A few years back a very dear and significant uncle of mine passed away. Uncle Billy or “Wild Bill” was my rock n roll guru and hero. So much of my current appreciation of music that stemmed from the golden days of rock came from his humble rock n roll tutelage. To me Uncle Bill was a quintessential icon of a 60/70s rock musician. I remember so many times sneaking into his stored collections stashed in my grandmother’s L.A. basement den. I would put on an original Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath album and rifle thru his other vintage albums, assorted, umm, summer of love paraphernalia and handdrawn old band flyers. As I was born in the summer of love ’67, I often would feel a tad melancholy that I missed the time I was most likely a natural fit for. Viewing his old stuff reminded me of this and still I was sure he was someone I wanted to be just like in my time. He was one of the coolest dudes I knew, and the fact that he, along with my dad, always encouraged me musically and always expressed his awe at my playing was such an important support and inspiration in a very turbulent time of my life. As he approached his conclusion from brain cancer, he had a brief moment of remission where he had enough strength for the family to fly in and gather for one last recorded Jam session. Billy conjured up the strength to tear up the lead guitar and even belt out a few blues harmonica solos. He passed a short time after, and it was like a giant cosmic vacuum sucked the soul out of everyone who loved Billy and replaced the void in our hearts with dense grief and loss. His life was, and still is, so meaningful to many of us in so many different ways.
My personal process for loss and grief is to go deep and internal, hide out with a pen and guitar and ask spirit to help me transmute this crushing emotion into something tangible and usable. During this process of my internal reflection from Billy’s passing, I took myself away into the wilderness, camping in the back of my truck somewhere near Telluride, Colorado. As I sat mid-mountain nurturing and licking my heart wounds, a butterfly fluttered down on my arm. It seemed to stay there comfortably and quite purposefully for quite some time, doing what butterflies do when temporarily landed, meditatively moving the wings back and forth ever so slowly like some kundalini heart opening asana. In the length of that spell I just stared at this little being, it seemed to be the voice of spirit that chose to download to me several gifts of songs that eased my pain. One of which called itself “Nagual”. Nagual has several notable definitions that supported the content and lyrics that came thru. One Mesoamerican folk story is that the Nagual are the magical animal shape shifters, Masters of Meta-morphing. In traditional Toltec tales as shared in Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements,” the Nagual is the light and space between the stars. This expansive contemplation of vastness of space harbors our highest nature of sprawling love, light and change into our higher selves. The butterfly started me on the process of the songs incarnation by sharing with me that the metamorphosis that occurs from caterpillar thru cocoon to spectacular colorful winged being is terribly painful, frightening and rides the razor’s edge of death itself. It seems that what I garnered from this interaction was that in our sometimes hermetically sealed, Disneyland safe mentality of society, we sometimes forget or dismiss that most, or arguably all, beautiful things in our world come from chaos or painful and challenging journeys. With that epiphany ingrained, the rest of the song wrote itself. *
I suppose the reason and relevance of this share is so present for me now, here at the stark center of winter’s bitter coldness, and right as we approach the New Year just a touch past the winter solstice, may need some explaining. This aside from the obvious insinuations of personal transformation and change wishing that permeates most folks New Year’s resolutions. Or even the age-old significance and implications of the transformational swing of dark to light post solstice. No, this year there is a much more personal and emotional connection to metamorphosis for me.
As some of you may have heard or read in a recent True Nature newsletter, we have decided to significantly pair down our True Nature Kitchen offerings to now focus on a few products that are gaining extraordinary momentum. To the four of us as partners, this was a difficult and bittersweet decision for us. In the now approaching 2 years of TNK life, our team created and produced what we honestly believe are some of the best High Prana Living Foods and Juices available. We boldly chased down numerous opportunities and creative directions. We went to great lengths to create an ascension-based company built around the importance of wellness, reciprocity and balance for all of our stakeholders. However we all came to an important and self-honoring decision that our energy, efforts and resources are being spread too thin for our own good as a company, and equally for each of our own health and peace of mind.
