I try to live my life as positively as I can, and in essence, the only real way to truly do that is to let go of your ego. I won’t go into a whole psycho-babble explanation of it all, but if you think about what decisions we all make that are ego based, you will understand what I mean. And therein lies the paradox that is my life.
I am a chef, and my ego will tell you that I am a damned good one. I graduated from the world’s most prestigious culinary school, with high honors and I was on the dean’s list for every semester of my time there. In my first term, I was approached by the school to be a tutor, the only person in the school’s then 50 year history to ever be asked to tutor, and ever to get a perfect score in all of their classes.
My certificate of graduation has two gold embossed emblems declaring my perfection, and no one else in my graduating class had that distinction, nor did anyone else in that 25 years prior. After graduating, that certificate opened many doors for me, getting me interviews with some of the world’s richest and most powerful people, and with me in a position to refuse. I had people courting me to work for them, some literally begging after I did my test meal.
I eventually took a job that suited me, and everyone loved my food and sang my praises, and if anyone’s plate came back with anything left back, I would wonder what I did that was wrong, or maybe they had no “taste” and could not appreciate good food. I was working from a place of ego.
Then, a few years after graduating, I was somewhere that a person spoke about working from a place of intention rather than from ego, to perform any task you do in life rather than from a place of personal outcome and gratification, but from a place of spirit, and to do it so it can benefit others. That struck a major cord in me, and from that day on, with every meal I made, I made it not with the intention of getting accolades, but from a place where my intention was to bring joy to whom ever ate my food. And I realized that it was not me that was doing this, but that I was just a channel for the powers of the universe and spirit to work their wonders on the food. When I plated the food from a place without ego, rather than from a place that the food display would bring me accolades, the food seems to glow. When the food hits the table and I hear people’s reactions and that they are first being fed with their eyes, I thank the universe for allowing me to be a channel to bring joy to people for that brief moment.
One Thanksgiving after I started to adopt this way of thinking and being, I made a very large and elaborate dinner and at the end I was called into the dinning room where everyone applauded and expressed their accolades. Everyone expounded on how wonderful the food tasted, but one person said to me that after they ate my food, they were happy, and I knew from that one statement, not the applause and accolades, that I had done my job. The universe used me to channel into and improve my abilities to make at least one person genuinely happy for a brief moment in time.
Now when a plate comes back with food left on it, I no longer have my ego bruised. As a matter of fact, I no longer even look at the plates to see what comes back. I have learned to let go. When I taste my food, and the flavors hit my taste buds, and I say “Damn! That’s good!”, I say it knowing that It was created with divine guidance and that exclamation is to say to the universe, “Wow universe, you did a great job”.
Occasionally ego will jump in. I am human. And in those instances where ego steps in, where I am doing a large private dinner party, my food is no where as good as when I let spirit work with the intention to bring joy, rather than the intention to impress. Now, before I cook any meal, I say a silent “prayer” to the universe and ask for its guidance, that what I cook this day will, for a brief moment, bring joy to all that eat it, and especially to those that need it.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US, and if you are cooking, I ask you to try it. Cook that meal not from a place of ego, desiring praise for the self, but from a place of spirit, with the intention to bring joy, through the help and guidance of the universe, to those that eat your cooking, and especially those that need it.
If you do it, please let me know how it goes. Just remember, that when you hear the praises for the food, it is not you receiving the praise, but the universe, your guides. You are just a channel. Detach.