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The Self Examiner

Sharing is very important to us at Cafe Gratitude. This blog is our means of connecting with you, our community through sharing what's happening with us and creating a conversation around the many facets of this community.
Tags >> Grateful Programs

We are happy to be home on the farm and looking forward to serving free meals at San Rafael, San Francisco and Berkeley Cafe Gratitudes on Thursday. We plan on serving over 1000 people, once again, for our 8th year. While times are currently challenging, our Thanksgiving feast is so much a part of who we are that we are choosing to serve once more. Come join us and let's all GIVE THANKS TOGETHER!

We had volunteers from the San Rafael Cafe on the farm today as well as a Chaplain from Kaiser Hospital who knit us all winter caps to keep us warm. You can see Bernadino, Javier, Matthew and I in our matching hats enjoying our time together just after the community lunch. We are so grateful! Thank you Gina Rose. The cow stall got cleaned out today and new hay was spread in preparation for the upcoming birth, still a few weeks away. We had enchiladas, cheesy cauliflower, pea sprouts, spicy salsa and farm made wine for lunch today (just a taste of wine as chores are still happening). What a sweet day it has been. The broccoli and cauliflower are beautiful and being served in our Cafes. Stop by and enjoy the local harvest. We love you all and are GRATEFUL beyond measure. Happy Thanksgiving, we GIVE THANKS for you!

Love. Terces


“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.” – Cicero

Each year, Americans take one day to give thanks for all that we have in our lives.  At Café Gratitude, we think that giving thanks is so important that we ask our employees, our customers, our vendors, and people driving behind us on the road to do it every single day.  If you haven’t seen our bumper sticker before, it poses the question, “What are you grateful for?”


One of the things that you hear most about healthy relationships, families, and communities is that they are built on trust.  Now, I have to admit, that this confuses me a little bit.  I mean, what is this ‘Trust’ thing anyway? To find out more about how to cultivate trust, I did a bit of research.  John Gottman, Ph.D. at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley defines trust using the acronym ‘Attune’:

  •  Awareness of your partner’s emotion;
  •  Turning toward the emotion;
  •  Tolerance of two different viewpoints;
  •  trying to Understanding your partner;
  •  Non-defensive responses to your partner;
  •  and responding with Empathy.

Are you surprised?  I have to admit that I was.  I grew up in a culture where having ‘trust’ in a relationship meant something straightforward, like having trust that someone is not ‘cheating’ on you, or trusting that they will show up when they said they would.  Matthew and Terces seem to have a similar idea about trust in relationship.  Here are some of the things that they are committed to:


Anne Kubitsky has a vision.  In a country with a tanking economy, a discouraging political situation, and escalating national protests, she has become a leader in the awakening of gratitude.  The ‘Look For The Good Project’ is a community art project that encourages people (like you!) to share little bits of what they are grateful for, via postcard, in an online art gallery.

Why not offer people a chance to pause and reflect on something that


A big thank you to Terces and Matthew from all of us!  Thank you for being fierce love warriors, for always being a space of love, and for listening with compassion for all of us.  Thank you for always seeming to get bigger!  Thank you for holding the space for dialogue and giving us the opportunity to share our amazing organic food and love!!!



The Occupy San Francisco encampment was receiving so many food donations last week, they had to turn generous people away. Across the nation companies, organizations and individuals have shown their support for the Occupy movement by contributing supplies to the camps of people who now occupy public zones in reportedly more than 1,000 U.S. cities. These citizens are not merely erecting tents and staying the night, however: there is incredible organization going into the demonstrations. Many encampments have their own first aid tents, communications areas, and, of course, food tables. All the effort going into creating these temporary mini-cities reveals how popular the movement has become in the month it’s been active.

How did Occupy Wall Street begin?

The Canadian anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters first proposed the idea of occupying the New York financial district in late summer of this year, circulating a poster showing a dancer atop the Wall Street bull and posing the question, What is Our One Demand? Since the protests began September 17, many demands have emerged, including ending corporate personhood, raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, shrinking the income gap between rich and poor, and reforming campaign finance laws. With its strident and raucous anti-capitalism stance, we could have expected Adbusters to launch a fringe movement that would fail to capture the hearts of a majority of citizens; however, widespread anger at the state of the economy and exploitation by corporate power have caused the movement to move towards the mainstream. Time magazine, for example, recently reported that 54% of Americans approve of Occupy.

Where does Cafe Gratitude fit into all of this excitement? Well, if you haven’t heard, our LA location just trucked a big batch of Grateful Bowls over to Occupy Los Angeles to feed the people camping outside City Hall (see the video below!). Ryland Engelhart, general manager at Gratitude LA, explained that he sees the Occupy movement as a call for unification from people across the country. Americans are feeling separated from each other and from our institutions, he says, and this may be a chance to bring us all together to improve our society. Luckily, the tent village in the City of Angels was still in need of food, so Ryland was not turned away and protesters got to enjoy delicious organic vegan meals!

We can connect food to the Occupy movement in more ways than simply feeding the demonstrators, however. A great article in Mother Jones has just been published, illustrating how the financial industry is not the only economic behemoth that has been consolidating power and causing angst for the majority of Americans. The food industry, the article claims, is even more consolidated and monopolistic than the financial sector. For example, just four companies produced 75 percent of cereal and snacks, 60 percent of cookies, and half of all ice cream in the U.S. in 2002. And since then, not much has changed, although the food movement is gaining steam, and will ramp up its power this October 24, the first-ever National Food Day.

Here’s hoping that the people on the streets keeping eating well, and that we can all start understanding that we’re going to need a movement as powerful as Occupy Wall Street to reform our current food system!


Kaci Christian is a woman with a mission.  Her life has seen her through various careers: as a lecturer, investigative reporter, TV news anchor, sign language interpreter, motivational speaker, and more.  At heart, she is a storyteller - a bridge between the worlds of those who know and do not know, see and do not see, hear and do not hear.

The connecting thread for her has always been a genuine passion for people, animals, the our planet, and a desire to make a positive difference in the world.  That mission is clear in her latest endeavor: The WE conference.

I love what these yoga studios are doing.  They are making yoga accessible through a pay-it-forward system similar to what we're doing with our Grateful Bowl Program.  I'm calling these types of programs "grateful programs":  where there is no obligation and purely a by-donation service or product that helps to heal the body & planet.  If you know of one near you, let us know at!  As we learn of more by-donation yoga programs, we'll announce them here!


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