The power of the void

Have you mastered the art of relaxation? I’d like to be able to tell you I’m an expert on the subject, but it’d be a lie. I’m not. I fill my void with action. The interesting thing is, when I create it’s always in total silence. Am I afraid of the blank page syndrome? No. Actually, I don’t believe in the notion of having a lack of ideas or inspiration. I know that when I listen to my little inner voice, the ideas come and great things happen. Have you ever tried? Welcome to the luxurious depths of the inner self, your inner self. Take a nice deep breath, we’re going to dive in.

Yoga. I’d love say I’m nuts about yoga. But honestly, I simply can’t. I’ve tried to like yoga but it’s just not my thing. I came to terms with that the day I realized (and accepted) the fact that we’re all unique and that it’s up to us to find our own personal way of communicating with our inner self. Phew! It’s pretty complicated what I’m trying to explain, isn’t it?

The void. We’re all afraid of the void. Some people are afraid of a blank page (which is a kind of mental void, right?), others of an emotional vacuum (that famous state of being single) or of leaping into the void (starting a business… or quite literally parachute jumping). But, emptying our head is often a very positive thing. It allows us to connect with ourselves. It allows us to attract other things within ourselves… such as fresh solutions, inspiring ideas, unusual alternatives and much more.

Unfortunately, we live in the Internet era and people spend many long minutes connected… to their phone. As if a little rectangular box that lights up (expression inspired by a song by Jérôme Minière) had some kind of extraordinary power: the ability to fill a certain void. How much time do we spend checking our emails or seeing if there’s some incredible breaking news on our social media feeds? Too much. Although I receive countless emails and messages on the Madame Labriski social media, I much too often get the impulse to grab that little rectangular box of mine and check them. Just to see. In case. Just in case, in fact. Ultimately, there are always messages. I reply to them and then I’ve immediately lost my train of thought. I recently said to myself that it was ridiculous and I needed to stop giving so much air time and importance to this device, that I should focus and concentrate on the important things that need to be done every day.

Why do we feel at such a loss when we leave the house and forget our portable telephone line that makes us feel so important? Oh wow, one of my girlfriends made a delicious-looking meal tonight. What beautiful pyjamas my friend’s niece got for her birthday. Aren’t those kittens adorable? Meanwhile, what have you done for yourself, apart from being entertained? Have you found the answer to your question? Were you connected in order to escape the void?

The void is powerful. It’s raw. It doesn’t hide anything. It’s there. It’s there all around us. It offers up a moment when anything is possible. An opportune moment you can seize to go one step further in life. A split second to decide to make progress. Had you ever perceived the void in such a way? And why do you think the void is so frightening?

We’re afraid of the void because it represents a moment for decision making.

It’s the very embodiment of an instant when everything becomes possible. The void provides an opportunity to set things right. Sometimes it enables us to make the decision to switch paths or, on the contrary, to confirm that what we’re doing is the right thing and in line with what makes us happy. However, there’s something very scary about progress. Why? Probably because it evokes change. Change signifies the unknown, and what we don’t know, we fear. Yet the void is invaluable because it allows us to connect with ourselves. What’s astonishing is that our inner self knows exactly what’s good for us. That’s the reason the silence of the void is so precious.

Why do we need to connect with ourselves? To seek out answers. To relax. To take time out from the hubbub of daily life and recharge. We have all these answers within ourselves. To hear what our little inner voice has to say to us, we just need to listen attentively.

Have you heard about my 2nd bestselling cookbook Bye-bye sucre raffiné, bonjour purée de dattes!? A book that has opened up even more possibilities for date puree. In this coral-coloured cookbook, I break with culinary conventions and demonstrate how today, more than ever before, we can truly turn our backs on refined sugar. The reason I’m telling you all this is that it was thanks to complete silence that I created these new recipes. In fact, it’s always in times of total silence that new ideas come to me. I tried creating a playlist of my favourite music, but it didn’t work. I need that void. I need that total silence. I’m connected to only one thing: my little inner voice. In fact, it’s that same little voice that whispers in my ear when the time comes to make myself happy by publishing a new book or launching a new conference. The peace and calm has given rise to ideas to help improve the eating habits of Quebecers, Canadians and all human beings, because in 2021 the cookbook will be published in English and in Europe (France, Switzerland and Belgium).

Speaking of which, why not give my Royal Colossus cake or my Caramellosel Spread a try? Two recipes that are featured in the coral cookbook and are simply perfect if you’re looking to put fresh flavours on your plate. Bon appétit!


Mériane aka “Madame”


Article from one of my contributions to the magazine Mieux-Être. Fall 2018.

You may also like

You want to stay in touch?

Keep up to date on all of Madame’s inspiring adventures and her latest culinary creations.