Kitchen Therapy


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Tardis Rainbow Birthday Cake and Dalek Cupcakes

In 1979 we left Yugoslavia and boarded a Qantas flight to begin our new life in Sydney, Australia.
My mum’s sister greeted us at the airport, she had immigrated many years earlier and we stayed with her family for a couple of months until we got on our feet.
I was 7 years old and I have two very distinct memories of this time.
1. I remember wondering how people could eat Kentucky Fried Chicken with Coleslaw! I thought it was the strangest and most unpleasant tasting thing I had ever tried (strangely enough, it didn’t take long to develop a taste for this food phenomenon!)
2. My 10 & 6 year old cousins had a small tv in the play room at the back of the house where they would go and watch Dr Who episodes every night after dinner. This is the Dr I was introduced to…

                                                                                        The Fourth Dr Who

I have to tell you, we were terrified watching some of the episodes! I remember many times hiding under sheets while we waited for the scary bits to be over! But as soon as the show was finished our bravado returned. I remember wrapping my younger cousin from head to food in toilet paper trying to re-create one of the show’s creatures!

I’m not sure where Dr Who and I parted ways? I’d like to say it was the long hours spent studying as I got older and had less and less time for tv. This is true (seriously!) But if I’m to be totally honest, I have to acknowledge that along with this was an ever growing interest in boys and spending any free time I did have, going out with friends.

However,  in the last few months the Dr entered my life again, thanks to my now 12 year old son and his friends!
I listened to their in depth conversations about the latest episodes as they dissected each event and argued about their absolute favourite episode!

We had some sleepless nights when they discovered the weeping angels and thought it was funny to replay the scary bits of the episode again and again on You Tube! It was okay doing that when they were all together at someone’s house and in a big group, but they soon learnt it wasn’t that great when they had to come home and get ready for bed! At night! By themselves. All alone in their room!
Thankfully the more they watched the scary bits on You Tube, the more immune they became!

(Can you believe every photo I have of my son’t 12th birthday is blurry! How to make them stand still long enough to take a decent photo is beyond me!)

So with his 12th Birthday approaching I told the boys I would make a Tardis birthday cake!
To be honest I was all talk.
But they told everyone and got so excited I realised at some point my credibility was at stake!
Once I stopped fighting the idea, I relaxed and had a lot of fun.

I decided I would take this opportunity to incorporate a number of recipes I’ve been wanting to try for a long time and to be honest, without accountability and a looming deadline they would probably have been on my “one day” list for years to come.

I’ve been wanting to try Marshmallow Fondant.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE MARSHMALLOWS!
I found a recipe one of the prettiest blogs I have ever come across! Bakingdom .
If you click here it will take you straight to Darla’s marshmallow fondant recipe!

Now I’ve never made, let alone used marshmallow fondant before. So I was pretty happy with the results…


My other “one day” recipe was from a blog I stumbled upon recently that is indescribably stunning Sweetapolita.

I saw Rosie’s Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake and it’s been on my mind ever since.
So I decided, since I was expected to produce a Tardis birthday cake, I was going to go all the way!

We sang happy birthday (which included strange word additions and a lot of wresting) but eventually my son cut into his birthday cake…

To say the boys were blown away would be an understatement!

I followed Rosie’s recipe for the Rainbow Cake with Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream and made as many layers as I thought a Tardis would need in height. I spread her lemony swiss meringue buttercream between each layer and finished it off with a crumb coat before covering the whole thing with the coloured Marshmallow Fondant.

The dalek cupcakes were simply chocolate cupcakes.
I made a dozen regular sized cupcakes and topped them each with mini cupcake.
I then made and tinted buttercream in the colours of the newest dalek models and covered the cupcakes.
From what I can gather, the different coloured daleks have different qualities, so the boys put quite a bit of thought into which dalek they wanted to eat!

Then back to their skateboards… on their stomachs…as you do…
I guess riding upright got boring?!?


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Sweet and Salty Layer Cake

Food makes life exciting. An adventure.
There is always something new to try. New tastes, textures, combinations.
Cakes on the other hand, well, they make life worth living.
Dramatic. I know. I don’t care! It’s true.
To me they are work of art.
The different layers, textures, colours, techniques fill me with awe and wonder.
I can look at cake books, cake pics or just hang out at store front windows of great cake shops for ages.
They fascinate me and excite me.
They fill me with are and wonder.
And my favourite of all are the white cakes. They look so incredibly light, fluffy, glossy, heavenly!
Having said that, you can see my cake here is anything but white.
Not sure how that happened?
But I have to say this was an amazing cake to make and eat.

