A Celebration of the Heart with a Gift from the Soul! – Guest Post from Johnny Tan
Some of us already realize this, and others will experience it for the first time: The kitchen will be the most important room in the house in the coming weeks.
Regardless of whether it is a modern-day designer’s kitchen or just one of the so-called “timeless” efficiency kitchens, it is time for it to claim center stage, as it will serve as the hub for the transformational loving energy that will bind families and friends alike during this holiday season.
Known as the heart and soul of any home, the kitchen is the place that will serve as a wonderful backdrop where you will always find an abundance of joy and laughter from family and friends reminiscing and sharing meaningful communication, from knowledge gained to lessons learned.
As you already know, you do not have to know how to cook to be drawn into the kitchen as your five senses will eventually draw you straight toward it once the mouth-watering aromas start to fill the air.
My late Southern Belle mom, Eleanora, once eloquently described to me that being in the kitchen is like being a mother; it is about creating something special. It requires patience, a happy attitude, and a touch of love. It is the perfect blending of all these ingredients that ultimately produces a signature dish.
Since we now live in a global village, with the lifestyle to match, where families can only get together during special occasions, the holiday seasons have become more meaningful than ever. Although there are many of us who are fortunate to have a family to spend the holidays with, there are those of us who are less fortunate due to various reasons. We are the ones that, over the years, are able to find home from within our own hearts. Then, there are those among us who are fortunate to have the opportunity to experience the family holiday spirit thanks to the generosity of our friends.
Whatever the situation may be for you, if we can all take a moment to be mindful, perhaps we can truly experience the true holiday spirit as it is meant to be experienced.
For mothers – They cannot wait to have the family back home together to break bread with.
For children – Believe it or not, your mom will always be more excited to see you than you are to see her.
For singles – For those who are fortunate to have the generosity of a friend’s invitation to be with their family, be very thankful for the love you are receiving.
For those who will be by themselves – Always remember that you are never alone. Home is where the heart is, and be very thankful that you have made it this far. Happiness and glee are always generated and experienced from within.
For the families who will be celebrating this holiday season together with their loved ones – I would like to share with you what my Cajun mom, Ginger, told me a long time ago: “The natural life can always be funny and humorous. The most ordinary events usually end up being the sweetest memories. Being present during the small moments will always make us appreciate the happiness when it happens.”
For the families and individuals who have graciously opened their hearts and homes, and to those who are contemplating doing so — I would like to share with you what my German mom, Dianne, told me a few years back: “Every once in a while, a situation may occur that requires us to radiate our energy of positive goodwill, compassion, and love for others. Until we try to put ourselves beyond our comfort zone, we will not realize we have what it takes to make a difference in that person’s life and in ours.”
For those of us who will be spending this holiday season by ourselves — I would like to share with you what my Malaysian mom, Nyah, told me just before I left home to come to the United States: “Since childhood, you have been and will continue to be exposed to all kinds of experiences. Some experiences, good or bad, will stay with you for the rest of your life. However, it is how you manage them that will ultimately determine your idea of success and happiness, or failure and sadness, in your life. Always remember you are never alone, and although food may fill your tummy and the camaraderie of friends gives you a sense of belonging, it is the loving energy you generate from within you that will nourish your mind, body, and soul. This spiritual grounding is what will ultimately touch the heart and move the soul of others.”
Finally, here is my wish to everyone during this holiday season:
Health – makes all things possible.
Wealth – makes all things work.
Love – makes all things beautiful.
May you have all three.
Author of From My Mama’s Kitchen™
“food for the soul, recipes for living”
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