Welcome back to the blog! I'm writing this the day before Valentine's day. In its commerciality, I'm usually not the biggest fan of the official day of LOVE, but this year I believe we need it more than ever. A day of love, respect and compassion. With everything that's going on in the world, politically, socially and environmentally, it's ever so important to stay true to your beliefs, your inner voice, connect to that power within and to treat one another with love and respect.
This week, I was listening to the latest episode on the On Being podcast and their discussion on love, compatibility, family, society and much more. One of the key messages in this episode is that love does not arise from compatibility with others, but that compatibility with others arise from deep love (and hard work).
MS KRISTA TIPPETT [Host]: I’ve been having this conversation with a lot of people this year. The truth is, more than ever before perhaps, in our world, we are in relationship. We are connected to everyone else. And that’s a fact. Their well being will impact our well being, is of relevance to our well being and that of our children.
But we have this habit and this capacity in public to — and also, we know that our brains work this way — to see the other, to see those strangers, those people, those people on the other side politically, socioeconomically, whatever, forgetting that in our intimate lives, and in our love lives, in our circles of family and friends, and in our marriages, and with our children, there are things about the people we love the most who drive us crazy that we do not comprehend. And yet, we find ways to be intelligent, right? To be loving – because it gets a better result. [laughs]
MR. DE BOTTON: That’s right. And families are at this kind of test bed of love because we can’t entirely quit them. And this is what makes families so fascinating because you’re thrown together with a group of people who you would never pick if you could simply pick on the grounds of compatibility. Compatibility is an achievement of love. It shouldn’t be the precondition of love as we nowadays, in a slightly spoiled way, imagine it must be.
MS. TIPPETT: Yes. Wonderful. I think this is deeply politically relevant. ... And I think it’s also such an important thing to bear in mind that the import of our conduct, moment to moment, that that is having effects that we can’t see.
It really is a beautiful message and good reminder. We learn to accept and love the people that are the closest to us (such as our close family and friends) despite their flaws and imperfections, and so we're also capable of seeing good in people and strangers. The road to this is spelled LOVE.
I'm using this as my inspiration for this week's practice, on and off the mat, seeing beauty in strangers and mindfully expanding my capacity for love. And not only for my family and friends, but for society as a whole.
On another note. Are you up for the task of love-bombing someone this week? Yes? Then I recommend making this granola. Share it with a friend, your partner, family member or why not with a sweet neighbor?
I've been making this granola for years and years, adapting a recipe from my mom and Swedish chef+author Anna Bergenström.
It keeps well in an airtight container and goes perfectly with yoghurt, Scandinavian-style sour milk (filmjölk or Skyr), almond milk or as a topping on your favorite smoothie.
Makes 6-7 cups
6 cups (600 g) jumbo oats
1 cup (75 g) desiccated coconut
1/4 cup (35 g) sesame seeds
1/4 cup (35 g) coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup (35 g) pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil (I use sesame or coconut oil)
1 cup (240 ml) water
2 tbsp apple sauce (optional)
1 handful chopped dates, Turkish apricots, raisins or dried cranberries (optional but adds a delicious chewiness)
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F. Mix together oats, coconut, sesame seeds, coconut palm sugar, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon in a big bowl. In a small bowl on the side, whisk together water and vegetable oil. Pour the oil-mixture over the dry ingredients and incorporate by stirring well. Finally, add two large spoons of apple sauce and fold everything together.
Line a baking pan with baking paper and spread out the oat mixture on the pan in an even layer. Add to a heated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and using a wooden spoon gently turn the granola. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, checking the granola so that it doesn't burn. The granola is done when it has a golden color and an amazing fragrance is spreading in your kitchen..
Once the granola has cooled down, add chopped dried fruit or berries and transfer to an air-tight jar or container.