A Bouillabaisse Life
A dear friend of mine made a truly delicious bouillabaisse the other day. Besides thoroughly enjoying it, I thought as I ate it, “What a great metaphor for manifesting the life we want this is.” So I offer you a hearty serving of these culinarily inspired thoughts.
Bouillabaisse is one of the great seafood stews of the world. Like the Tuscan cacciucco, the Spanish zarzuela, the Portuguese caldeirada, the Greek kakavia, the Flemish waterzooi, and the San Franciscan cioppino, the bouillabaisse of Marseille was originally made from whatever was in the fisherman’s net that day. There are style differences, of course, in each of the different stews, but they all begin with what is present at the moment.
In bouillabaisse, one starts with a basic fish soup that is thick and fully flavored without garniture. This soupe de poisson is much like the bank of beliefs that we all carry that underlie everything we do. It’s so easy to forget that the reality that we experience is our own person reality, a little different from anyone else’s. And that reality is determined by the rules of reality that we have adopted.
Each of us has put together a broth with what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling, and what we desire. It’s a unique broth that forms the base of everything in our lives. We may want to add some things to, or take some things away from, our lives, but we still have to reckon with this fundamental soup of ideas and feelings that we call the subconscious.
If we believe that we are unworthy or defective, then whatever else we put into the mix will still be flavored with that belief. There is no way to overcome tainted or rotting values. Fortunately, we get to make our stew fresh each day. Yesterday’s meal doesn’t have to have anything to do with what we make today.
When we can recognize that we are sweet and delicious just as we are, then whatever else we include will only enhance that sweetness. Sometimes this only takes a bit of faith or trust that we really do belong here in our own irreplaceable way. Sometimes, we need some outside sweetness, like sautéed onions or carrots, to help us reveal our true nature. Or maybe we need a little sourness, like lemon or lime, to highlight what is so special about us.
Understanding that base is key to a great final product. Savoring the end result is, of course, what we are after. But, in the course of creating this masterpiece, it is savoring, or simply enjoying what we have already, that allows all the pieces to come together harmoniously. If we are constantly tasting this broth with an eye to what’s wrong with it, we will never relax enough to feel the enormous pleasure in what we have brought into being. It is that tongue, always looking for even better tastes and pleasures, that seeks out and finds the very best in life. It is consciously staying as happy as we can and keeping our vibration as high as possible that makes the very best broth!