I love to run my seasonal Ayurvedic Supper Clubs. There are several reasons for this. I have an overwhelming passion for Ayurveda, for cooking wholesome food for others, and socialising with friends old and new. I do love to offer my time to run a couple of supper clubs a year to support charities.
Giving without expectation
In Ayurvedic teaching, there is an emphasis on balance of mind, body and spirit. This translates as an equal effort in looking after ourselves but also offering our time and skills to help others. The gesture of giving without expectation is incredibly important for our spiritual health. It helps us to understand we are part of a whole. Kindness is underrated and often underused. We live in a world that has become more and more isolating, often due to nothing more than a perceived lack of time. We have become so busy, but not necessarily in the most productive way. Nonetheless, we find our days and months pre-booked, and all of our boxes ticked. However, often we find quantity takes priority over quality.
It is incredibly fulfilling to give our time without expectation of a reward. When we give because we want to, regardless of any recognition or return, the emotional rewards are huge. The knowledge that we have made some difference to an individual or a group of people, brings immeasurable joy.
Breast Cancer Now
In October, a dear friend , Gianna, asked me if I would be willing to run one of my supper clubs to help her to raise funds for Breast Cancer Now. (BCN). This is a wonderful charity she has supported for a few years, by running an annual local fundraising day called ‘Paint Highbury Pink’. This started as a small cake sale, but it eventually grew into a much bigger event. It has raised an amazing amount of money for BCN since its inception.
I was particularly busy last month, as I was close to launching my Ayurvedic body oils. Every day was full speed ahead. However, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and my friend particularly wanted to do something for the charity whilst this knowledge was at the forefront of people’s minds.
Of course, I agreed to do it! Gianna and I have known each other for many years and we bonded initially through our love of cooking and planning. We have so often talked about organising events together, and food has been the theme. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to work together and pool our skills and interests for a great cause.
Gianna immediately got to work asking local business owners if they would be willing to offer any kind of support. It was incredible how quickly they agreed. We were offered ingredients to make the meal by our amazing local grocers shop, wine to accompany it, welcome cocktails, and flowers.
We sent out an initial email to gauge how many people would be interested in coming. Our maximum capacity was 16 to sit comfortably at one long table. More importantly, would people be free on the agreed date? Within an hour, we had received commitment and pre-payment from 16 people, with many more asking to be put on the waiting list!
We planned, planned and planned, because that’s how we both operate. Equally, we both understand the importance of being prepared. I have learned through running my supper clubs that it is best to never leave anything to chance!
We had an amazing evening, with lovely guests mingling and chatting over cocktails, before sitting down to (I’m told) a delicious meal. The wine was chosen to complement Indian food. Oh, and Betty, the dearest of dogs was chosen to model a ‘Paint Highbury Pink’ T- shirt! Utterly adorable, I’m sure you will agree!
The evening ended with a quick talk by me about Ayurveda….
I always try to talk about a relevant theme at my supper clubs. For this one, I felt compelled to discuss the importance of mind health and the ‘oily’ quality in Ayurveda, known as ‘sneha’. This beautiful Sanskrit word also translates as ‘love’, and the sneha quality is particularly important for the cold and dark days of autumn and early winter. It softens the body, mind and spirit. It can be increased through appropriate food and lifestyle choices, and also by showing love and kindness to ourselves and others. When we come together socially, eat together, and support one another not only during sickness, but also during health, we increase the sneha quality.
If one could measure universal love, it would have scored pretty high that night!