Under Pressure

Image of Prem with plated food

At the age of 21, I got a job cooking for 30-50 people 3 times a day, 5 days a week in a yoga retreat for celibate monks. (Self Realization Fellowship. Hidden Valley Ashram.)

Understandably, food was very important to them and they were from all over the world, so pleasing everyone’s palette was a high stakes situation.

For the first 6 months, I thought I was going to have a heart attack from the pressure. I would sometimes have panic attacks and thought something was wrong my my heart. If you’ve ever tried cooking even one meal for 10 or 30 people, you can imagine what doing that 3 times a day was like. When I started I didn’t even know how to cook rice. And the supervisor in charge at the time told me to quit and that I wasn’t qualified for the job. He wanted the job but wasn’t a US citizen so he couldn’t do more than volunteer until his visa ran out and it made him angry at everyone in the kitchen. Especially me. But I believed in myself and I told him assertively that there wasn’t even one cell in my body that didn’t believe that I can do this job. He laughed at put me to the test: 3 meals, with 4 different recipes, desert and a drink by myself 3 days in a row. By the 3rd day the retreat administrator (who was a monk that ran the ashram) gave me the job right in front of my supervisor who not only had tried to get me to quit, but would also yell at me, sharpen his knives in my face and practice kung-fu on me in the kitchen to intimidate me. It only made my resolve stronger. That day was a huge accomplishment for me and I was hired soon after on my birthday.

Every evening I would select and memorize recipes, meditate and visualize each and every little step, and then I would affirm success in a way that my teacher Paramahansa Yogananda taught it; out loud, whisper, and mentally, to program the conscious, subconscious, and super conscious mind. I applied 100% of my will to becoming a great chef. To be responsible for a crew of older men was also stressful as I was still searching for my voice and confidence. But I kept at it.

Little by little, as I got better and better by doing, my self-confidence grew. In meditation, I discovered the ability to calm my anxiety and learn to be present. I realized who I was as loving awareness rather than to identify with the role I played as a chef.

Now, I can remain in that place of mindful awareness regardless of whatever role I’m playing. People underestimate the importance of being rather than doing and thinking. I always say we are human beings, not human doings or human thinking.

So practice more BEING, my friends. Spend time and get to know yourselves in a quiet heart and mental stillness. Quiet some of the noise and chaos around you and listen to the universe revealing itself in ecstasy at your feet when we wait and be quiet.

Now, I want to invite you to experience that same kind of growth and transformation. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or just feeling overwhelmed by the chaos of life, I can help. Through my Body-Mind-Soul Mentorship , I’ll teach you the exact tools I used then and still use now to not only cook, but also write and perform music, host events, and take people through life changing one on one healing immersions in my beach community home. And as my mother always used to say: You too can accomplish anything you put your mind to! I truly believe that and know it to be true.

So if you’re ready to make a change and start living YOUR best life, you’re warmly invited to set up a discovery call. Together, we’ll figure out the best way to overcome your hurdles and live a heart centered life that is the highest version of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual expression.

Thanks for reading, and I truly look forward to hearing from you!

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