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

815 thoughts on “I Thought I was a Bad Cook

  1. What you have shared Sylvia is huge because we are all trying to fit in …into what? A society that doesn’t work.
    We are never allowed to feel that we are enough just as we are always encouraged to be more and the goal post is always shifting so therefore under this way of living you will always feel less than.
    Serge Benhayon was to me, the first person to tell everyone they are enough just as they are. This takes a bit of getting used to because it is the opposite of what society tells us.

  2. Sylvia you describe so beautifully what is happening to me in other parts of my life, for example in house chores and at times work tasks, a feeling of knowing what to do next, focusing on the quality I am doing it in, and sensing when something feels complete for now. I also really appreciated this line, a great reminder “I didn’t need to ‘fit in’ anywhere – it’s enough to simply be me.”

  3. Thank you Sylvia, as cooking is definitely an art of awareness of our connection and being understanding that what we do affects everything, and how we live is a reflection of our lived Sacredness and thus being sacred is a responsibility for everything not just cooking. I also Love cooking as we share so much at meal times that is evolving.

  4. Again and again I am convinced that the way we hold ourselves is confirmed by the outside. If we think we are a bad cook, we will get those comments and even if we get other comments saying that the food is good, we may not believe them or even register them. It’s almost like our brain chooses to believe what it wants to believe and then uses everything around us to confirm it. If on the other hand, we have the confidence that our cooking is marvelous then do we need the outside confirmation or is it simply just how it is?

    1. Absolutely Viktoria, and expanding on what you have shared, our essences understand appreciation, as it already knows we are more than this physical vessel. Thus living in Deep-humble-appreciative-ness of the Sacredness we all are, comes the understanding we are responsible for everything in our lives, and this is “simply just how it is!!!”

  5. Whatever we approach if we approach it with care, attention to detail and bring our all, we will know what we need to do and how to do it. I had a great example of this yesterday when cooking something I had never done before, and I knew what to do and how to do it and what I needed without a recipe, and it was super delicious.

    1. Super awesome Jennifer, cooking is simple when we get our heads out of the way and feel what is needed on every occasion and because we are evolving, the next meal will lift us as our bodies understand what is needed in how and what we prepare, as no two meals will ever be exactly the same.

  6. The missing ingredient of love can not only improve our cooking ability but can be applied to everything we do in our day to day life to bring it alive.

  7. Yes, all the beliefs we get from outside, totally limit us.
    Does a one year old believe that it can not walk? No, it feels as though it could fly. Why not?

  8. When we come back to the simplicity of just being us, living the love we are then life is never boring, be it cooking or anything … how can it be, for life is about us living us in the fullness of us and when we live that level of presence the richness of it is felt by us and all around us.

  9. For so long I thought I could not cook simply because i was not taught. I only knew basics and was coming purely from what I was taught and knew in my mind. Yet when I reconnect with my body and feel my heart I know what I need to make. We all know how to cook, our body is very loud and clear with what it needs when we listen and surrender to it.

  10. When we are deeply present with the body and ourselves we naturally are with the love we are and of course we imbue everything we touch with that love.

  11. You can certainly tell the difference between eating food where someone is checked out or when someone is checked in. And that applies to many different activities. If you walk into a space that has been lovingly cared for, it feels so much different to a space that has things thrown around etc…

  12. The more aware we become of our own inner connection, the more aware we become of what is needed both for ourselves and others, and cooking becomes a joy as we cook from our heart.

  13. Nothing beats preparing a meal with integrity, knowing that what we are cooking is to serve and nourish us but possibly our family and friends too, and also in full expression enjoying experimenting with ingredients, spices and dishes.

  14. This is such an uplifting article. Like, if we are able to be present and connected with ourselves, in any activity, is there anything we would not be great at? We have so much potential.

  15. I deeply enjoy when I start cooking to feel all the people I cook for including myself and just know what to cook and then putting the ingredients in a flow without thinking. It is in my movements, my body carries the intelligence that gets expressed.

  16. The quality we are and are cooking with is felt in the food that is just such a game changer. So to be a great cook it is not so much about the skills but how much love we can live with ourselves.

  17. We have thoughts to go for the end results in life, to have an expectation or picture and to work towards that. In this way of being and living we have lost the presence of the moment and are unaware of the quality in which we are doing the task at hand. If we can let go of the end result, stay present and feel from our body -allowing it to lead the way – we will get to places and results that are beyond what we could ever think of.

  18. I think that it is only when we really get a sense of ourselves that we can get a deep connection with the food we prepare. Then there is an ability to feel what herbs are needed today and how there is a flexibility in this because not every day the same is needed.

  19. Sylvia I loved getting a sense of how cooking has come alive to you, it shows that when we add love into the mix with any activity it transforms a task into something that is enjoyable.

  20. Sylvia, It’s a beautiful thing to get to the point where you enjoy the simplest of movements, like stirring a pot of soup. But as you have shown, by simply being with your body as it moves and feeling the love inside of you while you cook (or do anything for that matter), one can get to the point where there is no need for any extravagant ingredients or spices, the Love that is infused in the food is what actually tastes so good to our body.

  21. The missing ingredient in so many aspects of our lives is love and bringing that fully in all that we do.

  22. ” I can tell you… the missing ingredient was Love…”
    This is so wonderfull thank you for sharing.

  23. It is beautiful to feel how life is enriched and how we enrich life when we live in connection to the love we are within. This is how we naturally bring magic to all we do.

  24. Thank you Sylvia for sharing this gem of wisdom – a great reminder for every day.
    “I made it more about the way I was cooking and how I was feeling whilst cooking without identifying with what I was cooking”

  25. I noticed that my attention laat week is going to the plates, cubs etc.
    The food I eat is getting simple And more refined. The portions are getting less and naturally I cut the
    Pieces of food smaller. And with all this I like also to refine my plates.
    I will look for beautiful colors.
    It is all a reflexion of the choices I made to deepen my love more.

  26. The purpose of cooking is not just the end result. Just as the purpose of life is not just to avoid death or to die. There is a process to everything and reading you focus on all the moments and details in presence makes the end result not the be all end all—not that we don’t care, but with the commitment along the way, the quality of the end result is guaranteed.

  27. I needed to read this blog as cooking was high on the list of what I needed to learn when I was growing up as a girl in the Indian culture. It was the carrot (so to speak) for a future husband. If I was a good cook then It would attract a good man. So I did the opposite, I wasn’t interested in cooking, I loved eating when other people cooked especially my immediate family, non of the men in my family ever cooked. Throughout my life I would hear the criticism of other women’s cooking so it put me off even trying to cook or replicating master piece dishes.

    So I grew up enjoying cooking the western cuisines more so than the Indian cuisines. Whenever I had visits from any of my family or friends within the Indian culture, I would get palpitations and anxiety as I carried this judgment that I was useless at cooking Indian dishes and still a working progress.

    I know when I am connected, I am different and everything just is. But this statement stood out for me “I made it more about the way I was cooking and how I was feeling whilst cooking without identifying with what I was cooking” – this is the key ingredient “the way” and “how I was feeling”. I’m going to check in with this more the next time I cook – thank you Sylvia.

    1. Thank you for sharing Shushila.
      I was not aware of that tradition in the culture you were raised.
      How great that you find more And more the way out of that consiousnes.
      Would be interesting to hear from more different nationalities how the food was used in behaviors to belong.

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