historic farm and eco-resort

Flow

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Happy Fourth of July! Today at the inn we’re working on a burger special to celebrate at dinner tonight. A recap of developing that is coming soon, hope you enjoy your holiday!

During this past year in school, I was part of a book club called The Happiness Project at Yale. Led by a professor of sociology, we read The Happiness Project, a book written by Gretchen Rubin that follows her yearlong journey to increasing her level of happiness. She focuses on one aspect of happiness each month, ranging from love to friends to money to spirituality. While we read and discussed the book, we also tried to adopt similar principles in our lives, one step at a time, to see how they affected us. My roommate and I participated in the challenge together, and we took to telling each other what made us happy that day every night before we went to sleep–our “happiness,” as we called it (it was actually extremely effective).

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Happiness, work, and play are also closely tied. We talked a bit about a concept called “flow.” Flow, christened by Hungarian psychologist Mikhail Csikszentmihalyi, can be found in your career or a hobby, and is characterized by a loss of self-consciousness in the moment. “Losing yourself,” as it’s often thought of, in an activity that you enjoy that also provides an attainable level of challenge. We’ve all experienced this at some point–you start reading, or going to soccer practice, or volunteering, and all of a sudden three hours have passed in the blink of an eye. You’ve found your flow.

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On Wednesday, ten hours of my day flew by. I headed to the kitchen a little after 11 am to start gathering ingredients for the salted caramel brownies and ice cream Chef Sadhana and I would be making for afternoon tea that day, and then bam: it was already 3 and the dessert was set and we were moving on to the pupusas for that night’s dinner (yeah, I’m basically a pupusa pro at this point ;) ). All of a sudden it was 5 and I was taking a fifteen minute break for staff meal before heading back into the kitchen to finish up the pupusas and move on to the next day’s dessert for afternoon tea. Sadhana and I made nectarine-apricot-blueberry pies, which was my first time making a pie crust from scratch (!), and worked on a new burger bun recipe the kitchen is experimenting with for a special this weekend. And all of a sudden it was 8 and we were taking an hour-long break while the dough for the buns rose and the pie crusts chilled. Then we were back a little before nine to assemble and bake the pies and and buns. And then it was 10:30 and we were cleaning up and heading out (with a few bites of food to take along with us, of course).

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Somewhere between the berry-chopping and masa-making and brainstorming dessert ideas my day went by. And for those ten hours, all I knew was the whether the crusts I was forming were staying cool enough, or what the stickiness level of the masa was, or whether or not my salted caramel sauce was sweet enough.

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And it felt incredible. Incredible to lose myself in a single room, senses heightened to everything going on around me, not ruminating on the future or the past, totally focused on what I needed to accomplish in that moment (sounds a bit like mindfulness, huh?).

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Yesterday isn’t the first time I’ve felt that way while working alongside Jen or Sadhana on whatever dessert or entree or amuse bouche of the day. As an almost-junior in college, I often wonder what my career path will be, or what kind of job I’ll look for upon graduation. It’s more curiosity than concern, it’s not something that stresses me out right now. But every experience I have, class I take, and skill I learn puts me that much further in getting to know myself, and by that token having an idea of what I would like to pursue.

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Does the fact that I found flow in the kitchen mean it’s a career path I should follow? Or is it simply a hobby that will provide me with an extra dose of flow outside of work? I love the buzz of a kitchen with people to feed and things to get done, and the domesticity of cooking at home doesn’t exactly lend itself to that. I love the salsa music that plays in the kitchen, and all of the line cooks and us doing our own things, but for the same purpose. Though at the same time I don’t see myself going to culinary school and forging my way as a professional chef.

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Of course, the rest of my life certainly isn’t anything that I need to know right now, and if anything The Happiness Project only affirms my need to remain in the present rather than obsessing over the future. But finding that flow isn’t something that I’m going to ignore, either.

 

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This article was written by monica

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Big River 1 Bedroom Suite


Big River 1 Bedroom Suite at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $360-$440

Expansive and romantic – This original one bedroom suite sits in the middle of the Big River Building affording views sweeping over Big River Nurseries to Mendocino Bay and over Big River Estuary into the historic village of Mendocino … from a private deck. The bedroom has a king size bed and the living room a sofa bed. The fireplace is an Irish Waterford iron stove which provides the smell and crackling wood of an open fireplace in a rare uniquely designed unit. The suite also features a flat screen HDTV, DVD, compact stereo system, refrigerator, coffee maker supplied with organic, fair trade Big River Coffee and private deck. Complimentary organic breakfast served from our menu each morning.

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Big River Double Queen


Big River Double Queen Room at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $211 -$289

Distinctive Mendocino lodging – Accommodations with two queen size beds. Each offers a wood burning fireplace or Irish Waterford stove, views of our gardens and the ocean beyond, Flat Screen HDTVs, DVDs, compact stereo systems, refrigerators, coffee makers supplied with organic, fair trade Big River Coffee and private decks – overlooking Mendocino and the Pacific Ocean. Complimentary organic breakfast served from our menu each morning.

