News & Blog

Times they are a changin’

May 6, 2010

I have decided to close my restaurants, Grezzo in Newburyport and Boston, MA. We are getting bombarded with emails and phone calls so I decided to explain it here in my blog.

Boston has been enormously successful and Newburyport was getting busier and busier, especially since the warmer weather had arrived.  You would think that since the restaurants were bringing in a lot of success monetarily, that would be the determining factor in whether to keep them going or not.  But the fact is, success for me is not just measured by the money I make. There became a huge split between my spiritual self (my true self) and my physical reality. And, as I talk about in my book, when you’re not in line with your destiny that is when disturbances occur.

I know there will be a lot of talk and gossip as there always is when something like this occurs so here is the real low down from me, not someone who told someone else or someone’s uncle who writes about it on the internet after it’s gone through 5 people ;)

I had been saying for the last year that things needed to change, that I was burning out. Doing teacher trainings every other month, running two restaurants, writing a new book, buying properties, running the internet business, and more and more and more… I’ve been feeling it for a couple of years now, but felt that I was on this fast track to …. Success, I guess.

I’ve always thought of myself as a free spirit but for the past 6-7 years I could feel that slipping away. I felt myself shifting into a different space that I did not recognize. It wasn’t bad or good, just different.

Having a husband that is a bit more serious than me and more business minded helped to launch my book in a huge way 7 years ago. With him behind me and supporting every move I wanted to make, I became obsessed with creating a raw food empire. I started my teacher trainings, the internet business was booming, I bought a lot of real estate and finally decided to open restaurants. Although Dennis was enormously opposed to opening restaurants (I grew up in the restaurant business and he has owned 19 restaurants’ over the last 35 years so we knew the deal!) I convinced him to do it with me anyway.

My goal 7 years ago when I married Dennis was “to have a peaceful, carefree life, spreading the word of raw food and health through my books and lying in the sun, doing yoga”… you get the picture….not quite what I was creating. I seemed to be able to live that life for many years, but once things started manifesting in a big way for me, I started creating, more and more and more.

So although we were both burning out, we were now ‘in it’. The Rat Race.

I kept saying over the last year or so, “things have to change, this isn’t worth it, what is this all for, it’s such an illusion…”

I continued to meditate daily, to do my quick rituals of health, short bursts of workouts etc.. But began to feel more and more like I wasn’t really living in my truth.

Meanwhile, while this was all going on, I began to get signs that my body was on overload. (20 hour stints of sitting at the computer, shipping department catastrophes, driving an hour into Boston at 11 at night for an emergency at the restaurant, etc..all this was taking a huge toll.)

Two years ago I had a problem with my foot after running, then some other injuries.  I perked up, paid attention, tried to give it time to heal and then… jumped right back in to my crazy life.

Then, about a year ago, I began to get this bizarre nerve condition in my foot apparently called RSD.

I was on crutches and in severe pain.  I researched and researched it and it was all pretty discouraging.

Think my body was trying to tell me something?

I kept thinking “I’ve helped thousands of people heal from all kinds of illness – I KNOW I can heal this.” But after many months, I was scared. I didn’t really understand what this was and I knew that until I could wrap my brain around the emotional aspects of this obstacle, it was going to be a tough thing to heal.

I was beginning to feel the effects of stress on every level of my being.

The past few months with the restaurants’ have been crazy.  Dealing with employees and their needs have been draining and tiring. Although I had an executive chef, I was still having to deal with the daily grind and staffing issues.  Employee’s personal issues continued to affect their work and the time they put in.

I thought of letting go of Newburyport since it is a seasonal restaurant but the thought of getting rid of Boston was, I thought, crazy. Business was booming with people waiting at the door on most weekends. We were making a lot of money and it seemed crazy to sell.

Dennis, a man of much less words then me, lol, often comes out with a goodie here or there. He said a few things to me over the course of these stressful few months. He asked me, “If I’m not happy, then what is the point?” Something that used to be my mantra but somehow id forgotten to ask myself this lately.

I also said to him, isn’t it insane to sell something that is so successful? His response was, “You don’t sell a business when it’s failing, you sell it while it’s in its upswing and while it’s successful.” Oh yeah. Good point.  So, instead of making money and being miserable, I could make money selling it and be happy. That was what I needed to hear and pretty much my deciding factor.

I’ve always believed that money is just a resource. I love having financial freedom. I’ve been able to help a lot of people with the money I’ve made and have been able to give back so much, but I also love having success in other parts of my life and believe that that is just as important. I haven’t been feeling much success in any other areas right now.

For the past month or two, I’ve been delving deeper into my spirituality, my meditations, my yoga, working with an amazing healer who I’ve known for a long time, creating my art again and connecting with friends who I’ve almost lost and new interesting people that I have wanted to get to know more but haven’t had ‘the time’.

There’s an old saying “sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees”. Meaning, of course, you can’t see the big picture, you’re immersed in the details.

Well, the details of my life have taken over who and what I’m about. I love working hard at what I love, I love helping people and I love creating new things. I’m ecstatic about my new book that will be out in October and I’m creating new products that will be available again on my site.  I’ve also realized that I really do love to teach ( we now have a waiting list of over 50 people for more classes since the June class is full, so those of you who are upset you missed the June class, we will have more, I promise! I’m just restructuring)

So, I’m focusing on what brings me abundance but in a more balanced, joyful way and taking into account how I want to live my life. And, I’m letting go of what is not serving me. It’s sad to see Grezzo go, first because of the amazing food and how many life’s it has touched. People who did not even know raw food existed or who would not actively seek out a book, would just stumble across this amazing restaurant in the heart of Boston and realize how incredible raw food is. It’s sad because I know it helped people in the area stay raw and brought joy to traveling raw foodies! But, I had to stop holding on because of the “shoulds”. Closing the restaurants’ didn’t really make sense to a lot of friends and family and people I’ve told, but it made sense to me. In my soul. And if I can’t practice what I preach, then I can’t teach it to others.

So here’s to more fun, joy, peace, calm and relaxation. I know that I may still be going 100 miles an hour some days, promoting the new book, creating new projects, teaching, but I’m slowly remembering how to breathe and how to choose more carefully what brings me joy and fulfillment and fun and not just jumping at every good opportunity. Good opportunities are only good if you can actually take the time to appreciate them and enjoy them. I’ve been taken them, using them up and moving from one opportunity to another without even being able to see the joy in them and feel the gratitude for them.

This morning when I woke up I did an hour of yoga and then sat outside with my dogs drinking my juice.

I was almost mournful thinking of how long it had been since id enjoyed the simple pleasure of doing this. I can’t remember one time in the last 5 years when I haven’t woke up and gone straight to the computer. It was almost shocking sitting on my porch, thinking of how much I worked, from 5 am to midnight many days, before even opening the restaurants. Thinking of how I’ve been running my life since the restaurants, it almost seems insane to me now, the schedule I’ve been keeping.

It’s only been a few weeks since making this decision, but I already know it’s the right one, for me. To everyone who loved Grezzo’s food, I’m sorry it is closed, but in October when the book comes out, you’ll know the secrets to all of the amazing recipes that we served and be able to make them yourself!

Thank you to everyone who came to eat at Grezzo and for your support with them!

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