Last week, I wrote about consistency and one of my readers commented back to me on LinkedIn that it was also about constancy. This week, I thought I would spend some time thinking about constancy, as it is important both in and out of the kitchen. Constancy has been defined by Merriam Webster as the “state of being constant or unchanging” and as the capacity to demonstrate “steadfastness of mind under duress.” Cooking requires one to constant and at the same not be constant. There are those moments when preparing the meal, especially during the holiday season or other major event, can seem stressful. However, in those times, one stays centered, focused, and remembers that one will make it through one more time. Watching chefs at work, you can see their constancy. Regardless of how hectic things get and how much duress they are under, that ability to stay constant is important in ensuring the quality of food, but also the ability to be present for the kitchen staff. In cooking competitions, one sees the cheftestants ability to stay constant during competition. At the same time, it is important to be open to constantly growing and evolving in one’s knowledge and understanding of foods, ingredients, preparation methods, etc. chefs can spend years perfecting a single dish. There is constancy in their efforts, but the dish and the overall menu are constantly changing and evolving. This is necessary in order for the restaurant and the chef to maintain their authenticity.
Deng Ming Dao, in his book Everyday Tao, wrote, “If you want spiritual constancy, then develop sincerity.” As we seek to evolve and grow in our journeys, there is constancy in the effort to grow and evolve. To develop sincerity in one’s life is to develop “the quality of being free from pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy.” This means that we cease trying to make things about us appear true when they are not. As a friend of mine would say, we walk our talk and talk our walk. We cease trying to conceal things or misrepresent who we really are. While we may be in a constant state of evolution, there is constancy to how we grow and evolve. We seek to grow with an increasing level of authenticity. As we become more and more genuine with ourselves, we become more genuine with others and our relationship with our Higher Power. So starting today, let’s stop the funk, the pose, and drop the disguises and develop a greater constancy in our lives.