Pandemic Dispatch #156: Indulgence Is The Path To Enlightenment

by Vanessa Machir and Jessica Gallagher

Dear Free-Spirited Souls I Am Grateful to Call My Followers,

Throughout this disquieting year, I’ve often meditated with our community via e-missive on the importance of rules and boundaries. I know how hard it is to maintain balance—as you know, I run a web-based sharing experience/adaptogenic charcoal cleanse program while nourishing twin human children! That is why I adopted the mantra “maintaining routines will manifest normalcy.”

To this end, I’ve dispensed a number of recommendations. Don’t neglect your 17-step skincare system just because no one compliments your skin texture on Zoom! Even if all the crystals on earth become sentient and turn against us, a cauliflower-crust, nightshade-free pizza with vegan cheese is still pizza (therefore not to be consumed more than once a moon phase)! And if you must wear leggings, make sure they are organic Mongolian cashmere like the rest of your real clothing!

But a year into this pandemic, my consciousness has been awakened to a powerful insight. I have been too rigid, not gentle enough with myself or this community, and I sincerely apologize. It is with deepest vulnerability and humility I say: Let it go. Let it all go. Indulge in what you want! I will shout it from my rooftop terrace, thus tethering my spirit to this intention.

My newly discovered truth came from comfort cooking—specifically, activated cashew paste with .01% raw cacao. We only consume this treat on special occasions like the upcoming June Solstice, and it is so scrumptious I cannot deny you the recipe!

First, fair-trade cashews must be soaked in water collected from dew found only on wild coriander growing in a valley in Bali. (Which valley you ask? If I tell you, everyone will want to go!) After only 38 hours, the cashews are activated. Then, they are ground using a mortar and pestle made from Vesuvian volcanic rock (it imparts a special flavor!). The paste is finished with a sprinkling of cacao powder, which is ethically harvested from inside a Mayan ruin. And I have an absolute rockstar Culinary Anthropology intern who enacts these processes on my behalf (wearing a mask of course!).

This naughty sweet proved to be an unexpected savior! On Friday morning, all four of our live-in nannies scheduled an immersive outdoor south bath together. For the first time, I had to supervise the cleaners who perform our weekly auraganic house sanitation and make sure Cruciferous and Anthéme paid attention to their 11 a.m. virtual knowledge absorption session. I was overwhelmed!

With only 10 minutes to go before the session, I fed them dried, pre-chewed persimmon with ashwagandha…but then they started begging for a treat (as if they hadn’t just had one!). They emitted aggressive vibrations, and I could feel the color of our collective energies morphing from turmeric yellow to that metallic grey they use on the outside of underground public transportation vehicles. I needed to act fast!!

I offered the cashew paste and delight radiated from their little faces. We reestablished a positive connection, the troubling moment passed, and they soon settled into their absorption. It was then I realized routine is not always the answer, and indulgence is not always evil. Sometimes, it is a selfless peacekeeper, existing only to bring joy and restore the balance in others!

That night, I held a gathering in my garden for the first time in a year (for safety, each guest was given their own dandelion-fiber yurt!). My caterer, Lucuma + Lion’s Mane, cancelled at the last minute—honoring the lesson I learned earlier, I braved on and offered a cashew-paste tasting menu. But one guest, a famous juice model and sexperience curator, expressed anxiety about his beach-body readiness.

I said, eat the paste, if that is your heart’s desire! Our time on this insignificant little planet is too short for such concerns. I also explained he could work it off with an extra hour of sunrise pilates. With tears in his eyes, he said this was the most flow-restorative guidance he had received all month. And then he ate. Joy and balance achieved once more!

So, my dear followers, try the cashew paste (no longer reserved for special occasions!) and remember: Indulging is not giving in to weakness, it is giving in to living!

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