My own “Eat, Pray, Love”

My hectic schedule as business owner, chef, wife, and mother keeps my plate full of countless joys and challenges every day.  There is only so much yoga, meditation, and exercise that a girl can do to stay balanced.

At least one time a year, I make a commitment to take a spiritual journey to relax, reflect, rejuvenate, and stir my soul.  While sometimes this might be for several days somewhere not too far away, other times it can be a major trek.  These spiritual journeys are primarily taken solo or with a very close friend, so that I have to opportunity to go inward.

I have always been drawn to travel east, and through these trips, I have brought the influences of both food and design back with me for my stores and home.  My most recent trip was to Bali, and it was much like the book and movie “Eat, Pray, Love” only that I was eating my way through Bali, praying that I would get to come back again, and loving every minute of it!

Bali has a nurturing feeling for me each time I visit the island.  In the same moment, it is luxurious and raw, decadent and simple, inspiring and quiet, as well as healing and awakening.  It’s lush rice terraces, rugged coast lines, sandy beaches, and deeply spiritual culture is paradise on earth. 

Once I get away and take the time to unwind and breathe, my senses are inspired with fresh ideas and interpretations of what I experienced.  My staff and family know that many new recipes, drinks, and gift items will be unpacked with my arrival home. 

One such inspiration has lead to the launch of our new Goddess Granola.  Packed with all-natural dried strawberries and dried organic pineapple, apricots, and cranberries, this crunchy granola is delicious for breakfast, as a snack, or a travel companion.  It is available in both of our stores on 3/18 and our online store on 3/25.

My trip was planned around the holiday, Nyepi, which is the Balinese New Year.  This is very different than a Westerner’s New Year.  The New Year in Bali is observed as a day of silence.  From a religious and philosophical point of view, the Balinese New Year is meant to be a day of self-introspection to decide on values of humanity, love, patience and kindness that should be kept forever.

Four days of preparation, ritual and celebration take place in every village throughout the entire island. 

The first day includes bathing rituals with the deities from village temples being taken to the river or the sea in long and colorful ceremonies.  They are bathed and then taken back to their shrines.  This signifies the purification of the soul and the ability to embrace the New Year with a pure heart. 

The second day is the evening parade of Ogoh-ogoh’s, which are depictions of monsters or evil spirits made of bamboo.  In a carnival atmosphere the Ogoh-ogoh’s, torches and music create a parade through the streets.  At the finale, these evil spirits are burned signifying the release of evil spirits out of everyday human life.

The third day is Nyepi, a day of silence to make and keep the balance of nature.  Every street is quiet.  No one is to leave their home.  All televisions and radios are shut down.  Light is limited to candles only.  Security guards monitor each village.  The whole day is simply filled with the sounds of nature and the barks of a few dogs.

On the fourth day, everyone emerges from their homes to visit their friends and relatives.  They share meals and rejoice in the New Year together.

As fate would have it, on my trip home, I was fortunate to have missed the natural disasters that struck Japan by hours.  This tragedy reinforces that we must strive to enjoy and fulfill ourselves by creating healthy environments and loving relationships throughout our daily lives. 

The biggest gift that this journey offered me was the Balinese New Year.  It has opened my heart and given me a greater compassion for all beings everywhere.

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About Extraordinary Desserts

Over 20 years ago, Karen Krasne opened the first Extraordinary Desserts at 2929 5th Avenue near San Diego’s Balboa Park. Since then, Extraordinary Desserts has become one of San Diego’s most prominent dining establishments and has expanded to include a second location in San Diego’s Little Italy area at 1430 Union Street as well as a line of gourmet products and a robust online store. From the dazzling artistry and sublime taste of its award-winning sweets to the attentive customer service, Extraordinary Desserts has built a strong reputation for its decadent, gourmet dessert creations, elegant eats, and extraordinary experience. As a result, Extraordinary Desserts is consistently a top pick by critics and readers of both local and national publications. Owner and executive chef Karen Krasne studied at Paris’ best pastry schools. She uses only organic ingredients when possible, and adorns each luxurious dessert with locally-grown fresh flowers, her signature edible gold leaf, autumn leaves, and sinfully sweet sauces making her creations a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Extraordinary Desserts, Little Italy 1430 Union Street San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: (619) 294-7001 Extraordinary Desserts, Balboa Park 2929 Fifth Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 Phone: (619) 294-2132
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2 Responses to My own “Eat, Pray, Love”

  1. As a wife, mom and small business owner I found your words to resonate for hours after I read them, you have inspired me! You fb and website are always gorgeous and a source of inspiration as well, I wish we had something similar in my area.

    • Thank you for your reply. Where are you located in case I ever get your way. It appears that we have a lot in common. Have you read the new book “The Sweet Life in Paris” by David Lebovitz? It just came out. Please keep in touch. Karen

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