So I tried my hand at baking. Mind you, I’m not a baker. Most of my time in the kitchen is spent passing through.
However, I had this idea for mochaccino cupcakes and thought it could be really awesome.
I researched a bit, then put it all together with buttercream frosting, drizzled with a special dark chocolate blend and then sprinkled with cocoa nibs. I even created a ganache as a surprise twist in the middle. The leftover batter I tweaked with lots of butter to make cookies.
On a roll, I thought about what would pair nicely with it, and threw together a milkshake that carried the tones of bitter chocolate and coffee partnered with condensed milk for creamy sweetness. I realized I needed a bit of saltiness to balance all the sugar, so I got pretzels and drizzled them with the melted dark chocolate mix I used to decorate the cupcakes.
My muscles burned from the mixing, I had a welt from the oven, I was sweaty and covered in flour, and a little sad that I’d missed out on some fun time with the kids, but I was super excited to share my creation with the world. I’d make tons, so I set up a folding table in my driveway and hung a little sign at the corner telephone pole.
At first, I just wanted anyone to try them and give me some feedback. If they were good, maybe I’d charge a little bit. Hey, I did slave in the kitchen, and I used expensive organic ingredients. My fantasy-prone mind wandered, and I tried to reign in visions of having a new brand, launching a business and delivering my on-demand cupcakes worldwide.
A few neighbors out on stroll took some samples (yes, there were some awkward moments when they saw how big the cupcakes were). They murmured platitudes, said it was “fine” and “good”. We were friends, and I felt like I was asking them a favor–not what I had in mind when I made them. I wanted people to enjoy them!
A woman holding a disposable coffee cup passed, and she tried one. “That’s crap,” she spat out, throwing the rest of the cupcake to the ground. I had no way of knowing she’d just had a fight with her teenager, and was out walking to find some semblance of calm. I just knew I wanted to pick my baby cupcake off the ground and try to salvage it, but grass clippings and frosting do not mix.
I regrouped and carried on, staying out all afternoon and into the evening, hawking my wares and to be honest, feeling a little bit desperate. My kids wanted me to play and I threw the ball around, but I always had one eye out for passersby.
The next day I unloaded my cupcakes from the Tupperware and tried again, this time with signs canvassing the whole neighborhood and renewed pep in my step, figuring I’d model perseverance for my kids. The treats were a little stale, and I’d had to throw the melted shake away, but I still had hopes someone would enjoy the fruits of my labor.
As I set up, I noticed my neighbor across the street selling caramel popcorn balls. She had a fancy stenciled sign, streamers and balloons. She delivered each one like it was a sno-cone, and you could choose what color sprinkles go on top for the sno-cone "flavor"–ingenious! I tried one and it was yummy buttery crunch goodness, with some surprise peanuts in the mix.
I complimented her and we chatted a bit about our cooking adventures, but soon she was called away as more and more neighbors came to dig in. I watched from my driveway. Crowds started massing, with people waving dollar bills above their heads, anxious to get their share. I might have lost it when I saw the news truck start to live stream. I had to look away.
My eyes landed on my own spread. The chocolate drizzle had melted, like my cupcakes were crying. A few maple seeds from the big tree on the corner had blown over and landed smack dab in the frosting. A well-intentioned soul had left a note tucked under the platter, telling me it needed spice. Another a business card that promised to give my cupcakes away for free for only five hundred dollars.
I was devastated. Weren’t my cupcakes good? I had to pay people to eat them? Why did I waste all that food? All that time?
But worst of all, my kids were looking at me, waiting to see if I was done yet. I give my kids my every minute of every day and then some. I realize this venture had felt so special because it was my thing, but it inadvertently turned into a family thing, because what I do and how I am being affects all of us.
And I was having some significant attachment to outcome. I was taking things personal.
Mind you, I am a person, so it’s to be expected that things get personal. But I thought I knew better. I thought I already knew about my wily ego and could go deeper and transcend this.
My little one could tell I was sad, and came up to me to give me a hug.
I gotta pause here, because this is big. You see, I love my kids and I hope they love me back, but I don’t expect it. I’ve learned that’s not how love works. I carried my babies for nine months, birthed them into the world amidst blood loss, paralysis and fever, then woke with them through the night every two hours for years, but I don’t expect them to be a certain something. I don’t own them and I can’t control their destiny.
I am just a vehicle for their beautiful souls, supporting them on their life purpose, giving them what they need to start the journey, but not telling them where to go.
That’s not having attachment to outcome. That’s unconditional love.
I had been thinking that these cupcakes were mine, I made them, they were my idea, I put in the blood sweat and tears. I had been cataloging all the expenses I was incurring, how much I would need to sell to break even, and then how I needed to advertise more to sell more, and it became a bottomless pit taking all the spare time, energy and money I had.
I was no longer in it for the process, but for the outcome.
A few good friends reminded me, it all comes back to love. Being in the present moment, actively choosing what I do so that there is no room for regret, and creating things for the sake of creation in full unconditional love, where I release them in the world and let them go as they will. They are not my creations, they are expressions coming through me and going back out into the oneness.
This is not for my ego, but for my love and passion. When I dip into the well of oneness and create from that place, I can make better decisions and have faith that it will all work out.
And that realization was so inspiring, I had to share it with you.