Last updated on January 2nd, 2019 at 04:25 pm
Andrea Beaman big dream interview, Part Two: From Top Chef contestant to conference speaker to television host with a newfound appreciation for the little things in life.
In part two of our series “Dream Big Interviews,” former “Top Chef” contestant and chef, Andrea Beaman shares where she is now with her dream plans after living in the television spotlight and how she has learned to appreciate the small moments in life. You can read part I of this interview series at: “Dream Big Interviews Part I: Top Chef Entrant Andrea Beaman.”
Andrea Beaman Talks Living Your Big Dream
Q. What have been the biggest challenges you have had to face since you realized your dream on Top Chef?
The biggest challenges I’ve had to face have been my own voice that tells me that I’m not good enough. Anytime I’m faced with something, it’s me. I have to look at myself, it’s either that I’m going to do it or I’m not going to do it. I’m the only one that can stop me. My thoughts about myself, my feelings about myself, who I think I am or what I think I am, what I think I am capable of.
If I limit myself or have a limited perspective of who I am or what I am capable of, then I’ll always stop myself from moving forward. But, if I open my possibilities and I become limitless like the universe, then I can do anything.
Really, the biggest challenge is getting rid of that small voice that is very loud. It says, “You’re not good enough, you can’t do it, who are you to do anything like that? You’re not an expert, you’re not a professional, blah, blah, blah.”
This labeling and this programming and all this stuff is nonsense. I know today that it is nonsense. Back then, I would believe it, “Oh, yeah, I can’t do that, who am I kidding? I’m not good enough. I don’t have the right credentials.”
I think sometimes credentials are a stick in the mud. They can hold you in one place and stop you from taking charge of your situation. I often think about how the doctors who diagnosed me had impressive credentials. They are the doctors who told me that I can’t heal my thyroid condition, that I had to receive a radioactive iodine treatment, that I can’t do this about my health, and I can’t do that about my thyroid. These were the people from some of the best universities in the country. And what did they know about why this happened with my thyroid gland? I think about how much doctors and medical science don’t know about endocrine diseases. I reflect on what is going on in our society is that it’s all about programming and following some norm. It’s really limiting and small. I think we are limitless and gigantic when we let ourselves get in touch with participating actively in our own health and healing.
Paying it Forward by Sharing Big Dream Advice
A. Absolutely! And, that negative voice is still here today. And, I choose instead to listen to my stronger, more expansive voice. The voice that says, “Yes you can do this!” The tiny, scared voice is still there even though it’s much quieter than my “you can do it” voice. It’s still there and it might be there for the rest of my life. I don’t know, but I know that I can choose to listen to it or decide to take a risk.
It’s like that Native American tale where a grandfather is teaching his grandson about anger, he says,
“A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good–he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson asks, “Which wolf will win?”
His grandfather replies, “The one you feed.”
You have two voices inside of you–one who encourages you and one who discourages you. Which one do you choose to feed? The one you feed is the one who determines the life you’ll live. For the past ten years, I’ve been thoughtfully choosing to feed the voice that calls me to my higher purpose and holds a grander version of me–one with unlimited possibilities. The take-a-risk-and-dare-to-dream-big narrative.
Q. What advice do you think is especially important for women to hear when it comes to going after a big dream?
A. Especially for women, I tell them don’t listen to the little voice that says you’re not good enough, you’re small, you can’t do this–or because you’re a woman. Definitely trust your intuition, trust your inner guidance–but be careful the guidance isn’t coming from a place of insecurity. Women are highly intuitive, so tap into that innate wisdom. It should feel expansive and a little scary. Women have always been known to have a sixth sense. Be guided by your intuition and sixth sense calling you to take a chance on your big dream.
I think women went astray from feeding their needs when the patriarchy came into power with very male-dominated energy. It was almost the destruction of the feminine self. I think women really need to pull their power back. We have to create a balance. There really needs to be a symmetry in the world. It’s not about women going to war. It’s not about women pushing the red button, you know what I mean? It’s more the softness, the maternal, we have to take our feminine power back in a big way.
And, I always think about the power of cooking. Many women have moved out of the kitchen into the cubical workplace and they think that’s the better power place. I can tell you that it’s not always true!
When women enjoy a kitchen and the power to purchase healthy ingredients and to cook for themselves or for loved ones, they have so much strength they don’t even realize it. They hold the power to control the health and wellbeing of the people in their lives–including their own.
Staying on Track to Achieve Big Dream Goals
A. I wake up every morning reflecting on my life’s passions, my desire to be fully present in the world and using my feminine power to change lives. To keep myself on track, I do the things that make me feel good. On a daily basis, I’ll either do one of three things when I wake up, I will either:
Or I’ll do all three when I have time.
I try to meditate on a daily basis. I want to say that six out of the seven days I wake up, I meditate. Even when I don’t want to sit there, I get still and I become quiet.
