is something i've been cooking up for the last 10 years through my work in community, food security, systems change and social innovation, and my own very personal inquiry into health, spirituality and personal sustainability. together, these inquiries and experiences evolved into the Conscious Kitchen, a set of practices and conversations, ways of being together in action and reflection that weave together awareness, wisdom and actions to nourish and/or fundamentally shift the way we integrate our inner and outer lives. 

it is one of the practices and approaches that i bring to my work with individuals and organizations who seek support and inspiration to evolve and move through life-cycles and moments of transition.

cultivating a conscious culture of nourishment
From seed to table, into our stomachs and back to the land, the conscious kitchen explores this cycle of nourishment. it is an intentional exploration of our relationship to what and how we eat, how we become conscious of - and move in tandem with - the natural cycles and seasons of life, and how we integrate conscious practice into every element of our lives, our organization's operations or our systemic work.

why is this important?
our lives and the world around us are becoming increasingly complex and chaotic.  individuals and communities are looking for ways of creating coherence and of being coherent in turbulent times.  we thirst for stillness, for time ~ to contemplate, digest, to let go of old ideas or identities that are no longer serving us.  we seek meaning, belonging, connection to self, to others, to the earth, to the greater mysteries and wisdom.  we hunger to nourish our souls and belong to community in meaningful ways. ... 

it is hard not to notice the increase in literacy and interest in practices that connect our self to our inner lives so that we can contribute to or simply cope with the external environment. the number of yoga studios, zen centres, personal or team retreats, life coaching, spiritual and reflective practices, writing your story.  the trend in "buying local," community supported agriculture, markets, crafts, artisanal.  the significance of local movements like the Transition Towns which bring people together to be local and begin to practice life as if oil and petrol were no longer available.  how can we be resourceful with what we have and live with the wealth of our local people, places and rituals?

these initiatives are responses to a desire to live in closer connection, communion. a call to sustain and be sustained... "how can we speak about the sustainability without talking about the Sustainer," asks sufi llewwellyn vaughan lee....

being in inquiry with self and others around meaningful questions of sustaining and sustainability are core to creating lives, organizations and communities that are filled with Life and life-giving. this means paying attention, being conscious and resourceful, and accessing the many intelligences available to us:  our body, intuition, the earth, plant spirits, Source, our ancestors, the Divine, creator.  essential to this is the practice of reciprocity in how we give and receive life and moving through and honouring the continuous cycles of living and dying and transformation... as personal, collective and political, systemic practices.  

understanding and working with food, life-cycles and nourishment are powerful elements and beautiful metaphors that invite us to cultivate consciousness and to live our practices. they are powerful entry points to being connected, coherent, and grounded to move through deeper transitions and evolution.

the Conscious Kitchen 
works at many levels and is an entry into new conversations, awareness and practices that align our inner and outer lives and bring people together in deeply meaningful ways.

we ask some very simple questions to become conscious of how our everyday ordinary actions both affect and can transform our inner life and our external environments.
  • where does my food come from?
  • how do I prepare my food?
  • how much waste do I create?
  • is the way I eat sustainable for my body and for the earth? 
  • what does nourishment mean to me, my family, my community, the planet?

in so doing we explore cooking & preparation, nutritional content, beauty and aesthetics, rhythms of the seasons, relationships with farmers and producers, the vibrations and energetics in our food, our waste, to the magic of silence and conversation, our cultures and rituals of blessing and thanks.

and then translate the "i" to the "we" to look at the collective, systemic, the roots.
  • it is a very personal practice, for oneself and to share with others in our most intimate settings.
  • it is a work practice ~ no matter what our "profession", the conscious kitchen brings new levels of awareness to how we work and live with others and on the planet.
  • it is a systemic practice of looking at the cycles and systems within our communities, our food, financial, political systems ~ and bringing positive, life-giving change to them.
  • it is a practice of awareness and consciousness, a way of paying attention to, and deepening, our relationships ~ with our food and everything that makes food possible:

 it is also a spiritual and wonderment practice.

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