Well I am happy to report that I survived week one of the Mala Collective 30 Day Meditation Challenge…kinda…maybe…sorta…I’m not going to sugar coat it here and tell you it was a walk in park, a piece of cake (or in this case a pumpkin funfetti bar) or any other saying that signifies “easy” because it wasn’t. At all. After completing the roughly ten minutes of meditating the first couple of days I thought, well now, I could totally get used to this. I felt like a million bucks! Seriously, I was calm, relaxed and hadn’t a worry in the world. In fact I felt a little like I could even conquer it.
And then the week unraveled…
By Wednesday my mind was as far away from the term “relaxed” as one could get. I felt like I was just going through the grind like we all do. I was working, running errands, squeezing in my workouts, runs and yoga, cooking, blogging, you name it that’s where my mind was. Everywhere else.
Then Thursday happened…
I woke up in the morning, went for a much needed run, had my coffee, ate a healthy breakfast, got ready for the day and then I remembered it. “OH MY GOD.” I thought (and maybe even said it out loud) I had missed yesterday’s meditation! Just like that, as if it never even existed in the first place, it had slipped my mind entirely. How did I forget? I had it right there, as clear as day, on my phone, which evidently even glued to my body like an extra limb doesn’t hold any weight in precedence. So, there I was, not even one full week into the challenge and I was already failing miserably.
As the week continued on I made sure to set reminders so I wouldn’t forget again. Though I did make it through the ten minutes each day it wasn’t any easier. I mean just simply remembering to do it was hard but actually sitting there, focusing on my breath while trying not to fidget or peer inconspicuously side eyed at my phone for the time left was a pure struggle. I felt constantly distracted by everything around me, restless and off my game for having missed a day in the challenge. I was battling an inner chaos I couldn’t quite gain control of.
On the very last day of week one I sat comfortably, cross-legged on a pillow which rested on top of my yoga mat. I crossed my legs and wiggled a little to adjust. I placed my hands on top my knees and closed my eyes. I reminded myself that I was going to make this whole finding inner peace-push the worry and fear aside-welcome self love thing work. I let out an unrestricted sigh and I waited. I waited to hear the voice from my phone that would ultimately lead me through this tiny hopeful moment of peace.
And then it happened…
Just like that I felt, okay. Well, “okay” isn’t really the appropriate term since I don’t think there’s an actual word that I can associate with what I felt at that very moment. It was as if I had come to peace with my silly forgetfulness earlier that week. It was as if I had realized that there’s no such thing as “perfection” in doing this. That finding patience in myself with this challenge really symbolized more than just this. It symbolized all of the things that I am hard on myself for, that finding that moment where I allow myself to have flaws, to be less than what I deem to be “perfect”, ultimately to be patient with myself is what matters most. That’s the very moment when you can welcome that self love in with open arms. That is when you truly find inner peace.
Makes: 16 bars/Pre time: 15 minutes/Bake time: 30 minutes
- 3/4 c unsalted almond butter
- 1/2 c pumpkin puree
- 1/2 c ripe banana, mashed (about one large)
- 1/4 c maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/8 c sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 9×9 baking pan and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the almond butter, pumpkin, mashed banana, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir together.
- Add in the coconut flour, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, baking powder and sea salt. Continue to mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
- Gently fold in the sprinkles.
- Pour the batter into the pan and spread out evenly using a spatula.
- Bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing them.
Nutrition (per bar): 102 calories, 6g fat, 8.5g carbs, 5g sugar, 3.5g protein