fbpx
Is food a tool or maybe a metaphor?

Is food a tool or maybe a metaphor?

Food is a tool, isn’t it?

You might be wondering… What does she mean by “food is a tool“?  Well, let me explain myself with an example. As most of you know, Eli is the official chef in my house. He loves to cook! Every morning, as soon as he wakes up, he decides the dish he will cook that day. Then he will plan his day accordingly. After his daily 8 km walk, he will stop by the grocery store to get the fresh produce needed. Sometimes, he would drive to the Turkish, Korean or  Middle Eastern specialty store to find special ingredients he’ll need. Later in the day, the cooking will start with his traditions and rituals. It’s a pleasure to observe him. His creative side comes alive and he gets into a trance similar to meditation. Food is his maximal expression of love and care.

Live to Eat or Eat to live?

Last Sunday I found myself starving. Eli was upset and didn’t cook for a couple of days. One of the things I learned after twenty years of marriage is that cooking is his way of expressing his feeling. On the other hand, cooking for me is an obligation. I cook only when I have to; either when someone depends on me or when I have no other option. Food in my parents’ home was only to cover a necessity. I started cooking that evening because I had no food all day. Suddenly I was deeply thinking about how food is a tool serving different purposes for different people. Here are some of the ideas that came to mind. Of course, it would be amazing if you can add some more to the list!

  • It’s a basic tool to survive.
  • It nurtures our brains and our body.
  • Helps to share our cultural background.
  • Build bridges between people from different cultures.
  • It’s one of the five love languages to express feelings and emotions
  • Develops creativity while following instructions
  • Can be a time to practice mindfulness
  • It’s an expression of art
  • Teaches history
  • Carries traditions

Did you ever think of food as a metaphor?

I find it was fascinating how my imagination was unleashing as I was getting deeper into my creative space. I loved it because helped me realized how everything is connected and intertwined; feelings, emotions, food, words. Furthermore, everything is loaded with meaning, stories, memories and experiences. Food is more than a simple tool. It can be a metaphor for our own existence. The skills learned from our family, friends and mentors throughout life become the ingredients that created each one of us as a unique dish. We are one recipe made with the ingredients life presented us. Did you ever think that some of those ingredients and underused or forgotten? Or that maybe combining them in a different way we could come up with new dishes?

I think life is sending us an invitation to visit OUR own creative spaces allowing OUR imagination to guide us to unknown flavours of ourselves…

I firmly believe COVID had stopped us in our tracks forcing us to reflect. That by itself is a gift in disguise waiting to be recognized. Did you know we have a Book Club twice a month? During those meetings, we analyze chapter by chapter of the book Say YES, Ask questions laterallowing our community of participants to learn and understand others’ perspectives and points of view. Would you like to join us? If you want to watch some short videos inspired by the weekly blogs, make sure to SUBSCRIBE to my YOUTUBE channel.

What does pleasure mean during COVID?

What does pleasure mean during COVID?

Yesterday I had a meltdown!

What does pleasure mean during COVID?

I am trying the intermittent fasting for the past month. It’s been working quite well. Despite the fact I lost weight yet I am not happy. I started to question myself, “What does pleasure mean during COVID?” I cannot be with friends, I cannot travel the world and now I self-imposed this diet. So where is the pleasure of life? Where can I find that zest that keeps me alive?

If we cannot go to Barcelona, we will bring Barcelona to us!

I dug through my old pictures of travels and food. I was craving for new experiences and adventures. To my surprise, I felt like I was re-living them. I truly enjoyed it! the experience was so great that I decided to turn it into my next project. How about a travel channel with food and stories? As soon as I shared the idea with Eli he was all in. So right away he went to the supermarket, bought a baguette, cured ham, tomatoes olive oil and soon we were feeling in Barcelona. If we cannot go to Barcelona, we will bring Barcelona to us!

Don’t allow COVID to define us!

This doesn’t mean I won’t watch for my food anymore! It means I need to redefine the new terms I want to live my life considering the limitations COVID brought to us. It’s time to say YES to the new reality and ask ourselves the same questions we did before but this time answer them considering the new facts COVID imposed in our lives.

Let’s try to enjoy life and don’t allow COVID to define us. Pleasure means to me re-live old travels and share it with friends.

What does pleasure mean to YOU during COVID?

Please share how you bring pleasure to life during COVID times!

Want some extra inspiration?

Signup for short weekly inspirational videos HERE
Should I stay or should I go out during Covid?

Should I stay or should I go out during Covid?

