I can say with confidence that I don’t recognize the Phillip Foss of before, and that person today is calmer, more creative, and generally happier. The reason I got here is because of one change in my daily routine. It’s more effective than any prescription medication, and it’s something I wish I knew about decades ago. It’s something I wish all chefs knew about. The best part is it’s free.
I am a better chef and person today because I discovered meditation.
It was something suggested by my anger management therapist, whom I began seeing after that face-grabbing incident. “Meditation? That seems new-agey,” I thought. We were still a few years from meditation being accepted by the mainstream, from athletes and office workers to elementary school students. Back in 2014, meditation felt like something monks performed on the Tibetan high hills. I was skeptical.
What finally convinced me to give it a try was, unfortunately, another consequence of living the chef’s life: Years spent standing and hunched over in kitchens had turned my back into a pretzel. I was seeking chiropractic treatment for a worsening arthritis condition, and the chiropractor suggested daily 20-minute Epsom salt baths in hot water to ease the pain. So in the typical, multi-tasking mind of a Michelin-starred chef, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I had nothing else to do in the bathtub — why not meditation? This decision, I can’t stress enough, changed my life forever.
I discovered meditation tutorials on the world’s greatest educational platform: YouTube. Most of the first meditations I did were guided, and I found The Mindful Movement to be especially effective. (If you prefer unguided, I like binaural beat meditations.)
It was challenging at first to get past more than a few minutes without opening my eyes in restlessness. You focus … then your mind wanders. You focus…