The aromas that filled my kitchen were delicious.
That made me smile and filled me with joy.
It’s as simple as that.
And that’s what makes it all worthwhile.

Being a psychologist I tend to read a lot. Actually being a psychologist has nothing to do with that, I’ve always loved reading. But being a psychologist I tend to read a lot on the certain topics and one of these is the topic of happiness. There are different levels of happiness. There is the happiness that comes from eating a cake, this is temporary and fleeting. And then there is the happiness that comes from making a cake. That’s the happiness that I am talking about here. It’s deliciously satisfying and the sense of accomplishment stays with you forever!

This cake was neither quick nor easy. But that’s what I liked about it. It was a challenge and it kept me engaged.
And that’s where the satisfaction comes from!
The challenge! You can read more about that psych theory here!

 

The recipe follows but nothing beats having the book to lovingly hold and flick through.
Enjoy!

SWEET AND SALTY CAKE

(As it appears in Baked New Frontiers in Baking)

FOR THE CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CAKE LAYERS

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups hot water
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL 

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup sour cream

FOR THE WHIPPED CARAMEL GANACHE FROSTING

1 pound dark chocolate (60 to 70% cacao), chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE

2 teaspoons fleur de sel, plus more for garnish

MAKE THE CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CAKE LAYERS

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, hot water, and sour cream and set aside to cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until ribbonlike, about 5 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.

MAKE THE SALTED CARAMEL

In a small saucepan, combine the fleur de sel. Bring to a simmer over very low heat until the salt is dissolved.

Meanwhile, keeping a close eye on the cream mixture so it doesn’t burn, in a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F, or until the mixture is dark amber in colour, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute.

Add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Let the caramel cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake.

MAKE THE WHIPPED CARAMEL GANACHE FROSTING

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over very low heat.

Meanwhile, keeping a close eye on the cream so it doesn’t burn, in a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the caramel cool for 1 minute.

Add the cream to the caramel and stir to combine. Stir slowly for 2 minutes, then pour the caramel over the chocolate. Let the caramel and chocolate sit for 1 minute, then, starting in the center of the bowl, and working your way out to the edges, slowly stir the chocolate and caramel mixture in a circle until the chocolate is completely melted. Let the mixture cool, then transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Mix on low speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the butter, beating until thoroughly incorporated. Scape down the bowl and beat on high speed until the mixture is fluffy.

ASSEMBLE THE CAKE

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread 1/4 cup of the caramel over the top. Let the caramel soak into the cake, then spread 3/4 cup of the ganache frosting over the caramel. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the fleur de sel over the frosting, then top with e second cake layer. Spread with caramel frosting and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the fleur de sel. Then top with the third layer. Spread with caramel. Crumb coat the cake and put the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.

This cake will keep beautifully in a cake saver at room temperature (cool and humidity free) for up to 3 days. If your room is not cool, place the cake in a cake saver and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours before serving.


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Fig & Goat’s Cheese Fritters Salad with Balsamic Syrup

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

I love this quote.
It reminds that motivation doesn’t just happen, it’s something we have to work at.
Along with my Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port recipe post, I discussed being forced to challenge my rather limited beliefs I held about creativity.
I honestly thought creativity was about the ability to paint and decorate, and therefore confidently declared myself ‘creatively challenged’!
On my journey to redifine my thoughts on creativity, I stumbled across another deeply held yet totally ignorant assumption I had.

I thought if you were creative, your creative ability oozed out of you.

Seriously, I pictured creative people standing in front of an empty canvas and their art just flowing out of them.

Then I read this quote by Michaelangelo:

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.”

It started to dawn on me that I had made many half-assed assumptions about what creativity meant!
(Yes, I am hanging my head in shame as I admit this!)
But I am sharing this because this relevation was a huge turning point for me.
I not only realised that creativity took many shapes and forms, I finally understood that creative people worked hard at their art!
I kinda figured,  “If I was meant to be a fitness and figure competitor, I would live and breathe the gym!”
“If I was meant to be a writer, words would just pour out of me.”
You get the gist…

Now I realise that these people are good at what they do because they make themselves do it.
They don’t live in a constant state of motivation, they’re just persistent and consistent at their art.
Whatever it may be.
That’s why I like Zig Ziglar’s quote. It sums up perfectly what I’m trying to say, creativity requires motivation to produce art! Whatever your art may be!

