You start by washing, peeling and chopping vegetables.

Splash of cool, clear water over your hands, washing away the mud and grime.

The glistening beauty of potatoes, released from their skin. The orange family: cheery carrots, ruby yams. Brooding purple globes of eggplants; the peppery scent of turnips.


The sun shines in through the kitchen window. Olive oil warms gently in the stew pot. You’re an artist, one with the rising steam, one with the vegetables, one with your trusty knife and chopping block.

Ahh, the zen of cooking stew!

Then come the onions. Peel away that papery skin. Chop chop chop sniff sniff weep. Ugh.

Sting. Tears. Runny nose. Ow.

Into the pot they go, the air still redolent with onion breath, your eyes still streaming from the sting of onion juice.

Not so much an artist now. Let’s get this over with already!

Garlic, next. Little bitty pods with a mighty smell that soaks through your skin and settles in your bones.

Hmm. Not feeling very zen-like right now.

Knife bites your thumb, oh yeah. Ow ow ow! Blood!

Eyes stream steadily. Great, existential questions swirl about in the air overhead.

Why do you always have to be the one to prepare the stew? Why can’t someone else do this for a change? Why stew anyway? Is there any cosmic purpose to stew?

Stew stew stew… Steam from the pot OMMMM…mingles with steam from your mind OMMMM…Aaargh!

Owwww! Burnt your hand on the stove. This really sucks!

Who needs stew, anyway. Maybe stew-making is not in your destiny. Everyone else’s stew is better than yours and they don’t cut themselves and burn their hands while making it. Maybe you should open a stationery store instead.

Mmmm…stationery. No onions in stationery…


Today’s post is a tribute to the love, commitment, creativity and humor of the women in my four-month Become Your Own Business Adviser program. The onions are chopped, the tears are flowing–the delectable aroma of stew fills the air.

How about you? What do you do when you’re in the sting and suck of your creative process?