I need to admit, I didn’t leave much of my house since COVID hit. Why? I am not sure. Maybe because last year I was too much in hospitals and I couldn’t even imagine going back there. Maybe because my inner voice is telling me that. I believe the information on COVID is evolving as time pass. This is all new and what was true three months ago is not true today.

GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE

The preparations started; mask, gloves, Lysol wipes, a jacket in the case was cold and an umbrella in the case it rains. I left my apartment praying not to encounter a neighbour at the elevator or that the elevator won’t stop on any floor and I might need to kindly say to someone I don’t feel comfortable sharing the ride with them.

THE NEW REALITY

While I was walking to the grocery store, a memory of the joy I use to experience smelling the flowers and the crisp air came to mind. I realized that I couldn’t enjoy any of that now and to top it up the mask was making me sweat even more than I already do due to my “personal summers”. I cannot feel the textures of the fruits and veggies through the rubber gloves, and the Lysol wipe makes my skin dry. Furthermore! The look of the vibrant street from yesteryears is gone. Lots of empty stores and some you could sense trying to survive. COVID brought devastation and uncertainty.

So I asked myself: “Should I stay home or should I go out during COVID?  I am afraid and I am sad to see what is going on. On the other side of the coin, I am aware of the Cave syndrome: fear of social interaction. I don’t want to develop that! Can you imagine me, the social butterfly afraid of social interaction?

IN SEARCH OF THE NEW NORMAL

I am trying to find my new normal and right balance. It’s time to redefine what works for me and sits right in my heart. I am surrendering to the new reality and detaching myself from what was right for me three months ago. We are evolving as individuals and as a society. I need to admit that I am enjoying my company and getting to know very nice things about myself.

I believe it is an important time to ask ourselves questions like this one to reorganize our priorities and redefine our believes: “Should I stay home or should I go out during COVID?” The world had changed, so do we!

Don’t allow anybody to define what’s right for you. There are no recipes, no certainties in the medical field to tell us what to do. Trust your instinct and follow your heart. We are equipped with the tools to decide.

Say YES.

 

 

Welcome to Uruguay

Welcome to Uruguay

CHALLENGES, CREATIVITY, CREATIVE

Welcome to Uruguay

Less wealth, more creativity

MARIANA KONSOLOS

Traveling to my dear Uruguay from Canada is not an easy journey. There are no straight flights and more than two connections are always required.This time I flew from Ottawa via Boston-Panama City to Montevideo. I should consider myself lucky because my total trip was only 18 hours. Sometimes it takes up to 30 hours.

Connecting flight times were very brief. In Boston, I had 90 minutes to change terminals, then go through security again. The second stop in Panama was even more brief: 50 minutes that I passed, running across an airport packed with people, trying to make it to my gate. Needless to say, I was sweaty and stressed by the time I heard the last call. But I made it! After a final  long 7 hours, I landed in Montevideo – very tired. It was midnight yet my brother and my best friend Tammy were waiting for me. I felt loved and happy because of their welcome!

I slept over at Tammy’s home. Just like old times, we stayed up chatting until 3:30 am. She is one of those friends that time and distance are never a barrier in our 45-year friendship. Everything had gone smoothly after I left Ottawa. I honestly was quite amazed because usually  something goes wrong: either a delay or canceled flight, or something happens on the plane.

But my luck didn’t last long. I woke up the next morning and went to pick up my car at my parents’ home where it had been parked during my time in Canada. As was expected, the battery was dead but that wasn’t all. The car was parked with the driver’s door so close to the wall that no one could access it to get in. I also learned that this brand of cars has only one lock and that was on the driver’s side. What was I to do?

Edward has been the doorman of my parent’s building for over 40 years. He didn’t finish high school but he is a creative and resourceful man. I called him for help. He stood for a while observing the car, trying to come up with a solution. First he tried to get through the car door with a wire and fish for the lock, but he couldn’t. So he climbed onto the top of the car. Lying on his tummy, he reached the other window that was slightly open so was able to fish for the lock and opened it. We were celebrating his achievement when we realized that it didn’t solve the problem as the other door still was closed.

I was ready to call the AMA and pay whatever amount was necessary to solve the problem. He was sweating. I was watching the time nervously as I needed to pick up Eli my husband at the airport in a few hours. Edward came up with another idea! He got a thicker wire and made a hook at the end. After some Sweaty minutes his patience and precision paid off. The door was opened. I could have never come up with such a solution!

What made him capable to create a repertoire of solutions one after another?  I think that’s what happens with people who cannot afford hire others to solve problems. They sharpen their creativity and resolve the difficulty the best way possible. Now,we had an unlocked car but no live battery. He phoned AMA and asked for a boost. Seeing I was stressed, he sent me for coffee. By the time I was back, the car was running and ready to go. I felt blessed and relieved.