I saw this recipe for Fig & Fried Goat’s Cheese Salad with Balsamic Syrup and honestly, while I wanted to eat it, after another hectic weekend, it was the last thing I wanted to make!
But these days I’ve learnt to focus on how I’m going to feel after the work is done!
So in no time I was cutting, whisking, dipping and frying!

And boy was it worth it!


Fig & Fried Goat’s Cheese Salad with Balsamic Syrup

(More or less as it appears in MasterChef Magazine)

2 x 150g logs soft goat’s cheese
1 cup plain flour
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 lemon zested
150g baby rocket
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
6 purple figs, stems trimmed, torn into quarters
vegetable oil to deep fry

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbs sugar


Method

1. Wrap logs of cheese in plastic wrap roll into even log shapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Place flour in  one bowl, the beaten eggs in another and the breadcrumbs with lemon zest and 1 tsp salt in a third bowl.

3. Unwrap cheese and cut each log into 12 slices. The recipe recommends greasing your knife (and so do I!).

4. Dip each slice into the flour, eggs and finally the breadcrumbs.

5. Place on a tray and refrigerate for 20 mins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. In the meantime put balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and cool over low heat for about 3 mins or until sugar dissolves.
Then leave to cool.

7. Toss rocket with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and top with the figs.

8. Fill a saucepan or deep fryer about 1/3 full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds.

9. Lower crumbed cheese into oil and fry until golden. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

10. Top salad with fried cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

 

I really loved this salad!
I meant what I said about being totally exhausted!
My husband took our 13 year-old with a bunch of friends to watch Rhianna on Friday night.|
Saturday she went camping with her friends (and some of the parents) while we went to a 40th.
The 10 year-old had a sleep over at a friend’s and our 3 year-old spent the night with grandparents!
By Sunday night we were all exhausted so we ordered some woodfired pizza for dinner and I made this as the side salad.

When my husband arrived with our pizza, I took one look at the garlic pizza crust and loaded it with the salad.

I didn’t even taste the other pizzas!
It really was amazing!

 

 

 


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Short Ribs In Red Wine and Port

I admit it! I have (until recently) been one of those people who thought creativity meant being able to paint or decorate!
It was something that involved a lot of drawing and knowing which colours went together.
So, given this definition, I routinely described myself as “the least creative person you were to ever meet!”
Then, my 10 year forced me to re-evaluate my beliefs.
I had his future clearly planned for him in my mind. Studying economics at university and then working for one of the major banks! Done!
Then something weird happened. He started to develop a real creative streak!
I started to get nervous.
He enjoyed it and others noticed he had a knack for it.
My banking dreams were being threatened and replaced with visions of him painting portraits at Circular Quay!
How could he do this to me!!!
Just as I was beginning to think I had to do something drastic to save my child from a life of artistic poverty, he said to me “Jack (his friend) and I have been talking and we decided we are going to work for Disney making graphics for their movies!” I wanted to cry! Working for Disney! That was a real job? Right? And he would be making money!

He forced me to re-think my ideas on creativity! It was the best gift he could have ever given me!

Today I see creativity everywhere I go.
Take this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe. It took creative genius to pull this baby off!

Juggling work, three kids at three different schools doing three different after school activities, a father coming out of rehab after a massive heart attack and stroke and me deciding to go back to uni, I was sure these ribs were going to fall by the wayside!

But the sadist in me wouldn’t let go of the satisfaction I knew would be waiting for me at the completion of this week’s recipe! So after buying a wheelchair and mobility scooter for my dad, I ducked into the fabric shop nearby and bought the cheesecloth for the bouquet garni.

After driving to uni to pick up my time-table with my 3 year old I realised it was ‘O’ week (orientation week) so I put off my grilling plans and we joined the celebrations!

A few lollipops and some one on one time with my baby was worth the delay!
Back home and the grilling…

…chopping and cooking were finally under way!

