For the last few years I have been reflecting on the various things I have learned in and through the kitchen. With the health challenges I have been through in the last few months, I have made significant changes in how I think about food, plan menus, shop for ingredients, and cook. I also realized that I had some kitchen equipment, which needed to be replaced and that there were things I needed that we did not have. A series of events in my life and the lives of people I know led Zoe and I to buying a few new things for our kitchen from Pampered Chef. It is funny because Zoe, who never cooks, loves Pampered Chef products. I have always found it humorous that she who hates to cook, loves going to Pampered Chef parties.
What was different this time was that the Pampered Chef consultant did the party online and made it so much fun for us. Several times over the past few years, Zoe and I have thought about becoming consultants, however, my physical limitations made doing parties at other people’s homes impossible. The idea of doing this completely online sounded intriguing and so we agreed to give it a try. We have been learning about this and doing a few online parties to get us started. While we will do online, catalog, or cooking show parties for those who ask us, what we have decided we really wanted to do is focus on doing fundraisers with non-profit organizations. Doing so, is more in line with our commitment to being of service to the community. It is about our commitment to being present. In my journal last week, I wrote about the need not to run away from the world’s sorrows and problems, but to do what we can with what we have. It was inspired by a quote from Geri Larkin in The Still Point Dhammapada, who wrote:
Being upright means staying smack dab in the middle of what's going on. No running away. No pretending that the situation is any different than it is. It means breathing in and out and listening to our heart. And asking only one question: What can I do right this minute? Sometimes I think of it as "mountain and river" practice. Detroit is all too often a mountain of heartbreaks and a river of sorrows. All I can do is look for cracks where some help can be offered. Sometimes I can only witness. Some days I can only pick up garbage or make the first call to a shelter or delete the email and chant for the person who wrote it.
At this point in my life, my ability to physically go places and do things is challenging. However, each day I can offer to help an organization or group of people who are working to make a difference. I can work with them to help them raise funds for their organization. So with this new addition to our ministry, we are going to use this to contribute to the Gross National Happiness, knowing at the same time we are also contributing to the Gross Domestic Product.
If you are a part of an organization who might want to partner with us, please let us know. May we work with each other to fill the cracks and provide help for organizations seeking to make this a better place.