Ben, Tilden Park, Berkeley, CA, Canon Elph SD1000
There is a small chain of restaurants in the bay area called Cafe Gratitude. They serve organic, vegan and mostly raw food, which is not all that unusual in these parts. What makes them unique is that their restaurants are based on a game called the Abounding River. The board game can be played at your table or purchased for home, but the menu, staff and food are all about bringing a new perspective to everyone who walks in the door. For example, each dish you can order is an affirmation. You can begin with an I am fruitful, then have an I am dazzling, have a side of I am thriving and finish off with I am cherished. The tall glass carafes of water at the center of each table have different words etched into them: abundance, love, gratitude…
Are any you groaning yet? Are you thinking how embarrassed you would be to order this way? This place demands that you check your cynicism at the door (you would be such a party pooper if you didn’t) and really challenges you to see the world through the lens of gratitude. They describe it this way: “We invite you to step inside and enjoy being someone that chooses: loving your life, adoring yourself, accepting the world, being generous and grateful every day, and experiencing being provided for.”
One of the many things I love about Cafe Gratitude is their question of the day. The server always asks the clients this question to either answer out loud, share with their tablemates or to think about during their meal. Once it was, “What can people count on you for?” Another time it was, “What is awesome about you?” Most recently it was, “What are you worshipping?”
I like the idea of starting our week off this way. Let’s have a superhero question of the week, shall we? And in the name of abundance and gratitude, I want to start it off this way:
What are you willing to receive?