|A Self-Expression Cookbook
© 1997 Michele Toomey, PhD
(All Recipes Started with the Stock of Integrity, Flavored with the Herbs of Respect and Caring, Spiced with Accountability, and Measured by Fairness)
The metaphor of food is used for many different descriptions of how a person speaks. For example:
"Salty" speech, "Acerbic" tone, "Spice" up your talk, "Chew the fat", "Water" would freeze in your veins, "Butter" would melt in your mouth," Sugar coated" words, words with a harsh "texture", words that are a "balm" to my spirit, words that capture the "flavor" of what you're saying, words that "cut like a knife."
The irony of a communications cookbook is that speech not only lends itself to the metaphor of food preparation, but that we take for granted the necessity of following recipes for creating and presenting desirable tastes in food and ignore the necessity when it comes to creating and presenting personal thoughts, desires and feelings.
Just as food nourishes or poisons the body, so words nourish or poison the soul. What we ingest physically is no more essential or dangerous than what we internalize spiritually, since we are, after all, both body and spirit.
In this self-expression cookbook, there will be an underlying philosophy and orientation toward integrity, respect, caring, accountability and fairness, on the part of the communicator and the message, much as there is on the part of a cook and the food being prepared. There will also be an emphasis on "presentation" of ideas just as there is in "presenting" food. The more intense and important the occasion, the greater the attention to detail and to presentation.
Before undertaking the task of trying these recipes for self-esteem and self confidence, I first need to invite you to approach the recipes with an orientation of looking on life as a journey not a test. The ingredients and method for preparation will not yield the desired result if your orientation toward yourself is one of "proving" your worthiness. It must instead be one of being "true" to it.