By Rachael J Avery
The Story of a Culinary Spiritual Awakening
Ten years ago I awakened to a personal transformation tool that completely sculpted my life. In 2008 I was 60 pounds overweight, had a negative bank account, a foreclosure on my home, an abusive relationship that defined me, had just received my second job layoff, and a severe depression episode laid me out on the couch for three months straight. Hope had officially left the building.
I felt defeated, and I began the process of taking my own life. As my soul began to leave my body, a powerful inner voice I’d never heard before said, with thunder, “Get up! Get up! Get up! I am not done with you yet.”
Hearing that higher inner voice for the first time terrified me. I crawled up the wall with my back, bandaging my own wounds, and began stumbling down the hall.
“Where do you want me to go?” I screamed from the pit of my stomach. “I have nowhere to go and nothing to live for!”
Before I became anymore confused, the once-forceful higher voice fell soft and gentle. I found my two feet planted in my kitchen. Before I could even ask what I was doing here—I had a near-empty pantry and fridge, and I was almost empty of life myself—that now-gentle voice sighed and simply whispered in my ear, “I want you to create something from nothing my dear.”
I didn’t have the energy to agree or disagree. I found myself grabbing a pan and cooking on pure faith, not even having the energy to wonder what it was I was making. What came of my culinary spiritual awakening was a vegetarian Mexican casserole dish that I have not been able to repeat to this day. I had never created something so beautiful, nourishing, and authentic from so few resources! This heightened level of creativity, talent, and power could not be explained, but it has grown exponentially along with me in the kitchen ever since.
Putting off major life changes can be easy. Excuses prevail as to why we aren’t juicing kale every day, prioritizing dance lessons over watching another episode of Dancing With the Stars, finding or pursuing that red-hot purpose beckoning to us. Life’s distractions and our internal reasons to put life on hold can make us feel all too human at times. However, hope is just around the corner. As a matter of fact, it’s just down the hallway.
Indeed, personal transformation is no further than your kitchen. Cooking is the most accessible, affordable, right-underneath-your-nose tool for empowering a life shift. How awesome is that?
Simply tuning into the frequency and intent of cooking, while knowing that it is a self-learning platform, is all you need to convert your kitchen into an episode worthy of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.
Next time you hop in your kitchen, consider being an open channel to absorb five life lessons from cooking. They will give you access to your “easy button” for personal transformation and make your next meal time a “heal time” for your soul.
Five Life Lessons from Cooking
- Forgiveness. Celebrate your next mistake in the kitchen! When you burn that garlic gluten-free bread with Earth Balance butter say, “Who wants Cajun croutons? They’re as perfect as I am.” Practicing the art of forgiveness in the kitchen and celebrating mistakes rids your life of guilt and shame.
- Creativity. Try new things! See ingredients you already have with multiple purposes. Can you use a collard green leaf as a tortilla? Consider using your favorite organic jam as a sweetener for your own oil and vinegar dressing. Cook with the colors of the chakras in mind to keep those energy centers balanced. When we see what we have in a new light, with creativity, our resources expand exponentially.
- Get Grateful. Do you really think the five-year-old, hard-as-a-rock garlic powder lingering in the corner of your spice pantry is really good? Clear the energy and increase vibrational flow by releasing what you no longer use. You can do this each time you cook. As you gain clarity and see what you have, you become grateful.
- Play. Is there a reason why you’re uptight in the kitchen? Release your clenched buttocks long enough to play some music, light a candle, and practice some of those Dancing With the Stars moves. Try singing “Cook-aroke” to spice up the atmosphere. Use playfulness to overcome the I’m-tired-don’t-feel-like-cooking bad mood blues.
- 5. Empty Yourself. Empty your head and your heart before walking into the kitchen. Ask your guides to help empty limiting dinner beliefs that influence what type of cook you are, what you are capable or not capable of doing, or that you don’t know what you’re doing. When you empty yourself, you leave space for your Higher Inner Chef to come in and take over and make you the most brilliant cook ever!
It was cooking for personal transformation that turned the worst day of my life into my sprout of personal power. I never meant for a vegetarian Mexican casserole to be a part of my soul’s purpose, but we all get our callings in different ways.
Only months after beginning to build my intuitive culinary confidence and starting to cook differently on that drizzly day in 2008, I miraculously allowed forgiveness to flow into my heart. And with forgiveness, I began the journey of blessing and releasing 60 pounds from my physical body.
I used creativity to see my world differently and, as a result, I was able to leave an abusive relationship that spanned 13 years.
I became grateful by seeing my resources as abundant instead of seeing myself as a victim, and I started my own business.
I used my playful spirit to find my own true joy, and I was able to get off depression medications.
I fearlessly emptied my mind and started taking orders from my Higher Inner Chef to find peace.
Cooking for personal transformation isn’t only focused on what you eat, it’s also exploring how much you’re willing to learn about yourself in a small, accessible, affordable space like your kitchen—whether you want to shift your life, remove road blocks, or just get happy. So next time you find your feet planted in the kitchen looking for a snack, remember that a bite-size opportunity for personal transformation is waiting to be served up.
Like spices, a little introspection goes along way.
May every meal time be super soul healing time.
Keep on cooking in the kitchen. Together we transform.
Rachael J Avery teaches monthly intuitive cooking classes for adults, sings with kids during their cooking class, and is a Certified Food & Spirit Practitioner using Chakra Food Healing to help others find their inner yumminess. She lives in Tampa, FL, absorbing an abundant life bobbing in the pool eating homemade organic gluten-free sweet potato burgers with vegan BBQ sauce at noon on Tuesday, while flirting with Hibiscus flowers. Visit www.thegratefulpantry.com.
Rachel J. Livoni was raised in a small wagon wheel town just outside of Yosemite, CA where she hosted her own outdoor cooking show to pine trees, squirrels, and deer by the age of 5. She was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness by an inventive entrepreneurial father and devoted religious mother. Rachel started journaling at a young age and won many prestigious writing contests and awards as a child. She received public recognition and was awarded a cash prize for her first motivational self-help essay at the age of 13. She now lives in Oakland, CA with her family as a freelance writer and vegan chef.