Let's Embrace the Bounty together.
Maybe it’s a familiar scene. You’re knee deep in conflict with someone you love. And you think back to the beginning when it felt easier, and you wonder: where did our love go?
As an Emotionally Focused couple therapist, clients come to me with the fear they’ve lost their love forever. Our task is to repair a repetitive cycle that leaves partners feeling separate and alone.
Hard work but remarkably transformative because a new cycle can be born: closeness and connection return, along with feelings of joy, security, and ease.
Clients often say ‘how did we ever survive before learning EFT?’
And my response is because we’ve been conditioned to believe we actually don’t belong to one another.
A deception that plays across all types of relationships, too, not just our romantic ones. Whether it be with our children, family, friends, even neighbors and colleagues. Of course, there are exceptions that come in the form of irreparable ruptures, where being in relationship isn’t safe or healthy.
But for the most part, in the face of conflict we think self-sufficiency will suffice. “I’ll handle it on my own,” they say. Paired with our culture’s obsession with individualism, tension, stress, and anxiety mount. Our nervous systems go berserk; and we suffer emotionally, physically, and relationally. Safety only comes when we find a way to reach toward one another, if we’re able to at all.
And to make matters worse, oppressive systems like white supremacy and capitalism gravely benefit from us forgetting this truth, as well.
So we live with a story of scarcity.
I am not enough. You are not enough. We are not enough. We’re back to asking the same question over and over again: where did our love go?
By tending to our relationships we can move from scarcity to abundance and be a part of greater systemic change.
But how do we cultivate abundance in our lives a part of coming to therapy?
Well, you’re probably already doing it, you just don’t know it.
When we come together, more often, with vulnerability, and hear each other’s stories, pathways open that build trust and safety. Conditions necessary for cultivating abundance. We just need to be more intentional about it with one another.
Picture the dinner table. A gathering place where meals are shared.
The entrée you ordered on your first date. The dish you brought to Friendsgiving. Or maybe the takeout you picked up to celebrate your kid winning the big game.
You might not remember what you made, ordered, or ate, but you probably remember how you felt afterward: Fed. Full. Enough.
This is abundance, where food is an offering and the meal a pathway to closeness and connection.
In my twenties I attended culinary school.
While it wasn’t clear at the time, my interest in learning how to cook stemmed from a longing to connect and belief I didn’t belong. It didn’t help I had just started therapy to deal with years of growing up in an alcoholic home.
Cooking tended to my aloneness and grief, bringing me close to not only something I loved to do but also something I could offer others. I started volunteering with the local food bank at pop-up farmers’ markets teaching families how to cook.
I don’t remember the recipes, but I do remember those families’ stories, struggles, and kindness. Mornings in the kitchen soon had me dreaming of starting my own non-profit where we’d nurture our relationships by learning how to cook with locally-sourced food. I’d call it Embrace the Bounty.
The idea never got off the ground. Instead, I became a therapist. But I always retained a love of cooking, especially for others.
Last month I launched a video series where I share how to cook some of my favorite recipes while also talking about what it means to be in relationship and how our relationships can be a catalyst for greater good.
Because the goal is not just to find our way out of a repetitive cycle, but to also take part in the embrace, leading us into the arms of love.
I hope you’ll come join me in the kitchen. We’ll Embrace the Bounty together!
You can catch the latest episode on my YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCmmXb2-ciY
And after the episode, follow me to Patreon for a deeper dive on how to nurture our good relationships with one another: patreon.com/EmbracetheBounty
Or follow me on Instagram @ashleybatistick for more good food and relationship tips.
Embrace the Bounty would not be possible without the loving support and guidance from so many humans, most notably Sheryl Lisa Paul, Lisa Blum, Jeffery and Brianne Glaser, my rock — Mike Batistick, and the two tiny humans who call me Mama. Beyond grateful for each one of you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.