I Thought I was a Bad Cook

For a long time I thought I was a bad cook . . . until I discovered the missing ingredient.

When I was a young woman and began living with a partner at the time, I started to have my own cooking experiences. For me it wasn’t a big deal – you buy some food and you cook it.

But guess what? –– My partner was apparently not enjoying my cooking so much; he lovingly made small jokes about it and was eating it anyway because he saw that I did my best. He came from a family where there was a lot of attention to food preparation: the household I came from was much more basic when it came to cooking. You cooked some vegetables and meat or fish and that’s it. Seasoning was not used and I didn’t know that herbs existed.

So the response I always got from others was that my cooking was boring. Friends often made jokes about it . . . like Sylvia is great but she cannot cook, and they would all laugh together.

It was no wonder that I started to believe I could not cook. I lived with this conviction that I was a bad cook for years. I tried to improve my cooking by using herbs and various recipes but I still received the same remarks.

Then something beautiful happened, one might call it a miracle: I was introduced to Universal Medicine and met a man called Serge Benhayon, a great teacher of truth and wisdom. What I learnt through Serge Benhayon is that he lives all that he shares – it all comes from his own livingness of true love. This was a huge reflection for me to be open to learning more about myself and at the same time willing to let go of behaviours that did not honour me nor all those around me. Serge Benhayon’s teachings through Universal Medicine supported me to re-connect more with me.

I began to make certain steps towards taking greater care of myself and about what I chose to eat and drink. I started to trust myself more in many ways, and as a result there was a feeling of greater connection within me.

All that Serge shared in his teachings was so clear, true and already known to me at a deeper level that when I connected to that I started to trust myself a lot more. It was not just with cooking but also in other areas of my life – like work, friends, and family.

Re-connecting to my inner knowing through the teachings of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon, I discovered that all I need to know is already within me. I started to feel more at home with myself as I began to realise that there was nothing wrong with me and that I am not the only one who sometimes felt lost. I didn’t need to ‘fit in’ anywhere – it’s enough to simply be me.

I started to trust more in what I felt, rather than what I thought. I also began to stay more present in my body as I went about my daily tasks, paying full attention to what I was doing; I noticed how I started to enjoy myself more. And so my cooking naturally started to change. I made it more about the way I was cooking and how I was feeling whilst cooking without identifying with what I was cooking, as I was doing before.

I would simply re-connect by being aware of everything I touched and feel the love in my hands whilst stirring the dish, and from that same loving place I would start to feel what herbs should go in. I wouldn’t even think about it – it felt like I didn’t need to… It was just a feeling for what was needed next and the right ingredients would present themselves.

But not just that, I was able to feel that when I was cooking, deeply connected to the task at hand, the connection of love and the physical process of chopping, stirring and seasoning would expand as I was so present with what I was doing that time didn’t exist. Just being very simply me, feeling the warmth in my hands and heart, knowing and feeling that in this moment it is not just that the food is made with love and filled with love but that it can be felt by those who eat the food. That in itself is incredibly beautiful and so great to know and feel that just with cooking we can contribute so much to so many. A true support to all.

And guess what? –– Nowadays friends and family love my food and there are no more comments that I’m a bad cook.

They say, “Wow, you are a great cook! How did you manage that?”

I can tell you… the missing ingredient was Love

By Sylvia Brinkman, Mother & Manager in cleaning/healthcare industry, Amstelveen, The Netherlands

Further Reading:
Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine – Changing a Culture of Blame
Love | Unimedpedia

762 thoughts on “I Thought I was a Bad Cook

  1. It is the presence we bring to every task is what transforms the outcome. In presence we know what is needed and trust in ourselves, this is recognized by anyone who sees the result.

  2. It is all part of one. It is to give every movement our fullness and to not hold back in that no matter the circumstances. Like if you are tired to still do all with the whole of you. Just honor the tired feeling and feel you embrace in full what you do. That way we also are able to break through very long lived momentums held in our bodies.

  3. This is brilliant, the secret ingredient is ‘love’. This is so true, I often have people comment on how much they like the food I cook and I realise this is because I actually love cooking. I cook quick and easy meals too, it is not like we have to spend hours in the kitchen to create tasty and nourishing meals, it is how we cook that makes the difference. I have found when I cook in a rush and try to do too many things at once, my food doesn’t taste so great, but if I put love and care into it, it feels and tastes amazing. The art of cooking is simple, we just have to add the secret ingredient.

  4. Did you notice that when you cook your meal with exactly the same ingredients and herbs, it tastes very different each time? From there we can see that there is more than the eye see. The way we cook, the way we cut, the way we put in the herbs, the quality we are in at that moment…all matters. All adds to the All.

  5. Thank you Sylvia. My mouth is watering just imagining the delicious food you cook. Love is an ingredient missing from many peoples lives and it is ironic that our bodies are fully stocked with an endless supply of it. If we simply choose to connect we can have it all and experience this love in every aspect of our expression.

  6. Thank you Sylvia, it’s so true that we can easily become identified with thinking that we are bad at a particular activity and focus on that rather than connecting to ourselves and allowing a flow in whatever we do. I grew up with a mother and sister who were excellent cooks and convinced myself and others that I wasn’t, so much so that when I eventually cooked a meal for one friend she exclaimed in surprise that I could actually cook! For me it has been interesting to explore why I decided to give myself this label and what I gained from it. Is there a safety in lowering expectations so they are less likely to be disappointed? Going into comparison and feeling less than has been a pattern in my life and it is helpful to look at all the different areas of my life where this has played out.

  7. Love is the missing ingredient and along with that comes connection and a deep inner knowing that banishes all doubts and provides a steadiness in all we undertake.

