Purple Potato Water

The water turned purple, and everything dissolved.

That’s what happened when I tried to make sweet potato gnocchi.

After 45 minutes of baking, kneading, rolling, and cutting the dough into the perfect bite-sized pieces. I dumped the freshly formed gnocchi into the boiling water and watched them dissolve one by one.

For the record, that’s not supposed to happen. They’re supposed to start floating after 2-3 minutes, at which point you take them out and serve them with a delicious sauce.

I had the slotted spoon and the sauce at the ready.

But when it came time to pull them out, there was nothingーno floating gnocchi. In fact, no gnocchi at all. All my work dissolved, gone in less than a minute only to be left with purple potato water.

I still have no idea what happened.

Since I was hungry and wasn’t about to let a good sauce go to waste, I threw on another pot of water and made pasta (the gluten-free pasta made with brown rice is my favorite).

I don’t feel defeated in the kitchen often. Not to toot my own horn, but I love to cook and make pretty damn delicious meals.

As I result, I feel confident exploring in the kitchen. I’m not afraid of failing because I’ve proven to myself repeatedly that I can still concoct a meal when something goes haywire.

I want to feel like this in every area of my life. Complete confidence in knowing there is no failure, only feedback. The security to venture beyond my comfort zone because I trust myself to adapt. A willingness to leap and try and create knowing that sometimes the meal turns out great and sometimes I have to adjust. Most importantly, the ability to bounce back with ease.

And yet, it’s not always as easy for me in other areas of my life as it is in the kitchen. So in the moments where I find myself treading water in doubt, I call on Chef Alyssa. By doing so, I’m consciously bringing more of her energy to the situation so that I can experiment more, get curious about solutions, and problem-solve with the confidence I have in the kitchen.

Just like we can model other people, we can model parts of ourselves. That’s why I love giving different parts of myself names so that I can recognize their strengths and challenges and call on them when I need them or tell them to take the backseat when they’re not serving me.

For example, my inner-child is named Alice. She’s great to call on when I need more wonder in my life, but I also have to remind her that we are safe and I’m capable of taking care of us, so she needn’t be so scared.

And then there’s my inner-critic who is named Axil. She is a force to be reckoned with, and by naming her, I can better recognize when her destructive parts and dialogue are taking the reins.

It gives me the language to have more awareness so that I can better choose my response.

I use this as a strategy with clients, too. Parts parties are an effective tool to shake up perspective and the stories we tell ourselves. When I can talk to specific parts of them, we’re better able to get to the root of what’s going on for them.

So, I’m curious. Do you do this? Do you have any parts of yourself you’ve named already? What are you going to call your inner-critic? If you feel so inclined, hit reply and share it with me. I’d love to know!

With so much love,



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Alyssa Kulesa

Alyssa Kulesa

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