Every task requires it own utensils to fulfill its mission. Last night when cooking dinner, the few instruments needed were a knife, sauté pan, and casserole dish to prepare a delightful lemon chicken with spinach and mushrooms. Creating recipes as I cook is an innate ability, but learning to use the proper tools involves education and practice. 

Years ago people would tell me they felt healed when they ate my food. Back then I had no inkling as to what in the universe this meant, but over time, in addition to being a chef, I grew into my role as a healer. During the journey I worked with an artist who told me, “Renee, you mix your palate like a chef blending herbs into a dish;” however, while the bold colors flowed freely onto the canvas, he wanted to teach me a few rules.

The concoction of a story requires structure and form. The more time spent writing, the more metaphors will spill effortlessly onto the page, their essence needing to be organized into a well-told story.

Learning the tools of any trade requires discipline, desire, and skill, but still there is an energy we carry inside that determines our predisposition toward our chosen path.

In the past month, I have been renewing the craft of healer. Recently on a trip to Mexico to explore the inner workings of my own soul, I examined the nature of faith, self-loathing, and forgiveness. Each of these energies presented themselves to me throughout the long nights in an order that made sense. Transformation was possible because of timing, training, client work, and the personal preparation. One cannot create a soufflé without the whip, bowl, and ovenware dish or by using a beginner’s hand. Mastery is an essential ingredient in its creation.

Following the trip to Mexico I went to a teacher training program on Consciousness. During the week I gathered tools that I had left unattended on the shelf collecting dust. Armed with the refurbished instruments and agenda, the enthusiasm carried me forward to NYC where I visited with clients. Even though the previous month’s preparation had been thorough, including a wonderful new foundation and renewal, my best-laid plans met a brick wall.

Notebook in hand, I had outlined an entire retreat for one client who was not ready or willing to follow my recipe. Despite the glimmering tools laid neatly in a row, they were not chosen for the job. Fortunately, being in NYC, there are plays, friends, and amazing restaurants to fill one's soul when left stranded by your lofty ideals. While I thought my training was completed earlier in the month, there was more nourishment to be had beyond the eight-course dinner I enjoyed the night before.

Through a set of unplanned circumstances I was gifted the ability to see that while the tools were a necessary strategy, I was the toolbox. Along with this realization was the understanding that a soufflé is more than utensil and ingredients. The heat is the catalyst and I rose to the occasion. Instead of my rattle I used my ability to cook. As we cooked we talked. As we ate we shared. After, I cleaned the kitchen and left, trusting that the right implement had been selected. 226UK8WS7QKY

Recipe for Lemon Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms

2-4 chicken breasts

1 16 ounce bag of washed spinach or two bunches (about 6 cups)

¼ cup of sundried tomatoes, chopped

¼ cup of pitted Kalamata olives

2 tbsp of garlic, chopped

1lb mushrooms, sliced

Juice of one lemon  or ¼ cup

1 tsp dried fresh thyme

3  tbsp fresh basil

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

Olive oil to cover bottom of pan

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Pound chicken so that they are uniform in width. Heat oil in pan until hot over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Put chicken into hot oil and brown on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and place seared pieces into an ovenproof casserole.

Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and heat. Sear mushrooms on high heat for two minutes shaking pan. Add garlic and sauté until brown. Add spinach and sauté until reduced. Add herbs, sundried tomatoes, and olives and reduce until moist. Add lemon.

Put mixture over chicken and bake for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.


More Recipes and videos here.

About Renee Baribeau

Renee is a mentor, healer, coach, teacher, and writer. She has trained with a long list of traditional shamans and modern-day mystics.

To transform your life, sign up for one of Renee’s Tools for Awakening Coaching & Mentoring Programs and experience The Practical Shaman for yourself. There are several programs to meet your individual needs: one-on-one individual sessions, shamanic healing, 12 weeks to self-mastery, a one year focused Tools for Awakening program, Soul Card readings, and Trinifinity 8 sessions. In addition, The Practical Shaman offers journeys to sacred sites around the world and weekend workshops. Learn More.

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Mountains, Mysteries, and Magic: a heart awakening adventure to Machu Picchu and to the Sacred Valley of Peru, September 27 – October 5, 2012. Learn More.

For a current list of Renee's workshops and events, visit the calendar.

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