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  • Writer's picturecoffeeandwoodsmoke


The pause.

Pausing is not something we seem to do much of these days; running from one task to another, then another; filling our so-called “down time” with texting, email, social media, television.  It’s exhausting.  And it makes the pause, when we do, all the more powerful.

In yoga, kumbhaka is the pause between the inhale and the exhale, between the exhale and the inhale.  The pause represents pure potential, endless possibility, boundless creativity.  When we stop and notice the pause, we give ourselves permission to move beyond the doing-ness of our daily lives.  We slow down.  Life slows down.  Time, it seems, slows down.

Just days after a recent yoga class focused on kumbhaka, and with attention toward these pauses and the slowing down, I came across this: the slowgram.

I love this.  So much.

The basic idea is to trade the click-quick-instant gratification of documenting special moments with Instagram, and instead to slow down and spend 10, 20, 30 minutes sketching those moments instead.  While I will admit I didn’t entirely give up on photos over the past week, I did spend time taking pencil to paper:


Sometimes I need a little push, a little nudge, to allow myself the time and space to pursue creative pursuits.  Creative pursuits that I not only enjoy immensely, but need, at a very fundamental level.  Reading about the slowgram gave me that permission.

Creativity and slowing down make time in the kitchen all the more enjoyable too, and these little bites of yumminess require a bit of both.  The payoff is delicious, whether as a snack, dessert, trail food, breakfast bite …  Enjoy!

Cashew Coconut Date Bites


Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen bites): 1 C raw cashews 12 oz medjool dates, pitted 1/4 C cashew butter 1/4 C shredded unsweetened coconut, plus more for rolling 2 T chia seeds 2 T coconut oil, melted 1/2 t cinnamon

  1. Put cashews in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times, until cashews are coarsely chopped.

  2. Add the dates, cashew butter, 1/4 C shredded coconut, chia seeds, coconut oil, and cinnamon, and puree until the ingredients are well-mixed and of a relatively uniform consistency.

  3. Roll the mixture into balls (I use a rounded tablespoon or thereabouts for each one), and roll each ball in shredded coconut.

  4. Enjoy right away, bring on the trail, or store in the refrigerator.

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