It’s always nice when we are given the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on the world around us. Often times this comes when we break from our normal routines, a few days off from work, a planned get together with friends, coworkers, or family, or a vacation where you whisk yourself away to someplace new. For me it’s usually found through travelling, either looking out the windows of a steadily drudging train, or sailing through the sky and taking in the world by plane. Perhaps it’s the jet lag or the subluxation in my neck, but take me out of my everyday life and I definitely jump out of my normal cranial box and into a whirlwind of brain activity. I have in the past had a tendency to go a little “nuts” when enough of this isn’t happening and I crave an escape more often than my body, and my budget can physically handle it. Then again, I have never in the past felt as content in my life, and enjoyed it so thoroughly as I do now.
This week, I discovered yet ANOTHER way to bring about a change of perspective, and introduce new, positive thoughts to the everyday repertoire, thereby making life even better! Have visitors come to you!! It’s a brilliant concept, really.
I am the type of person who loves having company, I like hosting, sharing, playing tour guide, and making people get the most out of a relaxing get-away. When people come over to play, I think of fun little activities for us, based on who I am dealing with, because I want them to walk away better off, and more refreshed than when they came in the door.
I was ever so fortunate this week to have my dear friend, and former employer, (two words which I feel are not commonly used in the same sentence) Juliana Luna. Owner and operator of THE BEST (and no, I am not exaggerating) raw, vegan restaurant in Charlotte, NC. She found her way to our humble apartment abode here in Raleigh, despite the treacherous tropical storm-like downpour taking place outside. I ran out eagerly to greet her and help her in with her possessions –a duffle bag bigger than she is, a deliciously green drink (the Tree of Life juice) she brought for us, two bags of Hola Granola, a smashed up iPhone, her awesome backpack purse which I have envied for over a year now, and her computer. We dumped all of her stuff into the guest room, turned the sheets so she could crawl in at her leisure, and directed her to the important things: light switches, outlets, and hand soap.
It was 10:00pm when she at long last arrived, which goes against my laws and rules when it comes to how late one is supposed to eat dinner. But we stayed up enjoying and indulging in apple cider vinegar-drenched salads for hours, catching up on this and that, and listening intently to the amazing story of how she followed her passion and crashed through barriers in order to achieve her dream.
Juli is a one-woman one-der-woman. She came to America, from Columbia, to work in the hotel and hospitality industry. After studying at a school in Switzerland, she now gets to use her passion at work each and every day: Cooking and preparing WHOLE, NOURISHING, ENERGIZING FOOD for the community. Not only is the food edible and incredibly delicious, each and every plate is also a work of art. Juli is indeed an example of someone who is kicking obstacles to the wayside like a soccer ball. Everyone she comes in contact with, she treats fairly and truthfully. A true example to us all, she is an incredible individual who has a vision to see people healthy and happy in all aspects of their lives. I can honestly say I have not often met such a loving and generous being! She is lively, encouraging, energetic, absolutely brilliant, and a REAL person. I have had the opportunity to be her customer, prior to being her employee, and felt the way she just showers each and every person with affects on and ensures they have a unique experience. Through her leadership, the staff of Luna’s Living Kitchen has transformed the practice of going out to eat into an experience that appeals to the individual as a whole: body, mind, and soul. Anyone travelling to Charlotte would be missing out tremendously if they didn’t jump on the opportunity to dine at this fabulously rawking establishment.
Having Juli visit reminded me that if you stay focused on a vision and resist the urge to “jump ship” when hardships arrive, you can succeed. If you are thankful, open-minded and remain true to a purpose, you can succeed. Her presence carefully nudges me to consider what is it that makes me tick? That makes my heart beat faster.
Speaking of hearts beating faster, I forgot to mention the woman is a workout CRUSHER. She does these daily strongman exercises that would have the Hulk crying to his mommy. And then there was the time, she and I decided to run 11 miles one afternoon when neither of us had run in several months….I was begging for mercy at mile 3, but short-legged, Julia trudged onward! Whether your strides be long or short, you can cross the finish line if you make sure that each day you are living in accordance to your truth and always doing your best. Have I gushed enough? I had such a great time with my out-of-town guest and I wanted to use this opportunity to give her some praise, tell her how happy I am to have such a fabulous friend, and tell YOU to get your butt to Luna’s Living Kitchen if at all possible, where you too will be transformed and inspired!!