He helped load my luggage and I departed for the airport. I decide to stop to fill some gas as it was early. A young lady came to help me and asked me to turn off the engine. I explained that I was afraid to get stuck again without battery. She told me not to worry as they could give me a boost if needed. I turned off the car and that was it. My car wouldn’t  start again.

The gas attendants tried to boost my car with different cables, different cars, but nothing worked. They even offered to change the battery. I agreed out of desperation but they didn’t have the type I needed in stock.  

By that time Eli had already arrived but I couldn’t pick him up because I couldn’t start my car. I was very close to the airport but couldn’t make it. I was so frustrated. The gas attendants tried without luck to find a taxi. They felt bad and guilty! They were trying to help me in every possible way but nothing worked.I called AMA again; I also called my cousin asking her to pick up Eli and bring him to the gas station. I couldn’t do anything else:  I just sat and waited.

The reunion with Eli after a month of traveling separately wasn’t what I would call romantic. It happened at a gas station while the AMA was boosting the battery of my car. However,  I thought to myself: what the heck, we are together recharging our personal batteries and the problem is about to be resolved. I was right. After 10 minutes, the car started. Also,  Eli and I had an opportunity to visit with my cousin and we were ready to go on with our day.

We drove out of town where my parents had been waiting for more than  an hour but  I was afraid to turn off the car. By the time we arrived home, it was late afternoon. Sitting on the balcony while watching a beautiful sunset, I reflected upon my day. It was certainly stressful because nothing went as planned. But I was very thankful for the kindness of the people who bent over backward trying to help me solve every problem I encountered throughout the day.

People’s kindness and willingness to help others is one of the qualities about Uruguayan culture that I most appreciate and love. People who have few financial resources become extremely creative. Solutions to problems are improvised whenever nothing goes as planned. Everything is spontaneous and relaxed. It’s a very warm and helpful culture. Very simple and very neat!

 

I am ADDICTED! Would you like to join me?

I am ADDICTED! Would you like to join me?

I am ADDICTED!

Would you like to join me?

MARIANA KONSOLOS

15 September 2017

A sense of peace and fullness has settled in my heart this afternoon. I’m wondering what the right word would be to describe the undefined feeling of fulfillment inside of me after helping a stranger? To give just for the sake of giving. No rewards expected or paybacks asked.

It is simply a smile I see in another and the relief I sense in a person’s heart after they feel seen, heard and acknowledged that makes me ask myself, Am I addicted to goodness?

It’s hard to explain, to understand, even to believe. Some days it doesn’t even make sense! It is simply a way of living. It has become my lifestyle.  

People seem fearful and suspicious. They ask themselves, Why? What is she doing this for? Do I need to pay? How am going to return the favor? Can I do a trade? I have had these questions time and again.  Yet I offer no answers.This kind of behavior for many is unknown, unheard of and basically odd. They call it STRANGE… a powerful word that takes me back to my playground years.

I had so much fun helping Gaby, the daughter of Delfin, the doorman of our building! I will never forget the water fights while cleaning the windows of the lobby; they were the best!

I was called “STRANGE” because the cute little girl with fancy blue polka dot pants and perfectly braided blonde hair, was expected to be enjoying tea-parties with her classmates.  

I was the same one who sneaked cookies for years to share with my friend Pedro, the beggar on the corner of my fancy school, who would make me laugh by telling me stories like no one else could. I was STRANGE because I befriended them, I loved them, I had fun with them, I heard their stories and shared my privileged kid’s lessons and stories with them.

At this point in time, I intentionally and actively choose to be “STRANGE” every day of my life. I do it because I am a lover and a dreamer, and lovers and dreamers are strange in the eyes of a society that was taught to pay or trade, not to simply give. A society that up to date teaches us to be cautious rather than curious.

I dare you to experience giving without expecting a thing in return. Feel the unique pleasure of peace and fulfillment that only GIVING could bring to your soul. GIVE your time, your knowledge, your kindness, your compassion. JUST GIVE! Lead by caring, doing, smiling and helping a new person every day.

“Don’t be surprised to notice that the day everybody will GIVE unconditionally will be the same day everybody will RECEIVE endlessly.”

 

Do what no one else will do to be able to have what no one else have.

Do what no one else will do to be able to have what no one else have.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP, MOTIVATION

If you do what no one else will do, you will be able to have what no one else have.

MARIANA KONSOLOS

June 15, 2017

 

 As many of you know, I sold my Fashion Accessories company two years ago. It was a very hard decision for me as I was finally feeling the sense of belonging I craved for 15 years since I immigrated to Edmonton from Uruguay.

