The Year of Living Deliciously

Reflection and gratitude!

As 2014 comes to a close (really? already?), I remain humbled by all the experiences my humble bakery has provided. ...This kind of repeating pattern, I can get used to. In the past year I have met people from all over the world that want to eat healthier and live the mission the bakery was inspired by— to do better while living a balanced life. It's in that back and forth where I find purpose and excitement, challenge and inspiration. I am addicted to finding my balance. And because my life is not repetitious, it keeps me on my toes. Which is the point. Be in the moment. That's how I seize the day. By being present.

This past weekend I attended a 48-hour yoga teacher training designed for people that don't usually take yoga. Men. Especially men addicted to lifting weights and running on treadmills or doing CrossFit, spinning etc. It's a style of class I feel is missing and I've taught for years, but finally it's getting the attention of gym fiends, now open to the idea that muscles need to "gain" a good stretch too. I thought doing yoga for 12 hours a day for two days would kill me, but instead it fired up my focus— to continue to challenge myself. Avoid auto-pilot. Avoid staying within old limits. In addition, being in a room filled with other instructors reminded me why being in the moment is such a rewarding goal.

Seeing everyone enjoying the Protein Bakery snacks I brought, was an extra bonus. It's the best way I know to give back. I will not be curing cancer and so be it; I can bake a healthier snack. A healthy treat is my wheel house and watching it catch fire with foodies or fitness fiends or any snack seeker is my own "treat." This little handmade wholesome idea gives me purpose and makes people happy. Boom!—that too is balance!

That training and its unique focus made me reflect on all the years that I've been teaching fitness. When I announced at the start that I had been leading classes for 22 years, some of the newer instructors just dropped their jaws in amazement. I got asked really interesting questions that honored and respected my expertise—as a fitness professional and a business owner. Putting a smile on my face and a warm glow in my heart. Pushing me to make a better cookie and teach a better class. I can create something that matters to people. I'm a lucky man.

A lucky man who knows that the top of this mountain called 2014 is simply the bottom of the next mountain called 2015. (That climb is my kind of cardio.) I am committing myself to make the bakery stronger and more efficient and to spread the health as much as I can over the next year. Keep my eye on finding a balance between what works and what can work better. 2015 marks an important milestone on The Protein Bakery timeline. And I want to be present for every clock tick.

Which means the last remaining ones in 2014 as well! I wish for all of you to jump into the holidays and find your reasons to celebrate. Reflect on your own past year, relish the good stuff and know that the “bad stuff" is simply there as a valuable lesson. It's a process that provides balance. I see the highs and lows adding up to exactly that—your version of balance.

Continue traveling forward and of course, I insist— please enjoy a cookie along the way.

Stephen Charles Lincoln