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Big River Executive King


Big River Executive King Room at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $221-$299

Bed Sitting Rooms – seating areas with sofas and king size beds. Each offers a wood burning fireplace, views of our gardens and the ocean beyond, Flat Screen HDTVs, DVDs, compact stereo systems, refrigerators, coffee makers supplied with organic, fair trade Big River Coffee and private decks – overlooking Mendocino and the Pacific Ocean. Complimentary organic breakfast served from our menu each morning.

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Big River Executive Queen


Big River Executive Queen Room at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $221 -$299

Bed Sitting Rooms with seating areas with sofas and queen size beds. Each offers a wood burning fireplace, views of our gardens and the ocean beyond, Flat Screen HDTVs, DVDs, compact stereo systems, refrigerators, coffee makers supplied with organic, fair trade Big River Coffee and private decks – overlooking Mendocino and the Pacific Ocean. Complimentary organic breakfast served from our menu each morning.

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Big River Garden Level


Big River Garden Level Room at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $211 -$289

Distinctive Mendocino lodging – Accommodations with a queen size bed and/or daybed on our garden level. Daybeds can provide twin bed comfort for up to two additional persons with a pop-up twins under each day bed. Each room offers a wood burning fireplace or Irish Waterford stove, views of our gardens and the ocean beyond, flat Screen HDTVs, DVDs, compact stereo systems, refrigerators, coffee makers supplied with organic, fair trade Big River Coffee and private decks – overlooking Mendocino and the Pacific Ocean. Complimentary organic breakfast served from our menu each morning.

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Big River Top Level with Daybed


Big River Queen with Daybed Room at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $211 -$289

Distinctive Mendocino lodging – Accommodations with a queen size bed and daybed. The daybed provides twin bed comfort for up to two additional persons with a pop-up twins under each day bed. Each room offers a wood burning fireplace or Irish Waterford stove, views of our gardens and the ocean beyond, flat Screen HDTVs, DVDs, compact stereo systems, refrigerators, coffee makers supplied with organic, fair trade Big River Coffee and private decks – overlooking Mendocino and the Pacific Ocean. Complimentary organic breakfast served from our menu each morning.

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Forest Executive


Forest Executive Room at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $245-$320

Simple elegance – Slightly larger rooms and baths distinguish these accommodations from those of Big River. Each one offers a large wood burning fireplaces, king size beds, wet bars, private decks that overlook Mendocino Bay and the village of Mendocino. The rooms also feature a flat screen HDTV, DVD, compact stereo system, refrigerator, coffee maker supplied with organic, fair trade Big River Coffee and private deck. Complimentary organic breakfast served from our menu each morning.

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Forest 1 Bedroom Suite


Forest 1 Bedroom Suite at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $312-$460

Ultimate Mendocino Romance – One bedroom suites offering large wood burning fireplaces; 27″ televisions with DVD; compact stereo systems; wet bars supplied with bottled water and juice drinks; coffee maker supplied with organic, fair trade Big River Coffee; a sofa bed; decks; Mendocino Bay and Mendocino village views. The bedroom has its own television and a king size bed. Complimentary organic breakfast served from our menu each morning.

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Forest 2 Bedroom Suite


Forest 2 Bedroom Suite at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $312-$460

Ultimate Mendocino Romance – One bedroom suites offering large wood burning fireplaces; 27″ televisions with DVD; compact stereo systems; wet bars supplied with bottled water and juice drinks; coffee maker supplied with organic, fair trade Big River Coffee; a sofa bed; decks; Mendocino Bay and Mendocino village views. The bedroom has its own television and a king size bed. Complimentary organic breakfast served from our menu each morning.

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Secluded Barn Suite


Barn Suite at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $315 – $390

Peaceful and private – Vaulted ceilings distinguish this large one bedroom suite, equipped with a king size bed and sofa bed in the bedroom and another in the living room. The living rooms fireplace is stocked with firewood, with just outside the door. There’s a kitchen with dining area, and a small yard and garden. The suite is within a barn which is also home to the Stanfords and Dan, a Morgan horse. Flat Screen HD Televisions, DVD, Stereos, and more amenities.

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Garret Suite


Garret Suite at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $239 – $279

A two-story suite with exceptional views – One bedroom suite with kitchen facilities in a 1930’s cottage located just south of Big River Bridge and overlooking the Llamas, organic gardens, Big River estuary and Catch A Canoe. Bedroom has a queen bed and living room a sofa bed. This suite has a deck and a wood burning Buck Stove.

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Canoe Suite


Canoe Suite at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $259 – $299

A magical cottage with Big River views – One bedroom suite with kitchen facilities in a 1930’s cottage located just south of Big River Bridge and overlooking the Big River estuary and Catch A Canoe. The bedroom has a queen bed and living room a sofa bed. This Mendocino suite has a deck and a wood burning brick Heatilator fireplace. HD Flat Screen TV, DVD/VCR, stereo systems and more.

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Big River Petite Queen


Big River Petite Queen Room at the Stanford Inn by the sea, Mendocino, CA

Room Rates $211 -$269

Distinctive Mendocino lodging – Accommodations with queen size beds on the lower and upper floors of the inn. Each offers a wood burning fireplace, views of our gardens and the ocean beyond, Flat Screen HDTVs, DVDs, compact stereo systems, refrigerators, coffee makers supplied with organic, fair trade Big River Coffee and private decks – overlooking Mendocino and the Pacific Ocean. Complimentary organic breakfast served from our menu each morning.

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