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Service - Where You're The Star

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Setting:
David Wolfe Retreat
Orangeville, ON Canada

Date:
July 14-20 2008

Plot:
I had heard awhile back that Ambrosia Mystique (Culinary Alchemists Gabrielle Brick & Daniel Vitalis) might be looking for some volunteer kitchen angels for the David Wolfe retreat in Canada.  Seeing as I had never volunteered on a Wolfe retreat, and the fact that I am trying to fulfill and act upon every new experience that the Universe presents me, I accepted. 

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When I got there I was told I would be working 16-hour days in the kitchen.  I thought they were joking.  They weren’t.  Myself along with the other kitchen angels - Shannon, Kelly, Natalie, and Michelle (yes, all women) were told that even though it was a lot of time in the kitchen, that we would find that we are going to have a separate retreat of our own, even more powerful than the people who paid for the retreat.  I must admit I was mildly skeptical.  Boy was I wrong...

Cast:
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Gabrielle Brick – The Ambrosia in Ambrosia Mystique. 
With over 15 year experience in hospitality, food, and health industries, and over 7 years preparing gourmet raw food for private clients, and retreats for David Wolfe, Journeys for the Soul, and the Raw Spirit Festival, Gabrielle is definitely a force to be reckoned with.  In addition to her kitchen skills she also lectures on super-raw-food nutrition and conscious living.  And if that wasn’t enough she is also a chocolatier, and creator of The One Chocolate Bar, soon to be found in a store near you. 

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Daniel Vitalis – The Mystique in Ambrosia Mystique.
Daniel Vitalis is a Health Motivator, Strategist, and Modern Alchemist. After 14 years of rawfood nutritional experience and experimentation, he has created what he calls "ElixirCraft, Advanced Liquid Herbal Alchemy". ElixirCraft is a fusion of ancient herbalism and modern superfood nutrition. It is a method, a strategy. Having found the techniques, methods, language, and even paradigms of the herbal traditions valuable but antiquated, and the current state of the neo-superfood culture in dire need of a method, ElixirCraft was born.  Daniel wields a trusty blade in the kitchen, but he really steals the show when it comes time to lecturing about water, herbs, elixirs, and virtually any subject on the modern day perils of man and consciousness.

Story:

Day 1 – Setting up tents, putting away food, running last minute errands with Daniel.  Minor Relaxing. 

Day 2 – Food Prep.  Cracking open more mature coconuts than one man may have ever done in his life.  Slowly starting to get to know and sync with kitchen staff.

Day 3 – Guests arrive, time for action.  David Wolfe gives an amazing lecture.  Guests settle in and get to know one another.

Day 4 – Daniel rocks out an amazing Elixir lecture.  David speaks again.  Mexican night, all were full.

Day 5 – Wild foods walk with David.  Gabrielle wows the crowd with food prep and healthy living talk.  Sweat Lodge.  Liquids and soups today – very light.

Day 6 – Spectacular wild rice meal, chocolate in evening.  Everyone surrounding the campfire, drummers, dancing, elixir drinks, pure magic.

Day 7 – Nobody wants to leave.  Closing ceremony.  I accidentally slept in, whoops.  Till we meet again. 

Conclusions….

Daniel – He took the kitchen crew on a wild food walk of our own.  I was shocked on the amount of knowledge he has regarding plant identification.  It really showed me for the umpteenth time how important it is for me to continuously improve my knowledge... outside of the internet.

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Gabrielle – She was the perfect mirror for me this retreat.  I looked into her eyes and saw for the first time so many of the illusions and stories that I have been telling myself.  What a catalyst for change – I was in tears.  Besides being a Diva, Gabby is a kindred spirit and divine soul that can reach into the utmost depths and pull out the truth.  (Gabby, you will never know how grateful I am.)

Sweat Lodge – This is truly a blog on its own.  If you have never been in a ceremonial sweat lodge, more than half the people go in and out of the lodge completely naked.  All shapes, all sizes.  From the person you haven’t spoken to the whole retreat to the beautiful Goddess who sat next to you during dinner who you could barely look at in the eyes because she was so radiant.  The strange thing for me was that the experience was so sacred to watch, I transcended in the moment from seeing naked bodies and all that can encompass for a man, to just seeing people. 

Beautiful people. 
Loving people. 

Seeing radiant souls in human form.  Nothing more.  It was an honor to behold and I felt privileged to be present and be able to hold a space of love for them.      

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Campfires – As I walked through the forest in the pitch black of night I began to hear the sound of the drums.  The deep bass began to vibrate and awaken my inner man.  The flickering lights from the fire peered through the branches until I was fully upon a group surrounding a campfire, dancing, sweating, drumming, laughing, and living. 

Something very primal and "past life" starts to awaken in me when I am in this setting.  I know I have danced around that fire many times before.  I immediately forget the other people are even there and just start stomping, dancing, spinning, jumping, chanting… it just flows.  I danced for about 4 hours straight around the fire that night.  I danced until I had nothing left.  I danced until I was ready to collapse.  I left everything in that fire, only to be rewarded with a early AM shower to wrap up the show, and cleanse the soul.

Service - So what are my thoughts on the whole experience of service…. truly divine.  I don’t even know if I could think of a happier and more fulfilling time in my life than being in a position to serve others.  I thank all of you for the honor and privilege. 

Growth is afoot and transformation is knocking at the door.

Are you going to answer?

All my love,
Philip

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