“…I’ve finally learned to greet anxiety with gratitude, because it is not my enemy but my teacher. And it’s taught me one of the greatest lessons of all: When faced with a problem, you can choose to avoid it, you can walk around it, and you can pretend that it doesn’t exist, but you will repeatedly run into its pain until you open your heart to its purpose.” Ashley Melillo, Blissful Basil
It’s no secret I’m a quote fan (and I love to include one in each issue of In the Glow), but lately I’ve been looking to them more and more for inspiration. I don’t know if it’s the dreary, sunless winter days of late or simply the phase that I seem to be in, but I’m craving new perspectives, some external sources of wisdom to reframe my thought patterns. The above quote from Ashley really spoke to me, so I thought I’d share it with you today!
I’ve been talking a lot with friends lately about how labels—both those we are given and those we give ourselves—can hold us back. We all have them, don’t we? Ways of thinking about ourselves can become an invisible boundary (conscious or subconscious) we never attempt to grow beyond because we actually believe that we can’t. It’s when you tell yourself NOPE before even giving yourself a chance. It’s a self-imposed personal growth ceiling. It’s thinking, I’m too this, or not enough that. Or how about, I don’t have that skill set; I’m not that type of person. Before long, a single label can start to represent our whole selves, rather than just a PART of what makes us who we are (and who we are is pretty awesome, by the way).
I often use the anxiety label as a reason for why I can’t do something. But what if I viewed my struggles with anxiety as something that makes me stronger? Something that if talked about openly could lift me (and maybe others) up, and take away its power to hold me back? Having shame about something and burying it deep below the surface seems to only give it more leverage. Our struggles are what make us human and relatable and we shouldn’t be embarrassed by them, ya know?
Think about something you have long thought of as a personal disadvantage or weakness. Now, try to picture yourself taking small steps to overcome it, and imagine that feeling of personal strength that you’d get from doing so. It feels good, right? Scary too, perhaps, but good. It won’t be an overnight success story, but the fight will be worth it.
For many of you, the author of the lovely quote at the top of this post needs no introduction; Ashley, the author, photographer, and recipe creator of Blissful Basil, has been blogging for a little over 6 years now. Her quest for inner peace led her to discover the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, and she never looked back. The quote is an excerpt from the introduction of her beautiful new cookbook, Blissful Basil. Just like on her blog, Ashley’s voice and vulnerability are so beautifully intertwined throughout this book. Her passion for creating feel-good recipes just leaps from the pages, and I think it’ll inspire you, too.
A few recipes you’ll find within these pages are: Simple Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze, Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini-Cilantro Vinaigrette, Sloppy Shiitakes with Tangy Rainbow Slaw, and Baked Yellow Split Pea Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce. I’m thrilled to share Ashley’s Power Biscotti recipe with you today. (Many of you asked for this recipe when Ashley did an OSG Instagram Takeover last year, so it’s coming full circle!) Made with a base of ground sunflower seeds (grain-free biscotti, what!?) and very lightly sweetened with maple syrup, it’s about as healthy as biscotti gets. Upon first bite, I wasn’t too sure about the subtle flavour, but as my taste buds adjusted for the reduced sweetness (compared to traditional biscotti) I came to love this healthified version and found myself reaching for it non-stop.
Before I go, I want to let you know about a fun interview I did with Anna and Nia from Vegan Creative. They’ve shared their review of Oh She Glows Every Day, too, so be sure to check out their post!