One of the greatest pleasures and privileges in life is doing work that expresses our passion, talents and gifts. The most fortunate people on earth are those that, first of all, asked for their destiny calling to be revealed to them, and secondly, are able to work their unique calling.
This morning, I woke well before dawn in anticipation of making a spectacular breakfast for several guests who came to Adytum last night for Monday night football and then snowboarding today ~ guy’s night out, midweek. Donn and I have 5 sons/sons in law. Feeding them is so incredibly gratifying because they are so grateful. Even though several are phenomenal cooks themselves, you’d think they hadn’t eaten a decent meal in months. There are abundant compliments, lots of appreciative noises and of course no leftovers. They have proved to be part of the training for my destiny calling, teaching me to love waking early to make breakfast, and now for Adytum guests. It gives me tremendous satisfaction and pleasure to create abundant, healthy meals for others!
When my kids were growing up, we took a family vacation to the Paul Bunyan territory of Northern California. The breakfast we enjoyed, lumberjack style seated at long picnic tables, was enormous. I realized then that starting the day with seriously substantial food was something worth learning to cultivate. Now I know that healthy foods set the blood sugar regulation for the day and start the calories burning.
Even on days when we use Medical Foods Protein Shakes, or if guests request them, they are packed with extras like ground flaxseeds, brewer’s yeast, green drink powder, fiber powder and are blended with banana and frozen blueberries. We’ve been using them for 16 years now and the anti- aging effects of these lifestyle choices are remarkable; definitely worth cultivating as a lifestyle…We have insurance and we never use it. Our blood pressure is that of a 10 year old. We take no prescription medicines. Our blood sugar level is great. We enjoy great health because we purposefully pursue it in our choices.
Taking responsibility for the foods that others eat has always been a weighty responsibility for me, one that I take seriously. The goodness of the Adytum table, the healthy dishes full of freshness and purity are the foundation of meals here. Creating tantalizing combinations of flavors, textures and giving the eye a visual feast is where great meals begin.
Having been trained as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, as a healer on natural levels, means that my food or healing therapies should first “do no harm”. I can’t imagine sacrificing the momentary pleasure of a high sugar, high fat meal just to please the uneducated palette of some, to knowing I have just inflicted harm on health. My conscience is clear that the foods guests and family are presented with are nourishing, healthful, beautiful and delicious. The food has integrity and it is cooked, as my East Indian son in law would say, with “the scent of the hands”- which is love.
In 1666, there was a monk named Brother Lawrence working the kitchens in the monastery. He became famous for one thing: practicing the presence of God while he worked among the pots and pans, chopping and preparing food. He didn’t divide his life up into worship and prayer times segmented into different scenarios. For Brother Lawrence, it was all work, all prayer, all worship and usually all at once.
In the early predawn hour when I am working in the Adytum kitchen, trying hard to be quiet so guests can sleep, I too am practicing the presence of God. I am praying over the days’ plans for those I am cooking for, asking for guidance, blessing and protection for them. I set the atmosphere in the house with softly spoken words asking for peace, love, joy, harmony and connecting at deep levels. And of course, the food is prayed over before it is set at the main table or carried up to their suites.
The fruit of all the extra steps that go into meals at Adytum is well worth every bit of effort and extra focus that it takes to create it. The results of consciously setting the atmosphere here is interesting…even the young adults who are usually set on “getting out there” to the mountain or the lake are always reluctant to leave. “It’s so relaxing; it’s hard to leave…” I hear this often. And often I watch their plans abandoned to simply following their heart’s desire to stay here for the day to relax, use the hot tub or saunas, to read, to rest…some choose to stay on another day and those who don’t always say they wish they had planned another day at Adytum.
Adytum is sacred space and I do my sacred work here. I love the expression of my destiny calling: caring for others with love, integrity and creating space for healing on deep levels that go far beyond the body’s needs. The impact of the natural beauty all around, the 75 windows making it hard to define the line of inside/outside, the soft music inside, the water and bird music filling the air outside…the fresh, clean air and territorial views…the enormous sky filled with brilliant sunshine, misty clouds or star shine…Adytum meets deep needs in the human heart, mind and spirit.
To be able to do the work I love, that gives me such a sense of living a fulfilling life, is a rare privilege. To be able to combine it with writing and working with my soulmate at our Optometry clinic, offering Nutritional Therapy to those there…well, let’s just say it’s all a dream come true and the Castle Adytum is part of the fairytale of my life that I’m so happy to share with all who come to this magical destination…exalted space.
Donn and Katherine Carroll
This blogger is creating a short film on food preparation and had some very asute observations on “Masaru Emoto’s intention water experiment in mind (sending ‘love’ produced beautiful crystals, ‘hate’ jagged ugly ones…” I have that book in my library. He brought in the flipside- from abused farm labor to mass marketing those “ill intentioned” foods. Interesting considerations….