Before long the ribs, vegetables and a tonne of booze were all tightly snuggled into the oven for a few hours and we were on our way to pick up the others from school and meet friends for a catch up.
While the kids ran around and the grown ups chatted, the ribs bubbled away at home. We came home to the most amazing smell! Everyone was so excited about dinner till I told them it was for tomorrow night! Ha!
The next day the fat was scooped off and the ribs were ready for the final grilling!

They were pretty amazing!
If I didn’t join French Fridays with Dorie I would never have cooked these!
I would have flicked through the book and came back to it on the odd occasion and maybe even made a handful of recipes I felt comfortable with.
How much I would have missed out on!

The creativity of the other members inspires me, check out their takes on this recipe here.

 

 


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Cooking for the Pleasure of it! Greek Spinach Pies (from Tessa Kiros’ new book)

I bought Tessa Kiros’ new book, Food From Many Greek Kitchens and was really looking forward to trying out some recipes, however with work, 3 kids, Halloween, sleepovers and life in general, I only had time to steal brief glances through the book here and there. Knowing that soon I’d have the time to cook something from her book instead of turning to my usual meals out of ease, I planned my project and savoured the anticipation. In the end I realised I was kidding myself and there would never be a good time so I decided to pass on a lunch with some of the mums from school to stay home and play! 

I’ve watched my mum turn dodgy looking ingredients that you’d swear were on their last legs into a meal that tastes so good you can’t bring yourself to stop eating! She just slaps things together and there is never any waste or lack of flavour.

I grew up eating Yugoslav food. Manja with peas or potatoes, burek, grav (pasulj) which is a stew with beans, my mum would then throw in salty smoked pork ribs that melted off the bone and added just the right contrast to the sweet beans. (Now I’m not sure if I am doing these dishes any justice here with my writing, in fact, I would probably look at these foods in a cookbook from a foreign country and pass them by as I searched for something familiar while telling myself I was looking for “authentic” foreign dishes!)

When I was a kid, I thought everyone cooked and I ate like we did! As I got older I was embarassed when friends came over because our house always smelled on whatever my mum had going on the stove. I was too busy trying to fit in to hear my friends saying “I love coming over! Your mum feeds us the best food!” I think I took it all for granted until I married a man who was raised on meat and vegetables, he raved on and on about how great everything tasted. I then realised that I was lucky growing up in a house where cooking and flavour were valued! I have also realised that as a result I have much higher expectations from food than my husband does! 

I don’t have my mum’s flair for cooking (I think it got buried in my uptightness!) But as I’ve mentioned in my previous posts on finding youself and finding happiness, I found trying to be “perfect” (whatever that meant!) and “people pleasing”  were not working for me (funny that!). It made me an anxious, miserable, mess! So I’m letting go of how I thought I “should” be and am discovering who I actually am. And who I am is someone who loves to stay home and cook! It’s such a creative process that gives me so much satisfaction and I am finally giving myself permission to indulge in it. 

I love mediteranean, mexican and south american food and have decided I am going try to create as many “authentic” dishes as I can. Just the idea of this fills me with joy and an almost unbearable amount of butterflies in my stomach. (A few years ago I would have thought Aha! This gets me excited! So then I should follow my passion and become a chef! I thought that’s how this finding your purpose/meaning/happiness thing worked!)

Today, I can follow my interests just because they make me happy. Not judge them as possible pathways to fame and fortune. Just accept that this is what makes me happy. This is what makes me want to get out of bed this morning. What better reason could there be!

SPINACH PIES (SPANAKOPITA)
by Tessa Kiros from her book Food From Many Greek Kitchens

(the photo is my end product!)

Ingredients

27 filo sheets (23x25cm squares)
olive oil for brushing sheets

5 tbs oil
180g green onions
700g spinach leaves
20g dill
200g greek feta
2 eggs lightly beaten

Method (in my words as I don’t have her cookbook with me while I write this!)

  • Heat 5 tablespoons of oil in a pot large enough to fit all the spinach leaves and then cook the onions over medium heat until they are soft.  
  • Add the spinach and cook with lid on until spinach wilts, then take the lid off and simmer until all the juices disappear (my juices didn’t disappear so I just took it off the stove after a while and drained the spinach).
  • Once it cools, add the grated feta, dill, eggs and season.
  • Next is the tricky bit, pulling off the filo sheets without tearing (impossible but I just accepted the holes and kept going!) Put one sheet down, brush the oil over it, put down another sheet, oil it and then the last sheet.
  • Then put 2 heaped tablespoons of the spinach filling at one of the square and spread it in think line to the other end leaving a centre our so around the side and top edge.
  • Finally roll the sheet over the filling tightly and continue until you have it all rolled up. Lightly brush with oil on top. 
  • Now do the same thing 8 more times and line them up in baking dish and bake for 30 mins at 180C.

