Julia Plevin

I've made falafel a thousand times

Julia Plevin
I've made falafel a thousand times

Last Friday I cooked a Shabbat dinner for 18 people. I had a moment of overwhelm when I brought all the grocery bags into the kitchen and realized it was just me. Some ancestral programming of being the burdened woman alone in the kitchen buzzed through my system but then I became aware of it and changed the channel. I chose to cook this dinner. I invited these guests. I manifested a beautiful space to host a larger dinner for free. I am able to spend an entire day in the kitchen and not in front of a computer. I chose this life. I am grateful.

Eerily, I knew exactly what to do. I knew what to make ahead and what to prep. I knew the order to cook in. I knew the elements to bring together to create a nourishing seasonal vegan feast. It came to me so naturally — I looked up recipes for inspiration but I didn’t even really need them.

I had a moment of panic when I was tripling a recipe for falafel and winging the measurements because I couldn’t find any measuring cups in this kitchen I was in. I have never even made falafel before and now I’m making if for 18 guests and not using a recipe. But something moved through me and I could intuit exactly how much oil and spices to add. Then it hit me – this wasn’t my first time making falafel. I’ve lived a thousand lives before this one. I’ve made falafel a million times. I know exactly what to do. I just have to get out of my own way.

The falafel turned out perfect. So did the rest of the meal. The guests couldn’t believe that I made it all myself all that day. But I realized something else was going on when someone told me it was the best meal he’s had in America. And someone else that the desserts were the best they ever had. I realized I was tapping into something potent.

Is it an ancestral knowing? Is it all the healing work and connection that I have to Source coming through my food? My hands are activated and infusing whatever I touch with healing. I felt like I had stepped into my favorite movie Como Agua Para Chocolate — where she transmits her emotions through her food. I’ve always loved magical realism because to me it’s just realism. That’s the world I live in.

The crazy part is there’s a shamanic element to all of this. I had been having a really crappy, anxiety-filed week but then I was able to transmute that energy through my hands. The line from my teacher keeps coming back to me, “When you have a calling you have to shamanize or else you can end up in a mental institute.” So much energy moves through me. It’s intense to hold it all – and the more I expand, the more is coming. I have to keep inhaling and exhaling this energy by taking in a lot and then immediately sharing it back out.

By the end of the night I was exhausted. I wondered if maybe I had taken on too much work – as a generator sometimes I can do that to myself. But the next morning I woke up and all I wanted to do was cook more. I made a big pot of lentils and a raw chocolate cake. I brought it to a birthday party and nourished everyone there (except myself who should have not been at the party in the first place). But I’m starting to get it. I keep getting invited to cook for groups and I’ll keep saying yes. It feels important though I’m not sure why.

And what if we realized that we already knew how to do everything we wanted to do. I want to sing and dance and feel that I don’t know how…but of course I do. I’ve lived many lives and knew how to play instruments and dance many dances. My soul knows all the songs. I just have to forget myself and then I’ll remember.