The Secret of Abundance
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
The Secret of AbundanceHow food embodies love.
I was impressed by the life Chef Roger Dufau had created for himself. I learned that he had owned one of the most successful restaurants in Toronto, then sold it and moved to Australia for a kind of sabbatical, but food was too much in his blood to stop. He opened a French pastry shop, and before long it was the hit of the town. Sixteen years later, he returned to Canada and started running a bed-and-breakfast in Elora, Ontario, with his wife Kathleen. The business they created together seemed in perfect balance with who they were as people and as a couple. It was impressive to experience firsthand.
“I think you may have found the secret of abundance as well as cooking,” I told him. “When I look around, everything seems so well balanced. Do you consider yourself to be abundant?”
“Let me tell you a story about someone who is extremely abundant. A few years ago, a local gentleman who had done really well for himself wanted to put together a dinner for charity and flew in Alain Dutournier from Paris to prepare the meal. Alain is one of the greatest chefs around—a real superstar. The organizers of the event decided to have him stay with us at Drew House—I guess because they figured he would feel more at home. He had no idea when he came that it was owned by another Frenchman, and the entire time he was here I insisted that he relax and allow me to cook for him.
“This was a man who spent all his time cooking for others, creating spectacular dishes that won international awards. At night we would drink wine together and compare stories. Well, one evening I asked him a question: if he had only one night left on Earth, what would his last meal be? I expected haute cuisine—he’s such a talented chef—but he went in a completely different direction. He told me that he’d make himself fried eggs.”
“You’re kidding! Why would he choose eggs if he could make himself anything he wanted?”
“Think about it for a moment. You’re right—this is a man who could have anything, the very finest in the world. But what he connected with more was a feeling. He shared that when he was young, his mother would make him eggs every morning. But for his last meal, he didn’t just want ordinary eggs. They would have to be fried in duck or goose fat because it’s the very best. He would collect the eggs from the chicken coop behind his house. He would also go out into the garden and pick a single green pepper, and buy some fresh bread from the baker down the street. This is what his final meal would consist of—a powerful reminder of the love his mother gave him through the food she served. To Alain, this was the best meal he could have; and to me, this is what true abundance is.”
“You’re saying that abundance has less to do with what you have than what you feel?”
“Exactly. Most people think it’s about how much money you make or how big your house is. Alain has all that, but he knows it’s not what’s important. Love is what is important, and the feeling he gets when he’s connected with that energy. His mother was a symbol of something inside him. She was probably the first person who made him feel whole and connected with something bigger than himself. When I asked him that question, he went back to that time in his mind, and to the food she served him. It was simple, which is why he wanted it more than anything else.”
I thought about my own life and all the time I’d spent searching for money and fame. Achieving those things meant that I was worthy and deserving of love; without them, I believed I didn’t have anything to offer another person. When I was younger, before I had attained any sort of financial or professional success, I didn’t think I was capable of attracting lasting love. I was never powerful enough or rich enough, no matter what the circumstances were. It dawned on me that in forty-eight years, I hadn’t experienced a relationship that lasted more than a few years. I’d been successful and had earned more money than I thought possible, but I didn’t feel abundant.
“How about you?” I asked Roger. “It seems like you’ve lived a good life. Do you consider yourself a success?”
“I remember when I owned my restaurant in downtown Toronto. It was a big success, and people came from all over to eat there. Of course, I made lots of money and became pretty well known. Now I’m far away from the city and the prestige, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. As far as money goes, I make much less today, but I feel rich. That’s because I love what I’m doing. I have a wonderful wife, and I get to cook delicious food for people, even if it’s just breakfast. For me, it isn’t about how much—it’s about the quality of my life.”