Yesterday I told myself I was going to make a cheesecake, something which petrifies me. I love to cook, but baking is another thing — I do not feel that is my strength in life.

Regardless, I decided to get over my fears by making a cake I thought I could never make: a cheesecake. I looked up the ingredients. Crazy! Five packages of cream cheese? They must be joking. However, it didn’t matter how many recipes I looked up — they all had a humongous amount of cream cheese in them. Wow, I thought, now I know why they call it cheesecake.

Anyway, I bought all the ingredients and followed the recipe. One breath at a time I realized this was a lot easier than I had thought. Why was I always so apprehensive about baking cakes? I added the cream cheese, which my daughter helped unpack, the eggs, the lemon juice, the sour cream, etc., and into the oven it went.

Breathe in: “I did it!” Breathe out: “I should try more new things that I feel I’m afraid of making or doing.” Breathe in: “I feel accomplished.” Breathe out: “I feel excited.”

As I took the cheesecake out of the oven and the whole family tried it, I heard a comment I thought I’d never hear: “Wow, mom, this is amazing. I love it!”

So there you have it, nothing feels impossible to me anymore in the baking world. Since those rave reviews, I started experimenting with more cake recipes, and although they don’t always turn out fantastic, I feel happy and excited. I am no longer afraid of baking cakes. So take a deep breath in and out. Think about something you are afraid of doing, something simple that you could do in everyday life, and take a chance on yourself. You never know — you might surprise yourself.

Ditteke Ederveen-Gorman helps people incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their daily lives. For more information, visit