  8. When we are connected to ourselves there is more of a flow in life and thus in cooking. When we prepare our meal from this connection, being present, it can never be boring and although we might prepare the same recipe it will taste differently everytime, it will nourish and nurture our bodies.

  9. Awesome that you didn’t hold on to that idea about you being a bad cook forever! Lot’s of people hold on to these negative ideas of themselves, and they put themselves in a box and just accept it as the truth. But as you’ve explained perfectly….it’s simply not true. Your connection to yourself opened you up to the possibility that you could simply feel your way through food and experiment and really have fun with it. How awesome is that!

  10. I love this article and all the comments. What an awesome example of its not what we do but what we bring to what we do, how being identified and concerned about the task is not helpful and by getting all of that out of the way and just connecting to the love that we are allows joy to arise and imbue itself in the very food we cook….all starting from taking greater care of ourselves, honoring ourselves and gaining trust in ourselves.

  11. I find the true ingredient for anything we do in life is from our connection to ourselves and it is from there that we configure the movements for which we move, express and ultimately live day to day. This is the loving quality in which we reflect and how very beautiful is that?

  12. I loved reading what you have shared Sylvia what a great reminder for me to bring live in, not just with cooking but with all that I do. ” I made it more about the way I was cooking and how I was feeling whilst cooking without identifying with what I was cooking, as I was doing before”

  13. Love is a very commonly used word but mostly without true understanding and appreciation that it is the essential ingredient in everything we think, say and do.

  14. Such a beautiful reminder Sylvia on the power of love to transform any situation or relationship in life – the one true ingredient that is felt by everyone.

  15. I love this story Sylvia. Such a great reminder that there is never anything wrong with us, and when we label ourselves or put others in a box, it creates a handicap that caps us for life. And the whole thing is a lie. How awesome that you came to understand that your limitations were just an illusion.

    1. This is beautifully expressed, Elodie, for it is so true that labels confine us in particular parameters, inhibiting our true expression – and this so commonly occurs in childhood. The Way of The Livingness is a living, loving way to breakout of these confines.

  16. You bring a great learning for us all here Sylvia. For when we choose to move and live in connection to who we are within we discover that our greatness, our wisdom and our knowing is simply an extension of the love we are and are here to be in full. Beautiful to feel the purpose in your cooking now that it embraces the love you are and preparing food to support another to be nourished with love through sharing a meal together.

  17. The greatest ingredient we have on offer is our connection to our living quality of love and that makes for one delicious feast we can savour everyday.

  18. Thank you for sharing your experience, when we stay more present with ourselves, we are already knowing what needs to be added to the food, it is beautiful when you can be playful and fun with how you cook and not worry about how it will turn out because it will always be lovingly received.

  19. This is brilliant. If we bring more love into our way of being, everything we touch becomes lovelier. I would have never thought being good at something doesn’t have to involve upping skills and techniques.

  20. “I wouldn’t even think about it … It was just a feeling for what was needed next and the right ingredients would present themselves.” When one acts in any situation from feeling with love, the true ingredients always present themselves. Sometimes these can be completely unexpected and require trust to then use them.

  21. We tend to identify food solely with the matter we ingest. Yet, it is not just that. It is also energy it carries and brings into our body. The truth is that ‘sophistication’, taste and quality are not necessarily synonyms. Without denying that they could be equally present in one meal, the main question is which one do we prioritize as a criterion of what is desirable?

  22. Great to read this again, and know what a difference the ingredient of love can make to anything we do say or think.

  23. Also i Discovered that the way I prepare is felt everywhere. Every movement we make has an effect on everything not just on the soup we make or the job we do. All is energy first.

  24. The quality of the food we cook for dinner is there the moment we awake for the day that awaits us. Our every movement until that point is an ingredient for the dish that will be prepared and consumed at the day’s close. This is the ‘secret recipe’ for truly tasting life and all that it offers.

  25. I was watching a movie the other night, About Time and its message was about living in each moment and appreciating your day and those in your life. This blog reminds me of that- it is all the moments lived in life and bringing focus and quality to these that determine the quality of your life.

  26. Love is the missing ingredient in alot of things that we do today Sylvia, not just in the way that we cook – and the sooner we all learn this and bring more love to all that we do, the sooner the world around us will start to change and reflect that same quality of love back to us.

  27. Being present with what we do makes a huge difference and I shudder to think what some of the acclaimed restaurant dishes truly taste like with all that goes into them – the need for recognition, the competitiveness and the haste.

  28. We often don’t give enough attention to the quality in which we do things. When we do the ripple effect is huge.

    1. Some years later now I still feel this love while cooking, and how much more I deepen to be with me during my day, and how much more I commit to my daily tasks in life, how more easily I make the most delicious simple dinners. I feel my love for the people I cook for and meanwhile for all the world and equally important for myself.

  29. This is such a cute story. I love the difference it makes just bringing our full attention to the task at hand and also not trying to be anything, just allowing the flow of movement to guide you through whatever it is we’re doing, trusting that we already know what we’re doing.

  30. I use to be a great cook and then slowly over time it seems I have gotten worse and worse. I opened some cafes and have grown accustom to having my Chefs cook for me, I am also really good when I am cooking at work and when I am cooking for my kids but when it comes to making a meal for me and my husband, it’s like it never works out the way I want it to. My husbands cooking however was not great when I first met him and now is amazing, I find myself only wanting meals cooked by him now. This blog makes me wonder if I am struggling in bring the love home to myself, there must be a message for me in all this, sometimes bad, cooking, especially considering it’s so specific. Thank you for your cute story, its certainly has me reflecting.

  31. Being present and cooking with love are the powerful ingredients that can transform any meal, I loved reading your blog to day thank you Sylvia, I am inspired to take more care with my cooking.

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