylitol) or unrefined icing sugar
2-3tbs lemon juice
for the lemon drizzle
freshly squeezed juice and zest of 1 lemon
50g raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C (325F circa).
Prepare your bundt tin ( I used a silicon mould) by greasing it (I used olive oil) and covering the oil with a dusting of flour. Make sure to spread the oil well, you do not want the cake sticking to the tin! In fact this cake can be delicate so be mindful when you take it out of the mould.
Prepare the flax seed mixture by combining the ground flax seeds with the water in a medium bowl. Mix briefly. Next add the grated lemon zest, milk, vanilla extract and olive oil. Set aside.
In a separate, large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients - the sugar, flour, baking powder (if using) and salt. Mix well.
Next combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and gently fold with a wooden spoon until the mixture is nicely combined.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt cake mould and place in the oven.
Bake for 65 minutes or until golden brown. Do the stick test to ensure it is cooked throughout the centre.
While the cake bake prepare the drizzle combining the ingredients and set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cook for about 5-10 minutes before carefully removing it from the mould.
Allow it to cool for a further 15-20 minutes before pouring over the drizzle.
Whilst the cake is completely cooling, prepare the glaze by combining the sugar and the juice and set aside.( if you prepare the glaze too much in advance can harden too much to whisk it again to a perfect consistency).