Deep passion and connection to manifestation momentum is a curious thing. When I contemplate this, I often conjure up the image in my mind of me acting as the sorcerer’s apprentice Mickey Mouse in the 1940 film Fantasia. His excited and passionate dance with the wizard’s magic cap, incarnates and animates the diligent working brooms with buckets of water that appears to be a hoot and a scream to Mickey until the brooms and the water multiply exponentially and get completely out of hand. The four of us (Eaden, Deva, Pam and myself) seem to have similar attributes when we combine our powerful intentions. An alchemical and ambiance Midas touch for creating and exponentially incarnating high prana magic and engaging settings for our communities. Often stemming from multiple requests for items that will support living food and spiritual based personal growth. It can be so hard to say no when people are diligently and earnestly seeking wellness, and when your gifts support their growth. And yet at some point, our amazing creations, like Mickey’s buckets take over, and keeping up becomes impossible and overwhelming. We all took the High Prana food creation so seriously that we became a non-stop Raw-Vegan- Living Food- Wonka Factory. Unfortunately the demand for products and the energy to keep up started turning the four of us in to more of the jaundiced looking orange-faced oompa loompa minions, rather than the calm creative genius of Willy Wonka.
Oompa loompa doompety da
If you’re in balance you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the -Oompa Loompa Doompety do
I remember once hearing Don Henley from the Eagles associating the band’s creative, explosive success and the strains and pressures that came with it as the beast. He solemnly shared once referring to their huge breakup after the long run they had, “We created a beast, and then, it ate us.” It took years for them to even step into a room together, however when they did what a transformation! For me it’s still one of the best and most emotional musical metamorphosis I have ever been blessed to witness. And for True Nature Kitchen the four of us firmly believe this journey will lead to a similar accelerated transformation thru conscious metamorphosis.
The even deeper heart sadness and discomfort that this transformation has currently necessitated was having to lay-off some of our dear kitchen folks. With the substantially decreased production comes far less hours and need for all of our staff at the moment. This has been particularly emotional for me. Within our True Nature Kitchen vision and the intentions we wove into its inception, we are blessed to magnetize and attract extraordinary beings that align to our dream and to spend their time with us. No one in the kitchen ever shares that this is a just a job. More that it is an orientation to a belief and a culture that we have created, and a reciprocity exchange of connection to their own individual expansion. In the 35 plus years in my career and several decades of leadership and business building, I take nothing more seriously than the human investment, development and love I have for each of my folks as a committed leader. They bless us with their time and belief and we owe them all that we are for this. Sometimes that comes in the form of candor and uncomfortable truth and action. In the sadness of having to surrender or back burner some of the extraordinary foods and beverages that we have created, none compares to the anguish felt in displacing a person from a position they adore. As our leadership team shared this information with each person individually, each person reflected understanding and love for this vision, and the knowing that this was the right choice for the kitchen’s sustainability. Once again illuminating to us the extraordinary integrity of people we attract by loving this thing so much. We feel that this difficult decision in the moment is going to ground us and make us even stronger and more re-generative as a company and ultimately provide us with the opportunity to invite some folks back. Already as we have fine-tuned our focus and commitment to our strong products’ production, and consequently our reach and visibility has now extended well into the Colorado Front Range. For us, it is the validating witnessing of the first tips of our evolving wings emerging from the challenging incubation of our kitchen’s chrysalis state.
Just like any substantial metamorphosis in our world, comes the requirements of trust and surrender it compels for getting there. Of passing thru and grounding in gratitude, each step of the holy fire tempers us and readies us for the next evolution of what we came to become. The caterpillar likely has no idea the journey it will undertake during the viscous dissolving of everything it knows, yet, must exhibit divine trust that the new incarnation will be extraordinary and spectacular, and more importantly that there is only the choice to evolve. In this our current cultural paradigm, where things feel chaotic and unsettled, scary and unsure, may we all choose to enroll divine gratitude for all the journeys, challenges and people whom got us where we are today. May we surrender fear of the unknown, and trust that the new version of our world and our illuminated selves will exceed anything we are capable of imagining. For despite the discomfort of change, metamorphosis and evolution is amongst the greatest jewels of this existence. Blessings to all, and a blissful expansive and joy-filled New Year.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
David Starbear / Chef Pam and the True Nature Tribe