The satisfaction of cooking this was fantastic! My husband and kids were very impressed with the taste and the smell. I thought the actual taste of it was ok  (probably needed to season it a bit more). But as I said I grew up spoilt with flavour so I while I was hoping for something more, I was still pretty happy with the result!

(I am going from memory so I hope it makes sense and I do it justice!)


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“How to live life as a work of art, rather than as a chaotic response to external events…” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Have you given any thought to what gets in the way of your own happiness?
A major constraint on us enjoying what we are doing has always been our fear of how we appear to others and what these others are thinking about us.

We spend so much time worrying about whether we are doing enough for our children, our community and everyone else that our lives become nothing more than a response to what is happening around us. When we stop living consciously we let our environment dictate how we spend our time. We drive our kids to way too many activities spending more time in the car than together at home. We spend a ridiculous amount of energy worrying about the mum who is the school bully of the parents (you know who they are!) We try to please everyone around us and in the process lose ourselves to the point where we don’t have an opinion on anything, even what we want for dinner!

When we live life “as a chaotic response to external events” we begin to fall apart. We become anxious, depressed, exhausted and numb. We just keep going, we keep doing what we have always done if it’s no longer working for us because we don’t know how to do things differently.

Sounds crazy but it’s true! It amazes how many of my clients look absolutely confused when I ask them what they enjoy, what they like doing. They have spent so much time doing what is expected of them, they have no idea what they like. They want me to tell them what this could be!

I think one of the challenges people face is they believe that fame and wealth is where happiness lies. Csikszentmihalyi found people did not know what to do to be happy in life. research showed that people were unhappy doing nothing and were happy doing things, they just didn’t know what things they were happy doing. 

Here’s the catch, it’s important to differentiate between pleasure, which we get from eating, sex, gossip with enjoyment. Pleasure feels good but it lacks a sense of achievement where enjoyment leaves us feeling good about ourselves. I think this is how we answer questions such as ‘how do I find myself?’ and how do I find my sense of self. It’s about paying attention to what activities put us in ‘flow’.

Here is how Csikszentmihalyi defines what it feels like to be in ‘the flow’

  • Completely involved, focused, concentrating.
  • Sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality.
  • Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done and how well it is going.
  • Knowing the activity is doable – that your skills are adequate so you’re not anxious or bored.
  • Sense of serenity – no worries about self, feeling of growth beyond the boundaries of ego (ie worrying what others are thinking and saying about you).
  • Timeliness – thoroughly focused on present, don’t notice time passing.
  • intrinsic motivation – whatever produces ‘flow’ becomes its reward.

I urge you to pay attention what activities create this state in your lives. I get immersed and excited in planning to cook an intricate and complex recipe. I get lost in the process and the sense of achievement I feel as my family eats it leaves me on a high for days afterwards. There is no fame or financial rewards but it makes me happy. Ask yourself are you after happiness or fame and fortune?

Following are great charts that Csikszentmihalyi has drawn to demonstrate how his theory works. I think they are really worth having a look over if you are looking to bring more happiness into your everyday life.

As you can see when you are engaged in activities that are not challenging and not using your skills you can begin to feel numb and empty however if you try to do something that is difficult and you do not possess the skills to do it, it will leave you feeling anxious. The optimal state is to use your particular skills to do something challenging, something that is achievable.

This graph is a summary of how people feel when different skill levels are combined with different challenges.

This last graph is a focus on everyday life and how people spend their leisure time.

So the question is not what gives you pleasure and is easy to do, but what can you do to spend more of your time on activities that are more satisfying rather than brain numbing ones like watching television? And before you think you have no talents or abilities let me stop you there, there is no correlation between intelligence and ‘flow’. Different activities will get people in the ‘flow’ zone, we just need to find what our particular activities are.

Remember to pay attention without judging “where will this get me?” or “what’s the use of that?” Pull your attention away from how the external world will judge what you enjoy and focus it on what gets you into the ‘flow’. This is how you find yourself. This is how you get your sense of self, your sense of who you are. When you can do this, you will find your purpose and your meaning in life.