Self. Conscious.

The word SELF-CONSCIOUS landed in my head yesterday, and I took a moment to give it a think.

I had a teensy revelation.

Most of us use the term ‘self-conscious’ in a rather negative way, to describe someone who is “feeling undue awareness of oneself, one’s appearance, or one’s actions.” (courtesy Oxford Dictionary)

Undue awareness?

Oxford D goes on to list synonyms that are discouraging downers: embarrassed, uncomfortable, uneasy, nervous, unnatural. Yet its choice of antonym for self-conscious shines with positivity: confident.

Geez Louise.

The reason this term gave me pause is two-fold.

One – back in the day, I always considered myself to be self-conscious. And, as the dictionary tells me, I didn’t consider this to be complimentary. My self-consciousness translated to discomfort in the spotlight, uncertainty, non-recognition of my unique brilliance, and an ever-present feeling that I didn’t quite fit in. That maybe I wasn’t good enough. Yet I somehow knew there existed some other place where I could shine my magic. Self-consciousness was like an anvil hanging around my neck.

Two – wait a second. Let’s flash forward to today. If I really think about it, I am still self-conscious. But I’m also confident. And brilliant. (By the way, you are too!) I now carry this descriptor with a humble, graceful, hat-tipping ‘thank you, ma’am.’

My new interpretation of self-conscious takes the term to a more deserving, even literal direction: I am more conscious of my self. I am more connected to who I am. I try to be present, to live in the moment. I have found my voice, and I have embraced me, with all my gifts and imperfections. I am worthy. I am more authentic now than ever before.

I am more SELF. CONSCIOUS. (in a good way, alas!)

Whew. Okay. Let’s take a right turn, and shift into some fine foodery! Here’s a cheeky segue: I am consciously connecting not only to self today, but to my food choices. I am paying attention to this amazing body of mine that asks for nutrient-dense sustenance to fuel its cells. It also asks for deliciousness.

Thus, I deliver – a divinely luxurious pesto! Made with a couple of fistfuls of this gorgeous fresh basil adorning my windowsill.

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Nutty-Basil Pesto

Ingredients

Handful raw, unsalted, soaked walnuts

Handful raw, unsalted macadamia nuts

2-3 T hemp hearts

2 T nutritional yeast (use grated Parmesan cheese, if you wish)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups baby spinach

2 cups fresh basil leaves

2 T fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (or as much needed for desired consistency)

Sea salt, to taste

Preparation

Place everything in a high-powered blender, and whirl until creamy-smooth. Add more olive oil, if needed, until reach desired consistency. Season to taste. To store left-overs: spoon into a glass jar, and cover with a shallow layer of olive oil. Tightly cap and place in fridge.

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Consciously devour!

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