I also exercise on a daily basis because it makes me feel good. I eat healthy as often as possible. I try to do most often the habits that make me feel good. That helps me to stay on track because if I’m feeling good and looking good, it helps me to stay focused. I think:
Ok, here I am in the world. I’m looking good. I’m feeling good. Let’s go! Let’s get this big dream accomplished!
I also don’t like to leave things unfinished. If I start something, I like to finish it. If it’s unfinished, I am uncomfortable. I don’t like to leave things hanging. For the past ten years, when I go to bed at night, there is not a dish in my sink. If there are dishes in the sink I can’t go to sleep. I will wake up in the middle of the night if I remember there is a fork left sitting in the sink.
I’m telling you, I was once one of the sloppiest people! It used to kill my mother; she would cry when she walked into my room. She’d say, “Ann, this place looks like a bomb exploded in it.” And it did! She was right. I had dishes underneath my bed for weeks. I can’t even imagine that I used to live that way.
If I start dinner on the stove, I have to finish it by doing the dishes. I can’t leave them for an hour, or a half hour, I have to finish. If I wake up the next morning and there are dishes in the sink, I feel negativity when I walk into the kitchen. It feels like I’m starting my day carrying over excess baggage from the day before. Walking into a clean kitchen helps me to have more energy right away first thing in the morning. You have to know these kinds of things about your feelings and support the tasks that make you feel good. It’s not always an easy thing to do. There’s always that voice saying, “I don’t feel like it right now. I’ll do the dishes tomorrow.”
Even when you know you will regret listening to that passive voice the next day. Strive for the positive feeling you want to experience and complete the task now that will create a better, more joyful feeling later.
Embrace Your Dream Setbacks–No Regrets!
A. No. There’s nothing I would have done differently, because even the things I totally screwed up, were learning-lessons and stepping stones to my big dream.
For example, if you stay too long in a negative relationship, the lesson, once it’s over, is you have to nip problems in the bud from the start or you can’t be with that type of person anymore–set your boundaries right away. If it turns out that something I’ve tried wasn’t a good idea, I learn from it.
I can’t say that there is anything about my dream journey I would have done over again. Everything I have done, whether it positively or negatively affected me, brought me to the place where I accomplished a big dream.
And today I feel alive, healthy, beautiful, and loving life to the fullest, so no, I don’t think I would change anything.
Even the experience I had with my mother, you know, being with my mother at the end of her life when she was on her deathbed. She’s not here today, and that was a harrowing experience for me as a young girl, I was 23-years-old.
When I was 24, she finally died, but even living through that experience when I look back and reflect on it, having time with my mother helped me to know her more intimately on a level I never knew prior to her diagnosis. I never really knew her, I only knew her as my mom when I was growing up. As I got to know her in her dying days, I was like, “Oh my god, this is one of the most beautiful people I ever met in my life!”
I experienced a part of her soul that I never had access to before. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention because she was healthy all the other times. Even experiences like death, I am grateful for. Both the bad stuff and the positive stuff have helped me to become aware of how I use my time and to love life more deeply while I’m still here.
Moving Forward Once You Achieve Your Big Dream
A. That’s an interesting question since I feel I’ve already accomplished so much. Right now, I’m focusing on living my life as fully as possible. I do enjoy teaching people how you can take back control of their health through good food choices.
I’m appreciating the simple things around me like birthdays and spending time with my boyfriend enjoying restorative actions like getting a double massage at our favorite Chinese/Japanese health institute. They these amazing cold water baths and hot water baths. It’s so invigorating.
My boyfriend always says to me after a restorative session:
“One day when we have enough money, we’re going to have a hot- and-cold bath.” I said, “Yes! When we get our place we’re going to have a hot-and-cold bath and we’re also going to have a gym!”
I value these moments because now I understand how visualizing something you want to accomplish, then talking about it to make it feel real, and to become excited about a new dream idea creates the power to manifest them into being. Start by appreciating all of the little restorative actions that make you happy or bring you joy. There’s information there about where your life is calling you to be.
I’m in a healthy relationship. I love what I do for a living. I’m happy to be alive. I have my health. I have my family. I love my nephews to death. I suppose we can say that my current big dream is to keep living my life in appreciation for my current circumstances and looking for ways to share what I know about living healthy. And in doing this I know that my life will magically continue to challenge me to do more–to become more. That excites me. There is always something great to strive for coming around the next life’s corner.
Just be sure to enjoy your dream journey.
I would like to thank Top Chef’s Andrea Beaman for taking the time to share her story with me, inspire me to live my dreams and to remind me that I should listen to my expansive voice–and so should you.
Andrea Beaman (HHC, AADP, CHEF) is a nationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, best-selling author, an energetic and engaging public speaker, and Natural Foods Chef. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts of 2012 by Greatist.com, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership Award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, she has been teaching individuals and health practitioners how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers with nutritional practices. To learn more about Andrea and what dreams she is manifesting, visit her at her website: www.AndreaBeaman.com.
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