On the importance of carrot cake

My friend and I were sitting in the sun, munching on our salads. We hadn’t seen each other in a while so it was time for a big update.

Between laughter and paprika bites I shared what life was like for me at the moment. I talked about my business going well and how cool it was to be able to buy lunch without stressing about the money after bootstrapping the business for so long.

And then we talked about happiness. And success on our own terms. And as we were exploring what might be next for me, I waved my fork and exclaimed: “You know, I just want to bake fucking carrot cakes.”

Which led us to a philosophical conversation on the importance of carrot cakes.

Here’s what we figured:

When we reach a big milestone in our life there’s often a period of emptiness that follows it.

We’ve poured so much of ourselves into reaching this goal and now as things slow down, it’s getting to us.

As newfound space unfolds in our life, it’s easy to look around and quickly try to fill it with the next ambitious thing.

That empty space, the wiggle room – it can feel really uncomfortable.

But what if, instead of filling the void we just made room to bask in the glory? To make time for the things that usually don’t feel productive enough to be allowed on our calendars?

When I reached my big, fabulous goal of making ends meet with my coaching business, I made a point to sit with that feeling. I didn’t figure out the next big step, rushing ahead towards the next big number.

Instead, I made time for baking these granola bars and researched vegan carrot cakes on Pinterest.

It felt weird to not have a big thing I was striving towards, to just sit with the enoughness of how things were in the moment. And at the same time, it was just delicious to indulge in being lazy, in reading fiction books and watching movies I had been meaning to watch for a while.

In the end, that period of floating around and resting was exactly what I needed. And after a while, the next steps started to reveal themselves. Inspiration came back and I couldn’t help but get back to work.

But what I took with me was the realization that baking carrot cake is important. Now more than ever I’m making room for the pleasurable little things in my life, whether I’m in a period of growth and hustle or ease and rest.

I’d love to know: What do you do when you get a little bit of a success hangover? And how might you bring in pleasure into your daily life, while you’re going after your goals?

When we go after our dreams and make big stuff happen in our life, it’s easy to let pleasure fall by the wayside.

It doesn’t make sense to wait for success or the love of your life or until you lose 10 pounds before you allow space for feeling good in your life.

It’s so easy to discover a little thought like “I’d love to get into baking again” or “I haven’t DIY’d anything in ages” and then to just brush it off and do something that seems more productive.

Next time this happens to you, pause. And ponder what life might be like if you gave yourself permission to bake a carrot cake now, not when you’ve ticked off all the things on your to-do list.

Author: Iris

Iris Barzen is a coach for entrepreneurs and C-suite professionals. Her work is based on her degree in psychology + 7 years of coaching experience. She offers evidence-based strategies rather than self-help advice to help her clients get the right things done consistently, so they can build the life they want.

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