I used to spend a lot of time meditating, sitting in bliss. Peace was just
a moment away, with a gentle turning inward—it was there waiting
to sweep me up into sublime quietude. I was single and living on a
tropical island in Southeast Asia with almost no responsibilities other
than occasionally teaching yoga on the beach.
Eight years later, I now find myself living in Los Angeles, a married
mother of toddler twin boys, with a restaurant to run. Even a few hours
of uninterrupted sleep seem years away. Stability and balance appear
impossible and responsibilities are chafing at the bit to run roughshod
through my life. I am so often overcome with gratitude for my chaotic
and challenging life that I find myself smiling, crying, and immeasurably
thankful. Each day, I look for the grace to see the blessings I have
received and to understand that the challenges are exactly the conditions
I need to evolve into my higher spiritual self. I then realize how grateful
I am that the burden is not heavier and that it comes tied to so much
Running a restaurant may be one of the hardest jobs, but I believe that
my husband Matt and I have truly made a difference in our community;
Rawvolution has been part of something grand and special. Despite years
of hard work, an abundance of success, and tons of good will, we almost
lost the restaurant this year due to financial challenges that seemed too
hard to bear. We made peace with the fear and the grief associated with
the potential loss and kept going, kept working, kept motivating, kept
believing. Today, we find ourselves still in business, hopefully having
weathered the worst of the storm. With new understanding and a dose
of humility, we are rebuilding, better and stronger.
In the spirit of gratitude this season, I'd like to share these recipes that
are some of my favorites to bring to a holiday gathering. And when I
say grace over my family’s Thanksgiving meal this month, it will sound
something like this:
Thank you for the love and the blessings I have been
showered with daily.
Thank you for the ability to find the joy in times that
require great heart.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve again and again.
Thank you for the chance to be my highest self.
Thank you for my loving family
Thank you for the gentleness of Your teachings.
Thank you for Your faith in my steadfastness and worth.
Thank you for my faith.
BY JANABAI OWENS-AMSDEN
PHOTOS BY ANDREA GOMEZ-ROMERO