To be happy you must have taken the measure of your powers, tasted the fruits of your passion, and learned your place in the world.George Santayana
Jackie Kai Ellis‘ story was definitely an inspiring read. The Measure of My Powers is a moving memoir about a woman raised in a Asian family of academic achievers, with a successful career as a designer, with a charming but controlling husband, who finds herself in the midst of depression; unhappy, unfulfilled feelings of inadequacy.
With her inner struggles and failing marriage that’s childless, she finds hope in her love of food that sparks her to go on a trip to a pastry school in Paris and to open her own bakery where she finally finds self-acceptance and happiness. She then became a food and travel writer, creator of the bespoke food tours of Paris and winner of many awards in her hometown Vancouver and internationally. However she struggled with a lot before she got to where she was now, which is probably the most inspiring part. Ellis suffered from severe bulimia, anorexia, depression, over-bearing parents and as mentioned before a narcissist of a husband.
This story is told in a essay-like format that jumps around the timeline of Ellis’ life. You travel to the Congo, Italy and Paris with her as you turn each page. Reading each description of what she sees you can easily visualize the scenery and feel like you are there with her. As you keep reading you watch her discover her love for food and art. This is the story of one women’s journey to finding herself. I loved how at the end of each chapter she includes a recipe…from delicious desserts to savoury dishes. I am so excited to try baking and cooking some things!!!
Minus the food recipes Ellis included some inspiring and motivational recipes that you can do yourself to see the positivity and clarity of your life. For example, my favourite exercise was “A Recipe for Seeing Beauty”. You start by collecting a rose, placing the rose near your face, allowing each petal to graze your cheek and close your eyes. What do you smell? Ellis states to consider the scent a fragrance. Then place the rose in a cup, next to your favourite book or journal, right next to your bed and as soon as you wake up in the morning, before opening your eyes breathe in that lovely scent again. Remember the beauty and feelings you had while smelling it, start the day of with a lovely feeling.
For anyone looking for their next amazing read, I would definitely recommend this memoir. It will inspire you to be your best self, to work at what you truly desire and how to overcome obstacles and put your own needs first!!
‘There are moments in life that we may regret. We think of them as mistakes, still feeling the pangs, before we gently remind ourselves that the circumstances, actions, words spoken and the choices we make are mere stones that pave the road we explore, perfect in its own way. And the more of the road we see, the less we tend to regret.’
This quote really stood out to me because, last year, with the help of my friends, I learned a lot about myself and about the term regret. I learned that every decision you make you should never regret anything. No matter what the outcome is, you will always learn from your mistakes and everything happens for a reason to lead you on the path you are on now!! Always put yourself and your happiness first and always make sure you are doing everything right by yourself! The key to happiness is self-love.
You can purchase this on Amazon or Indigo!! Links below!!