Good Karma at the Big Kitchen

Karma never wastes energy and while the other day my husband and I were at an event, he said, “We are really close to the Big Kitchen! Let’s go to the Big Kitchen when we are done!” He sounded like an excited 5-year old. I replied, “Wow. We have not been there in… DECADES!”

When life does not go the way we planned, perhaps karma has a different path to offer us.

Judy “The Beauty” Forman is an icon. She has a powerful and magnetic presence that radiates out. She lives and breathes what she believes in, humanity. Hers is a story of how karma does not waste energy and how karma nudges or even pushes you down a different path than you originally intended. You see, Judy spent 10 years as a college educated social worker. When she moved to San Diego and could not find work as a social worker, she started washing dishes at the Big Kitchen. She eventually bought it – and became an entirely different kind of social worker.

She became a different kind of social worker.

She hired people who were destitute, on the edge, and who had nothing to lose. She hired gang members, homeless people, and anyone who needed a chance to have a better life. Out of all her hires, I read that only one ever ended up in jail. On the surface, that seems amazing. But is it? Or is the difference simply that she believed in them when no one else did?

As a trained social worker, Judy could listen and feel the needs of others. I suspect she is able to tap into her intuition and listens to it. From the Big Kitchen, Judy could practice her social work and not bound by governmental red tape, policies, and reports. She created an after-school arts program for her neighborhood schools, keeping kids off the street and helping parents who could not afford after school care, she fed AIDS patients back in the 90’s when every other institution was afraid of them. The list of her accomplishments goes on and on.

Back to our current day restaurant experience:

In life, most things change. However, when we arrived at the Big Kitchen, it was as if time had stood still for us. The nostalgia kicked in, old memories quickly surfaced, and then “Judy, the Beauty Who is Always on Duty” magically appeared. She grabbed a little boy and started dancing with him in the midst of the typical chaos of a busy restaurant. This little guy was hungry and she distracted him. She helped his parents out and the rest of the customers because he never cried or complained and he happily sat back down at his table when the song was finished. A bit later, she walked up to another customer, and belted out a HUGE “Happy Birthday”, made him stand up and gave him the hugest, longest hug. (What I would call a “Tina Hug”. Yes, my Karmic Path partner has the best hugs. ) That was when my husband jokingly said, “I wish it was my birthday!”

About 30 minutes later we finished our meal and walked outside to the car. We were, literally in the middle of the street and Judy came running after us. At first, I thought we forgot something. But no. She came out to wish my husband a happy birthday, even though she knew it was not his birthday, and gave him a huge hug. Funny thing is, I did not think she even heard my husband say that because the restaurant was crowded and loud.

• Did karma know that Judy would be a better social worker as a restaurant owner?
• Did the people she hire have the karma to have her help them to help themselves?
• How far does her karmic echo radiate?

It was great to revisit this San Diego treasure after all this time. If you are ever in San Diego and in need of some good, fresh, homemade food, or even a huge hug, come check out the Big Kitchen and Café.

Related podcasts:

Karma Never Wastes Energy

The Life You Planned

The Karma of Being in the Moment

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