Rumi calls it the guest house. Jon Kabat-Zinn refers to it as putting out the welcome mat. I call it baking blueberry muffins.
It is the act of opening our heart to all of our experience. To every sensation. Every emotion. Every thought. Especially the less-desirable ones. And more than just begrudgingly saying, ok come in but sit over there in the corner and don’t make a sound. You actually welcome them in and give them the royal treatment.
I love blueberry muffins. I love the way the blueberries pop when they get warm. I love the smell in the house after baking them. I love trying out new recipes, and mostly I love baking them for people I care for.
Over the weekend, a friend came over for coffee and I baked blueberry muffins for her. We talked about everything from the microbiome to the soul. And whether we needed to vent or share knitting tips, all was accepted. We laughed. We comforted each other. We expressed hopes for a better world. And as I closed the door and she walked into the cold January weather, I felt so grateful for the time we had shared. And how good it felt to be seen.
And I wondered, why is that such a hard act when it comes to ourselves?
It’s like we’ve got a filing system in our brain, where we sift our experiences into acceptable and non-acceptable. And for the acceptable, we shower ourselves with praise, acknowledging that the daily meditation must be working as well as all those gratitude lists and the lowered sugar intake…and for the non-acceptable? We give full reign to the inner-critic to have her way with us…
Not a pretty sight.
But it’s all just information. Mental activity. Physical sensation. But we draw conclusions about the world or ourselves or our loved ones. We indulge in doomsday fantasies. Or remember bad times. Traumatic times. And we get scared.
I think we can all think of one being we love. Unconditionally. Whether it’s a plant or animal or human. And we can think about what it feels like to love that being. And maybe we can turn that around and practice loving ourselves.
I know. I am a broken record. But I think when we shut off our own inner love, we shut down to others. We shut off our rays of light we came here to shine. But, it’s not easy. Especially if we are habituated to judge and criticize ourselves.
And my inner-cynic pushes back a bit at cliches like love is the answer…but let’s be honest–cliches are cliches because they have a grain of truth. It is true that love is the answer. And that love has to start with loving ourselves.
So, in the least cliché-way possible, let us all open the doors to our guest house, put out the welcome mat, and make some blueberry muffins.
2 thoughts on “Blueberry Muffins”
If I would have learned when I was younger to love myself as much as I loved others . . .well I won’t finish that sentence . . . Instead . . . I am grateful for loving me today
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Love your heart. Your muffins sound delicious. 💕