Yesterday, a whole row of tall poplars near our house was cut. Watching this happen made me fall into a state of deep pain and powerlessness. Felling these amazing giants let me feel depleted of my own power to join in creating beauty and abundance. Do you know what helped me later that day? Cooking.

Holding the vegetables in my hand that grew in and out of the ground, I touch the love of the earth. Breaking the eggs our chicken lay every day, I feel the fertility, the wealth of life. I take a pot from the shelf, full of emptiness that is at the core of our being and ready to receive the fullness of life. Pouring in water, I realize this is the same water our ancestors have been using thousands of years ago. I regulate the flame that heats and transforms the food. Amazed how this is enough to feel deeply empowered again.

Cooking is not just a chore. It is not a degradation in the shadow of other, more meaningful work. Cooking is sustaining life itself. As physicist and thinker Vandana Shiva puts it, the reason we are still alive is that someone cooked food for us.

Be proud of cooking, love it. Cooking is a healing practice when you are caught in existential fears, when you feel down, unclear or disconnected. Cooking for yourself, for your family, for friends. Make cooking simple, nourishing even before you have eaten. Let it be friendly for yourself, adjusted to your energy and available time. Touch, smell, taste. Have a good meal!

Listen to Vandana Shiva’s touching, powerful talk here: