Thursday, June 27, 2019

You Are Not Your Thoughts

Imagine if somebody told you that you are not who you think you are... that the thoughts in your mind that you have been so accustomed to associating with, are not a representation of who you
really are; that you are far greater than that and access to your life's purpose is right in front of you. How would you react to that?

Years ago, shortly after it was first published, I purchased the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle - his first book. I read it, well most of it, and I remember thinking "I got this; I understand." I had no idea. I mean I thought I did understand the concepts at the time: The power of this moment right now; Live in the moment, and all that stuff... but I now realize I had no clue. It wasn't until just last month that a new light had been shed
upon this theory for me and it is beginning to change my life.

Do you listen to podcasts? Before last month, I never had listened to them... not even one. But then I heard about a series of podcasts led by Oprah and Eckhart Tolle about his book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. Within the first couple of sessions, I found my old copy of The Power of Now, blew off some dust, and cracked it open for a second read, over 15 years later. Although these podcasts are not specifically regarding this first book, the conversations shed a whole new light on the subject, and a completely new understanding, and awakening, for me.

For most of us, we have all wondered at some time or another, "what is my purpose in this lifetime?". These podcasts answer that... very clearly, I might add. Throughout this series of 10 podcasts, Eckhart is challenged time and time again by not only Oprah, but also by the callers' questions they take in the podcasts. Hearing Eckhart's description of his theories in his own voice in these situations has really resonated with me, and I highly encourage you to give them a listen.

I would love to have a grand discussion about these theories in this blog entry, but I am afraid that I would not be able to clearly and fully describe them in a way that you would understand without judgement. For example, even if you have heard about, and perhaps even read about, the "Law of Attraction" Eckhart's teaching takes this one step further... and it all makes so much sense, and it goes well beyond that.

I am nearing the end of The Power of Now (for the second time), but this time grasping it in a most profound way. I have already purchased his book that these podcasts are directly referring to, A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life's Purpose, and it is awaiting me.

Anyway, my goal with this blog entry is just to pique your interest, and not explain it. Trust me, Eckhart does this a lot better than I ever could... at this point anyway. Give this podcast series a try. They're free on whatever format you can get podcasts on, and you don't need to have the book on hand to follow along; I didn't. And if you ever want to have a conversation with me about this when we cross paths, I would love that. In the meantime, happy cooking (of course), but more importantly, happy living.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Making Your Culinary Budget More Effective

          Economic focus is in the news more than ever these days, and everyone seems like they’re searching for ways to tighten their purse strings, especially at this time of the year when the Christmas credit card bills are rolling in... remember that 2 days ago was "Blue Monday? There are ways however, to expand your knowledge in the culinary world without affecting your personal/family grocery budget. Let’s face it, we all need to eat food to stay alive, and adding some variety to our home meals is a way to make “eating in” more exciting.
          How many times has the normal trip to the grocery supermarket resulted in bringing home the same old products that you always buy, for your never changing home menu? This can very easily be changed without any drastic affect on your monthly food budget. 
          Here’s what I challenge you to do: every week, two weeks, or month, I want you to buy just one product you would never normally buy. This could be a produce item, a spice, an herb, or something down the imported food aisle. Take your blinders off, step outside your habitual boundaries, and be receptive to all the wonderful products we have available at our finger tips. No matter where you live, shopping today has a greater abundance of selection than ever before.
          The other great resource we have access to, whether it’s at home, work or the local libraries, is the internet. This will allow you to answer questions about the certain product that you have purchased that you may know nothing about. What do I do with it? How do I prepare it? How is it normally served? How is it best stored?
          You and your family are going to be eating food anyway, and chances are you will continue to do so the rest of your life. What harm will it be then to spend, for example, two or three dollars per month on one product you normally wouldn’t purchase? Continue to do this for a year, while researching and educating yourself on each product and you will have expanded your culinary knowledge by twelve items. This will add variety to your home menu forever and at the same time build your culinary knowledge.
          Many cities/towns also have gourmet food stores. Make it a habit to talk to these people, tap into their expertise, and make your weekly/monthly one product purchase there instead of, or alternating with, your regular grocery store.
          If you have even more room in your monthly budget, take a cooking class once per month instead of dining out. I know my restaurant friends will dislike me saying so, but the return on your investment in a cooking class is far greater than just a full stomach from one “dining out” visit. As the old saying goes “give a person a fish and you will feed them for a day; teach them to fish and you feed them for life”.
          Until next time... Happy Cooking!