What Flax Bread Taught me about Gettting It Right

I mixed up the ingredients for a gluten and dairy free flax bread and poured the batter into the loaf pan.  As I slid the pan into the preheated oven, a little voice in my head said, “you know, this probably won’t work.  You’ve never been able to bake a loaf that turns out.”

Ignoring the voice, I closed the oven and set the timer.  An hour later, I took the flax bread out of the oven to discover that my loaf baking curse was still alive and well!  Cooked on the top, cooked on the bottom and mush in the middle. 

“Why did I even bother??” I fumed.  “These things never work out for me and they NEVER will!”

I felt the tension in my body and the anger in my words and paused…

“What would you say to a client who has just said that to you?” I asked myself.  This is the conversation that followed:

Coach Deb: “Hmm…you seem really upset that the flax bread didn’t turn out how you hoped.”

Baker Deb: “Yes, it makes me so mad when my loaves don’t turn out”

Coach Deb: “It sounds like you make a lot of flax bread…”

Baker Deb: “Well….no… this was my first time trying it…”

Coach Deb: “So you are frustrated that the flax bread didn’t turn out on your first try?”

Baker Deb: “Yeeesss”…(starting to think a bit more deeply)

Coach Deb: “What made you think that you would get it right on the first try?”

Baker Deb: “I don’t know…I should just be able to do it…I followed all of the instructions and it still didn’t turn out right”

Coach Deb: “Uhm, hmm…”

Baker Deb: “well, maybe…”

Coach Deb: “Yes…”

Baker Deb: “Maybe it’s not all me…”

Coach Deb: “Say more, please”

Baker Deb: “Well maybe I’m using the wrong pans” (it seemed like the kitchen got a bit brighter)

Coach Deb: “What’s a way that you could know if that were true?”

Baker Deb: “I guess I could make the recipe again and try different pans.”

Coach Deb: “Anything else?”

Baker Deb: “I could try adjusting the heat of the oven – maybe it’s my oven.”

Coach Deb: “Those seem like really good experiments to try.  Tell me, what are you learning from this flax bread experience?”

Baker Deb: “Uhm… well… (I squirmed) …maybe I have to try something more than once before I get it right…maybe I have to practice something for a while before I decide to never do it again…”
Something shifted deep inside of me.  I became aware of how deeply afraid I had been of not being perfect or getting things done perfectly the first time I tried it.  I felt some long-held pressure release and a brief feeling of freedom wafted through me.  How many things had I abandoned because I didn’t get it perfect, I wondered…and what had this pressure to be perfect done to my physical body?  How much of my joy had been squashed by this drive to get it right and perfect on my first try??  Could I reconnect to joy by practicing?

“Well, I guess it’s time to start practicing,” I said out loud and went in search of some different loaf pans!

Photo by Whitney Wright on Unsplash


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