Good morning, dear Readers! Before I introduce today’s guest blogger, I’d like to take a minute and say hello and welcome to the new members of the Let ME Out!! community 🙂 So glad you decided to join us! Every Friday for the past couple of months, I have been featuring a guest post by people who want to share their passion with you. Some of my guests have talked about hobbies that keep their life fun. Others have offered their journey to a career that is both soulful and rewarding. The idea behind this guest post series (a.k.a People With Passion Interviews) is to show my readers that we all have different ways of expressing who we are, in different capacities, and doing so is important to our overall well-being. If YOU have a story you’d like to share with us, I would be thrilled to give you the spotlight here on a Friday. Please contact me any time! (It was just brought to my attention that my contact form does not seem to be working, so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org instead!)
And now, to today’s post! It is such a treat to be hosting one of my dearest friends, Shahina, whose delicious baking I am lucky to say I have consumed…many times! I’ve watched Shahina take this hobby from a utilitarian function to a stress-reliever and now to someone who is keeping up with orders put in by friends and colleagues. Wait till you see her creations!
Please welcome, Shahina!
A sweet tooth! It’s something I inherited from both my parents. My mother is an amazing cook, but desserts were not her thing, so it became my role during dinner parties. Cakes, puddings, and cheesecake with fresh strawberry sauce…these became my specialty. It also fed my need for acceptance and my sense of belonging. It was my job and my job alone. Slowly I began to discover new desserts and would try new things in the kitchen, but with a family of seven, the kitchen was never solely mine to use.
So let’s fast forward to 2002 when I left my family and friends and moved to Ottawa to be with my now husband, Johny. It was for his employment that we made the move and it was worthwhile. I also found work with the federal government; an amazing job that was challenging and time consuming but when I had free time I used it for ME to explore cooking and especially desserts. It became apparent over time that baking was my stress reliever, my coping mechanism. Over the next few years I became so busy with work and trying to balance life that I had lost a part of myself – my creativity – and didn’t know anymore what my passion was.
Then in 2010 my life was turned upside down. I had suffered a terrible miscarriage and my papa had been diagnosed with terminal cancer; he was given 6 months to live. These sad events made me stop in my tracks and reflect on what my life was and question my fulfillment of it. Was I happy? Was I doing everything I wanted to do? Was work the only important thing in my life?
In 2011 I lost both my papa and my grandpa within months of each other. I didn’t know what to do with myself; I was completely lost and no one could help me. It was my own journey. For months I was in a dark place, I wanted to be left alone and I didn’t want to talk to anybody. And then there was Taslim’s blog about resolutions. The New Year. It was to be a fresh start; to try new things; things I had always said I wanted to do and hadn’t. It was time to be more impulsive and to begin taking chances. I realized that I needed to find better balance in my life. I started to listen to my Self and discovered there had been one thing that I had been putting aside for many years.
Finally, I took the plunge and enrolled myself in cake decorating classes. It was an evening to myself, once a week, where I could begin rediscovering something I had inside of me. After completing the first level of the program, I got my first cake order! It was the most amazing and most satisfying I had ever felt. I continued to take classes and began to focus on cupcakes. They were more forgiving and they didn’t need to be perfect. That’s a huge release for someone as much of a perfectionist as me. But I started to really enjoy what I was doing. I COULD do it! Bigger than that, the joy that I would see in people’s eyes when they saw my cupcakes brought me more joy than I had ever felt. It was satisfying and filled my soul. At the time I didn’t know it, but it was my passion and my way of expressing creativity.
Since re-discovering this creativity and actually acknowledging it as such, I continue exploring new cupcake creations. In fact, following a dinner last night at Milestones, I am researching the possibilities of a Bellini cupcake. Doesn’t that sound yummy? To me it’s exciting and exhilarating to think of the endless possibilities.
Recently, I entered my cheeseburger and fries creation in a cupcake competition. To my surprise, my entry won 1st place! I couldn’t believe it! It was just another affirmation of the happiness it brings me and how much my love of baking is part of who I am. After winning that competition I have started receiving orders from friends and colleagues.
Through the up’s and down’s I have faced, I have clarity on life balance and its importance every day. Finding creativity and feeding it is just as important to us as money, food, water. This hobby will never be “work” for me, but passion and only passion. Something that takes no forced effort and continuously nourishes my energy and life balance.
I also love the excitement and happiness that I can bring to others. We all know the way to the heart is through the sweet tooth!
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Shahina was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. In 2003 she moved to Ottawa where she currently lives with her husband, Johny and their dog, Snoopy. Shahina is currently working as a manager for the Federal Government and continues to explore her dream of opening a bakery (hopefully in Vancouver!).
Shahina is a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason, so she is slowly learning to let go, have fun and to have faith in a higher power. Sometimes when you let go, better things come into your life!
If you’d like to inspire others with this post, please pass it on with some social media love. If you don’t see the buttons below, click on the title of this post and they will magically appear at the bottom.
P.S. Yesterday I was interviewed on Jodi Chapman’s blog, Soul Speak! I had a great time talking about creativity and how Tuesday Tasks and Make-A-Wave cards came to be! I’m giving away one book and one pack of cards so be sure to stop by, read the interview and enter to win before Dec. 20/12! Plus, I’ve got a special offer going on from now until Dec. 31/12…buy one Tuesday Tasks book and receive 3 FREE Make-A-Wave cards!