Serving Love

Do you believe food has energy? Do you believe your kitchen has energy? Well, some believe the kitchen is the most sacred room in the house.

The kitchen stands as a conductor, orchestrating the harmony of daily life. It is so much more than a space where we throw a meal together. It is the heart of the home, where family and friends bond and memories are created. In every home I hear people say the same thing: “Everyone congregates in the kitchen.” It is a soulful place, and it can offer a soulful experience.

I recently took my first ever cooking class at the age of sixty. It was pure magic. I learned so much. I am not talking about knife skills, although knife skills are important. I am speaking of balance, spices, warming and cooling foods, energy, and gratitude.

Many times, I have gone into the kitchen in a rush, angry, frustrated, sad, moody, and ungrateful. I was told in my cooking class we should avoid the kitchen when we are in these states. Wild, right? We wonder why so many people suffer with gut issues, ulcers, gas, acid reflex, heartburn, or no appetite at all. According to my amazing teacher, it is because of our energy.

The experience I had during my three-hour class was wonderful. We laughed, we shared, and I learned about the magic of food and its purpose for nourishment and feeding the soul.

Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked bread or the sizzle of spices in a pan? It is comforting and gives us an instant warm feeling. I have always fancied myself a foodie, but this class was on a whole other level. There is something quite meditative about preparing food, smelling the aromas, and hearing the chopping. It is our own food sound bath of healing. Can you tell I was totally immersed?

The kitchen is a canvas for creativity, and I can become a kid again in a playground with lots of toys and flavors! I truly feel like I have missed out on a huge part of life. Worse, I feel like I have been starving for way too long. This is part of my healing practice and the journey of giving myself sustenance and love: I am going after what I crave most, the flavors I desire and crave. Taking the time to feed my soul is a healing experience.

From experimenting with new recipes to improvising with flavors and ingredients on hand, the kitchen is a space that encourages innovation and mistakes all at once. There was a time when I was intimidated by the kitchen. I felt lost and unsure of what to do in the kitchen. I was also working a lot and did not have much patience.

Plus, as a child, I was almost never invited into the kitchen by any of the adults in my life. I was always envious of my friends who were allowed to bake and cook with their moms.

What a hub for all social interaction! I am laughing to myself right now because my daughter lives with me, and we always reconnect in the kitchen or at the dining table.

Food is meant for nourishment, not just for the body but for the spirit as well. Lots of traditions happen in the kitchen. I have fond memories of when my kids were little and I would shop for our Friday night Shabbat dinners. We would light the candles and discuss the week. Of course, it was always fun going to different friends’ homes for Shabbat.

If you have never done this, maybe take time to bless your kitchen, send it love, organize it, clean out the fridge, get rid of what is not serving you, check expiration dates, wipe down shelves, and make yourself a beautiful cup of tea while you honor the most sacred space in your home. It is more than just a room; it is where love is stirred into every dish. So take a moment of gratitude and remember that this is the heartbeat of the home.

Before you sit down for your next meal, consider saying grace or a prayer of gratitude. We really do have so much to be grateful for. Light some candles, maybe put out a small plate of food as an offering to our beautiful earth, and most importantly, go into the kitchen with love in your heart and relax and enjoy the process of creative nourishment for your soul!

My prayer: “Om yum.”

Deborah Driggs

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