“Abundance can be had simply by consciously receiving what has already been given.” -Sufi Saying. Pretty powerful stuff. It is a way of life for some and what Matthew and Terces Engelhart are sharing as their unique and forward thinking approach to life and business with the world.
The powerhouse couple behind the popular farm-to-table Café Gratitude and Gracias Madre restaurants have branched out with an educational venture called Eternal Presence LLC. This weekend I had the opportunity to meet them, amongst an exclusive group, at their first café in Venice before a 2-day weekend workshop held in Malibu. The Kindred Spirit Workshop enlightens attendees on what it means to use interpersonal relationships as a means of awakening in everyday life.
The Engelharts have quite a story. They currently live on a farm called “Be Love” in the middle of nowhere, between San Francisco and Sacramento, far from the urban, egotistical culture of L.A. No offense Angelinos. Be Love is where they grow all of the organic food in their restaurants. Together, they have authored several books with their latest: Sacred Commerce (Business as a Path to Awakening.) The practice they preach in this book thrives on the belief that business cannot only be profitable, but instrumental in making their employees more open and present in the abundance of life.
Certainly their esoteric methodology of incorporating this approach to lifestyle in the workplace has worked. Every day, each employee is “cleared” which entails two brief questions. One toward personal reflection and the other something affirming, that supports being present. To complete the process each person acknowledges one another, and the experience is often one of deeper connection and appreciation. There is something about it, especially in a western culture in which we keep looking for the perfect job, perfect circumstances, material happiness and the perfect partner to bring us happiness and fulfillment.
The café’s in LA alone, service over 1,000 people a day. The staff is consistent, happy, transformed and the business is profitable and growing. Many celebrities frequent their vegan cafés in Larchmont and Venice. In fact, Jason Mraz is a regular, as well as an investor. Companies such as Whole Foods, The Lutheran Investment Fund, The Department of Agriculture in Mexico and Dharma Merchants among others have brought the founders into their corporate headquarters and boardroom to train employees in their practices.
Psychologically, gratitude can have such a powerful impact on your life because it engages your brain in a virtuous cycle. Your brain only has so much power to focus its attention. It cannot easily focus on both positive and negative stimuli. So once you start seeing things to be grateful for, your brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for. Try it for 30-days, acknowledge 3 things you are grateful for everyday and see how you feel.
Or, visit one of their cafes. Even if you are not vegan, you will love it and you will feel the positive energy. Take it a step further attend one of several upcoming California workshops with the Engelharts. More information below:
Berkeley Kindred Spirit Workshop: October 26th-27th | Berkeley, CA
Link to Register: http://buff.ly/16eET3s
Coaching with the Masters: November 17th | Los Angeles, CA
Aloha Awakenings in Maui by Eternal Presence: Feb 12 - 17, 2014 | The 5-day retreat package offers:
-Organic Vegetarian Meals Fresh from the Farm
-Kindred Spirit Workshop
-Wood Burning Sauna
-Day Excursions to Sacred Beaches and the Haleakala National Park are optional
Link To Register: http://buff.ly/15ItGpB