2015 has been a life-changing, life-shifting year for me. As I draw this year to a close, and open this new one, it has become a time for reflection for me. To ponder on the relevance of what truly, deeply matters in life.
My daughter, Erinn, wrote this incredible blog post yesterday. It is about her reflection on 2015 and it resonated so deeply for me. I’ve realized that without all of our ‘busyness’ over the past 6 years, we would never be able to relish and enjoy these newfound revelations about what is really important in our lives. We needed the hard lessons to be able to embrace the paths we are now on.
This month, we just finished celebrating our 3rd year of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and in May, it was our 5th anniversary of Lettuce Love Café (renamed from Kindfood), and both are going strong. I’m humbled with this greatness that these two businesses represent. Not only are they #1 and #2 ranked businesses in our city; they also represent a shift in our love for the planet (sustainable), to enjoy better health (plant-based) and our love of animals. We were brave enough to open a ‘vegan’ business in Downtown Burlington in 2010 (against all nay-sayers) and the rest, they say, is history.
I stumbled upon this image the other day (circa 2010)….
…and it sent a subtle shock wave through my soul. How cool is it that some things stick so strongly to your life like certain people, events, memories, life moments, quotes that speak directly to your heart and you carry them as talismans on your life’s path. Kindfood is this talisman for me.
Each time I look at this image, I am reminded of the journey that (Kindfood) Lettuce Love Café and Kelly’s Bake Shoppe has been on and the roller coaster adventure that we started back in the day when we were a grocery store, produce store, bakery, café, juice & smoothie bar too. It was 100% passion-driven and was founded to try make a difference on this planet and to share the love and enlighten souls. This was a mere 6 years ago…..
I remember waking up at 3am and slipping quietly out of bed to make soup and cupcakes and other delicious food and try to perfect other recipes too before anyone else came into Kindfood (I would have to do it at that hour to allow room for the café prep to start at 9am). I remember the times a bad Tripadvisor review would make me cry. I remember when I had bellyaches from testing and eating too much red velvet cupcake batter, baked brownies and frosting. I remember when we had our surfing video ‘on repeat’ for over 3 years (Kindfood and Lettuce Love days and we still loved it!). I remember when we renovated Kindfood for the 4th time to make room for more seating because we had run out of space, when our playlist included Smashing Pumpkins and Metallica, and when I had my first dance at Kelly’s Bake Shoppe to celebrate the completion of the ‘build-out’ the day before our Grand Opening in December 2012 (living on hyper energy as none of us had slept for the 4 prior days). I remember every beautiful memory and they are etched in my mind forever. I also realize too that for each and every one of us, who have been involved, at some point, over the past 6 years in our businesses, we all have our own significant memories, moments and lessons that shifted us.
My biggest lesson for 2015 has been to simply ‘let go’ and allow myself to be human: to feel, to love, to cry, to grieve, and to be upset, and be crazily happy at the same time. These years have changed us all forever. They have opened us, pushed us to grow, given us courage, and most of all, taught us to let go and love – love for ourselves and love for each other and love what we do. Empowering and supporting one another to be brave enough to do what is our deep inherent calling and JUMP IN – don’t hold back.
What I know for sure is that my calling is to find more ways to be of service and how am I going to give back even more. My deep soul-searching mission is within me now and I’m so very excited to explore and create whatever I can do to help heal the world.
So my message today is to LOVE – no matter what. Love propels you forward, and if you are not moving, you are dying. Love gives us courage, love saves people, love anyway, love just because, love what you do, love the people that surround you, love the food that surrounds you, love your home, love your body, love ourselves, love our neighbours. Find the courage to expose your true, authentic core and surround yourself with your happiness – whatever that may be.
And we, in the meantime, will continue to try to bring epicness to your lives, through food, through our cookbook, “Made With Love” and through our personal inspiration, and will continue to spread the message of the positively healing powers of our powerful minds and of good food and yes, always giving back to the planet.
At the end of the day, what really matters is if we loved enough and realize our lives are only all about love and what we can do for others.
I wish you all a wonderful 2016. Full of leaps and bounds towards your own individual greatness. Life is too short to not reach out, grab hold and really be deeply, ecstatically, passionate about what we do.
It’s time to jump in! Happy NEW Year to us all! With love,