During many years as a professional cook, I burned and cut myself numerous times. Over time, I came to view these small injuries as a sort of early warning system with a clear message:

Slow Down, Take Care and Be Mindful that you are a bit “off”.

LISTEN to yourself to hear what’s really going on.

Invariably, when I checked in with myself, I’d realize that I’d had a sleepless night, or was worrying about something. There was always a reason I was preoccupied and not on my game.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

SMALL accidents —dropping a treasured dish, spilling things, tripping, small cuts — to me are gifts when they do no real harm. Unlike BIG accidents —which I’ve also had and whose repercussions can last for months or years — I take them as reminders, a wakeup call.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

…Our unconscious has a way of tugging at our sleeve, demanding attention,  if it finds it is not heard.



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7 replies on “The Wakeup Message of Little Accidents

  1. Thank you. I wonder if I would still have that chunk on the tip of my thumb if I had read this yesterday??? Still, today, I am cooking with a great deal more care – and enjoying it more, too.

  2. I was very disappointed recently when I missed a memorial service for someone I cared for. I was given the information, place of the event; yet I saw a different place in my mind. I went there, the parking lot was empty, I sent several texts and got no answer. The real disappointment was in myself and the lesson was to pay closer attention, ask again, write it down. Slow down and take care of details.

  3. Moving boxes this morning, unpacking after a stressful move resulting from my recent divorce. 42 years of photos, books, collectables. Crash—down came a pile of boxes, many of which contained pottery. Only two casualties. Message: stop and eat, and then slow down. What an opportune message from you this morning as I logged on to take a break from my frantic sorting. Thanks!

  4. I find these little accidents to be reminders of the temporary nature of life and of “things”. Things will often be lost if you have the joy of children, pets, guests in your life.

  5. YES. So glad it helped. It’s amazing how difficult we think taking even 5 or 10 minutes out is. Yet it can save us from many dire events.

  6. This seems to be the question of the age: how to slow down and stay focused on the present or what is really important.

  7. I once cut myself so badly while opening an oyster, I ultimately had to have 6 hours of microsurgery and two months off to recover use of my hand. While in the ER, I said to the nurse: “I wish I could go back to just a few minutes before I did this and do it differently.” And she said: “This is what an accident is. We all have them.” That being said, had I been more mindful, I could have avoided that dire strait.

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