From My Mama’s Kitchen by Johnny Tan is about the power of unconditional love, offered to him along with a heavy dose of wisdom, by both his adopted mother in Malaysia, and the 8 other women with whom he bonded in America where he came to attend college. Through their motherly love and recipes for living, they made a positive difference in his life. They also offer a model of how mothers can be effective teachers, coaches and counselors for their children. The book offers a wealth of wisdom for good parenting skills and effective communication.
Some of the motivational words of wisdom from his moms which helped Johnny overcome the challenges of everyday living include:
- Have faith that the right things will come along at the right time and in the right way;
- You can accomplish anything if you focus mind, body and spirit on it;
- Be present in the moment for what we do today will determine what happens tomorrow;
- Trust that all things will work out for the greatest good;
- Be a good listener;
- Never stop learning; and
- Successful people always visualize their successes before they actually attain them.
I found this wisdom to be very close to my own philosophy and I am a big fan of guided visualizations, as I offer a free chakra balancing meditation on my website.
The book pays tribute to all moms, using the kitchen as a wonderful backdrop where Johnny and his moms enjoyed their many conversations. At the end of the book, Johnny incorporates nine of his favorite recipes made by his moms. Give this book to your mom for Mother’s Day or any day – it includes a blank dedication page for readers to inscribe their own loved one’s name, and a space where readers can record their own recipes for living.
Johnny Tan’s journey began when he started college in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Adopted at birth by his Malaysian mom, he realized the rich spiritual connections that resulted from meeting his foster mom in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and 7 other women who would play important roles in his life. Guided by his business achievements and his 9 moms, Johnny experienced the passion to compose From My Mamaʼs Kitchen to honor his moms and mothers everywhere. Released with the endorsement of the National Association of Mothers’ Centers, the book has won five awards and made the Amazon Best Seller List in several categories.
The bookʼs success led Johnny to launch his consulting and speaking career to teach strategies on how to use the power of unconditional love to attain harmony. Here, he answers my questions:
What inspired you to write the book?
Johnny: First and foremost, Happy Mother’s Day to you and thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and celebrate Mother’s Day with your followers.
In late 1999, I decided to write a book to preserve food recipes from my moms. I wanted to create a keepsake for myself. However, seven years went by without inspiration. For one reason or another I could not launch it. I felt there was something missing. In retrospect, I knew that the timing of its undertaking was not right.
Finally, in January of 2007, my then 90-year old Italian foster mom called me, and asked, “Johnny, when are you planning to start on the book? I hope you will finish it before I die.” That turned out to be the wake up call I needed. That April, I started scheduling a couple of hours each evening to write. I would meditate and write whatever came to mind. As the project developed, a theme emerged from the drafts. I realized that Unconditional Motherly Love was the common thread that connected these wonderful women to me.
Over the years, my mom, in her many trips to visit me from Malaysia, had met these ladies and was glad and thankful that they were in my life to take care of her son. She offered to take care of their children if they were ever in Malaysia.
Everything was coming to me crystal clear, and I started writing about the timeless recipes for living rather than food recipes. I was spiritually guided, and I finished the book in 9 months. I used this title because the kitchen is the heart of every home, and it was where my moms and I enjoyed our many conversations. I remember the late evening telephone conversations I had with my moms while cooking dinner, asking for advice about what I was cooking and discussing the latest developments in my life. The timing was especially perfect from my Malaysian mom because we were 13 hours apart. I was home cooking at 8 pm and she was just beginning her day at 9 am.
What “one special idea” do you hope readers will take away from your book?
Johnny: The book gives the readers a chance to recall those magical loving moments they shared with their mothers. It is this unconditional motherly love that makes us who we are. The book speaks from the heart with solutions, skills and wisdom to assist the readers to become better teachers, coaches and counselors to their loved ones. It will inspire and motivate them. It is my hope that readers realize when love is given without regard to conditions it provides us with the empowerment that drives our ambition to succeed.
Where do you find your inspiration to write?
Johnny: The inspiration to write comes from my life’s journey, The experiences I have encountered, good or bad form the basis of my understanding and appreciation for the power of relationships, the nature of love and the meaning of life.
Many of the “recipes for living” from your Moms are akin to the principles of the world’s great philosophies. How would you advise others to meet and recognize such wise women?
Johnny: The secret to meeting and recognizing such wise women starts from a sincere desire to build lasting relationships. Engaging those kind of special people and building relationships demands a thorough understanding of the mechanics involved in establishing such a connection. These three ingredients: authenticity, humility and speaking from the heart, are vital in the building process. A relationship built on mutual respect and admiration results in harmony.
You can get more info on From My Mama’s Kitchen at http://www.johnnytan.com/buy-my-book/.