Getting ready for the New Year is like baking bread.
When I found the recipe for artisanal bread, I thought to myself, this will be easy. I purchased a Dutch oven and had all my ingredients ready.
I quickly and lovingly mixed everything together, carefully and tenderly folded and covered my dough, making sure to follow the video instructions to a tee. (Well, almost to a tee. More about that later.)
I was surprised when, after a few hours using instant yeast, the dough wasn’t rising at all. Hmmmmm. Nevertheless, I persisted and waited some more. And some more. And more.
The dough didn’t rise very much at all.
The bread was edible, but something had clearly gone drastically wrong.
Upon further exploration, I realized that I had made several mistakes, the primary of which was not having carefully measured my ingredients. Measurement is critical in bread making.
In like manner, many of us are mistakenly counting on slap-dash-put-it-all-together-and-everything-will-turn-out-all-right in the New Year.
No, sorry, that won’t work. We need to be more careful. In fact, we need to be precise.
We should carefully consider the ‘weights’ in our lives. Which relationships am I holding onto in 2021? Which am I dropping? What energies lift me up? What energies bring me down?
Yeast is a living substance
If you put salt directly onto yeast, it will kill the yeast and your dough will not rise.
Yeast is a living substance and so is our soul.
Mix the wrong elements—people, thoughts, concepts, beliefs, doctrines—onto our souls and we prevent them from rising.
When I finished making the dough, it looked good. It felt good to the touch. But it was not good because I had put salt directly on top of the yeast.
Appearances can be deceiving; and bread with ‘deactivated’ yeast will not rise.
2021 will be a year of surprises
Those who have it all planned out and confidently believe that their slap-dash-put-it-all-together-and-everything-will-turn-out-all-right approach will work, will be surprised. You will be surprised when it does not work, just like I was surprised with my failed bread making attempt.
2021 will be a year of surprises, separations, new alignments, and the release of everything that doesn’t ‘mix’ well.
Success comes when we discover and understand our mistakes. To discover is to see what went wrong and to understand means not making the same mistake again. We don’t make the same mistake when we recognize what went wrong and make a change.
I will attempt to bake artisanal bread again with the advantage of having learned from my errors. For a more precise version of artisanal bread making click here. Practice surely makes perfect; having the right equipment is essential; and preparation is key.
My New Year’s resolution is, therefore, not to place salt directly onto yeast; to carefully measure ingredients; and to be more precise.
I might even buy a baking scale.
And, by the way, Happy New Year!
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