Many people have asked me about my title of Auntie Artichoke. Whose aunt am I? Do I have many nieces and nephews and they call me Auntie Artichoke? Actually, I do have relatives, but the title of Auntie has nothing to do with blood lines but rather spiritual connections.
Auntie is an honorary title that is given to a woman who has a great influence in the life of others. This title implies strength and an ability to see the best and give encouragement. In many cultures, including Hawaiian and Native American, wise, kind and guiding mentors and teachers are called Auntie and Uncle as a sign of respect.
The underlying message of an Auntie is love and acceptance. As an Auntie, I am able to share wisdom and insight without the “shoulds and should nots” parents like to enforce. There is no shame, blame and criticism.
Aunties can listen without judgment, share without restrictions and love unconditionally.
I am honored to be called Auntie and to use the Artichoke as a symbol of the work I do. The artichoke is a strange food and many have never tried it because they were not sure what to expect. It certainly looks funny.
But the artichoke is very much like the families I work with across the world who are just like yours and mine.
We are all closed off and held tight at first glance. Some of us have prickly ends and don’t want to be opened or examined too closely. The only way to open an artichoke and a family member is with patience and warmth.
Until the artichoke has time to cook, the leaves won’t open and reveal the true treasure-which is the heart. As you pull apart the leaves, you will find them increasingly delicious and meaty. When you have spent the time and effort to unfold the heart of either the artichoke or person, you will find the heart.
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