Food is one of the greatest and easiest ways to experience the culture of any country we visit, yet most people let the opportunity slip away due to fear of the unknown. There are so many moments of serendipitous and extraordinary grace that can often occur in these circumstances.
One of those moments is encountering a chef in Tokyo who is so filled with joy and skill for the food that he cooks. I will never forget that moment when he presented me with Fugu sashimi. Fugu (puffer fish) is a poisonous fish that must be prepared with great attention to detail. I gathered my courage to try it, and I'm so glad I did. Otherwise, I would always wonder what could have been. That scenario is really so uncomfortable to many people and it is often so beyond some people’s comfort zone that they won’t even try.
We want adventure - we want to have fun and curiosity. That's the simple equation! If we approach it with a sense of fun, curiosity and enthusiasm, eating in foreign countries can turn into a great field of exploration. Eating adventures can be a way to help us see beyond our personal circumstances, projections, expectations and judgments, and allow us to see that there is a beautiful world out there, full of possibility. So, don’t just stick to what you know, get brave and order something local. And you will discover new and amazing experiences in the process.
Most of us are in the habit of choosing familiarity and not focusing on having different experiences. We’re afraid what might happen when we try a strange food or we're too focused only on the bad things that might happen. We often let a fear of getting sick keep us from having fun or from trying new things. When we only eating at hotels or chain restaurants in foreign countries , we can’t truly experience the culture.
We must trust our awareness and follow the energy. Ask the question 'Will this choice be rewarding?' Not good or bad, not right or wrong – rewarding. It will give the awareness of what else is possible. What we are looking for with this question is awareness, not an answer. We must trust our knowing. If a restaurant or street vendor looks unclean and unhealthy, just choose something else. However, if we are watching a street vendor preparing or frying food right in front of us, and it is sizzling hot, then make a choice by asking yourself “Should I do this?" Does that feel light for me to eat that? Yes or no? Which feels lighter?” What feels light? Ok, do that. That’s choosing with awareness.
When we take a fixed point of view about food or anything else we create a limitation because we cannot be aware of any other choice, possibility or contribution. We have to be willing to receive, so we can have choice. If we are willing to receive what is possible instead of functioning from judgment of right, wrong, good or bad, and if we are willing to trust ourselves, then we can have choice and adventure.
So with every fixed point of view we have, every rightness that we believe, every wrongness that we believe, we are limiting our ability to receive joy, fun and different possibilities. But we can choose to change our point of view.
When we travel to foreign countries, we can make curiosity and the willingness to receive different possibilities our target. A different possibility can exist when we're willing to receive the things we think we can't receive. Are you willing to give up fixed points of view, projections, expectations, judgements and the 'I have no choice but ...' point of view and claim and own the capacity to have the fun and adventure of life and living?