What Are You Grateful For?

Recently I spent some sunny time in Los Angeles and visited a destination in Venice Beach that I have longed to eat at for years. I had subscribed to Cafe Gratitude's e-newsletters several years ago, hooked by their unique branding of menu titles for their entrees: I Am Beautiful, I Am Healthy, I Am Radiant...The dish I am holding here was the I Am Whole macrobiotic bowl, artfully filled with a composition of sea vegetables, summer squash, adzuki beans, sautéed kale, house-made kim chee, seaweed, and a black sesame seed gomasio, all over a bed of quinoa (I opted for this instead of brown rice) and drizzled with garlic-tahini sauce. Ummmmm....wow. Wow! And to take it to an even higher level, I added avocado. Holy abundance!

I felt so good after eating this meal! It was so beautiful and so delicately balanced and sumptous that every bite was a full experience in iteself. Giddy and well-nourished, I had my girlfriend Erica snap a photo of me cradling the vessel that carried all that goodness to me.

At the bottom of each serving dish at Cafe Gratitude (as you can see, I didn't like it at all....te-hee!...You can see the scrape marks from my fork, gathering every last morsel!) are the words, "What are you grateful for?"

I often offer a prayerful reflection before a meal, but this prompted me to offer the same type of intention after the meal, which often, I don't do. It has become a gesture to integrate, to mindfully carry with me into my daily life, daily meals, daily domestic tendings. In pausing to reflect and give thanks for what I am about to receive, and for what just happened and the bounty I just received...this keeps a sense of fluid continuity, a cyclical wrapping around of Gratitude into all waking moments. Truly, it is a way to live in presence.

Today, right now, for this awareness: for the gift of conscious reflection, I am Grateful.

What are you Grateful for?


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