But life happens and opportunities arise at unexpected times… I trusted my inner voice and sold it to embark on new adventures. I finally had the time to become the mom my daughter was desperately needing, the daughter my parents were dreaming for years and the wife my husband met before the business existed. We gave ourselves two sabbatical years to experience different cities in the world to decide where we would like to settle. In the meantime my creative energy kept flowing so I needed to create new ways to share my wisdom wherever I was in the world.

-In October 2015, my husband and I opened a Bed and Breakfast in Uruguay. It was an amazing experience meeting people from around the world but we didn’t enjoy the work involved so by the end of the season we closed it.

-We moved to Barcelona for a few months where I wrote my memoirs that will be published in October 2017 in Uruguay by Editorial Planeta.

-I started coaching entrepreneurs from Uruguay and Canada online like Beatriz Hagobian an incredible and talented accountant specialized in the area of hotels.

-I volunteered my time with a Seniors Home in Uruguay , braiding bread and sharing my travels in Turkey and Canada. I absolutely loved it and I will do it again!

-Presented motivational stories to ladies in Kelowna, Montevideo and Punta del Este.

-The Magic of Scarves Workshop was delivered to ladies in Montevideo, Punta del Este, Barcelona, Kelowna, and Ottawa with great success.

-Went for walks and coffees with dozens of ladies I met on my travels learning their stories and their experiences. Coaching them and getting coached by them.

I really cannot complain. At the end of these two years we decided to spend the winters in South America (where is summer) and summers in Europe or Canada.

This spring we are touring British Columbia to pick a city to make it home in Canada. By the way I take the opportunity to invite you to follow my FACEBOOK so you can join our travels through pictures of the incredible sites we are discovering along our journey. So for the month of May we picked Kelowna and it was a fun experience! The nature is beautiful there with the lakes and wineries and the wines are even better! We had the opportunity to meet very nice people and reconnected with old friends.

I want to share with you a special story that happened there. I went to Babes in Business a vibrant group of entrepreneurs. The first time I was there I met Tania Gustafson, a happy and bubbly lady. She was very welcoming and we connected right away. She is a nutritionist and Fitness Coach and also runs a MLM business (Jeunesse Global) with great success. Very smart and intuitive, truly passionate and committed to help others. But I felt it was more to discover underneath the lady with the stunning skin and bubbly personality. The day before we left Kelowna, we invited all the new and old friends to a “Goodbye party” to share Eli’s cooking talents. She came and not suprise to me she was the first one to arrive. (attitude shows every step of the way!) We were enjoying chatting about life experiences, and business and suddenly she said: “If you do what no one else will do, you will be able to have what no one else have” I never heard that sentence before. and I am not sure if it’s a known quote or Tania’s own interpretation of life experiences. But it hit me hard right in my guts. Because I think it summarize the life story of each and every immigrant in earth. That is the real and only secret of immigrants success. My grandparents did it when they landed in Uruguay from Poland and now Eli and I did it in Canada. We worked our butts off ( sorry for my English but I couldn’t find a better expression closest to reality), we did things nobody wanted to do! We took jobs that were hard and not well paid. We worked TEN YEARS restless without complains. We were thankful to have jobs. We took risks and sacrificed family time. We did the best we could with the knowledge we had at that time. We did paid a price in many ways no doubt about it, and we sure would have done things different if we have known the outcome. But at that time we were very focus working to be able to offer our girls the best education possible according to their own preferences. We wanted to live a balanced life, to help others and enjoy nature while traveling. In TEN YEARS, we saved and invested every single penny we made in that little business we created in order to have today that life we wanted; It’s not a life of luxuries because it’s not our style. But it is a very colorful life, with lots of family time, delicious healthy food, tons of hikes in the wilderness, incredible travels around the world and opportunities to meet extraordinary people wherever the wind might take us.

At this point you might be thinking: – but you took so many risks! What if you wouldn’t succeed? What if you would have died during the journey? What if one of the girls would have taken a bad turn? There are million of possible “ifs”. Everything could had happened. That is the real truth. But I am at peace with myself because I follow the intuitive internal GPS I was born with: my guts. I made choices. I took chances. I made mistakes. I had successes. Isn’t that what everybody does every day in every corner of this immense world?

So at the end of the day isn’t it all about the choice we make about on which basket we put our eggs?… Even those who don’t choose are making a choice, aren’t they?! If you are wondering how to have the life you want I would suggest to ask yourself if you are ready to put “ALL the meat on the barbacue”, to work every day harder than the day before and make sacrifices for the next years. Are you really willing to do what no one else will do to have the life you really want to have?1

 

 

× How can I help you?