When was the last time you just sat down and enjoyed a meal—or even a glass of water or juice—without multi-tasking? Perhaps you do linger over weekend brunches and an occasional leisurely dinner with family and friends, but how often does this actually happen?
And what about grocery shopping? Do you tend to shop when you’re hungry, stressed, a gazillion thoughts running through your mind? Are the kids in tow vying for your attention and you forgot your list?
Since day-to-day life can be challenging – even overwhelming – at times, you probably have a set routine that works perfectly for you, right? You love order, being in-control, and having a feeling of accomplishment, so deviating from those set routines may seem like wandering into unfamiliar territory.
But what if all you need is a new way of approaching these tasks? Curious?
In non-hierarchical order, here are a few practices that just might assist you with bringing order to that chaos.
While this may seem like a traditional Judaeo-Christian practice (i.e., saying Grace or a Blessing), expressing gratitude—for the meal itself as well as the origins of the food— doesn’t necessarily have to be grounded in any particular religious or spiritual doctrine. Many Buddhists, for example, will chant the Refuge vow before eating their meals, followed by a dedication of merit. When surrounded by family and friends, you have a wonderful opportunity to give thanks to—and for—the people in your life as well as the food and drink itself.
Growing Your Own Food and Herbs
You don’t need to own a farm to grow some, if not all, of your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Tending a garden of any kind—even a window box of medicinal and cooking herbs— is an opportunity to be aware of the growth cycle as well as a way to control what you put in your body. Furthermore, when you grow even a portion of your own food, such as a raised bed of assorted greens, onions, radishes, tomatoes, and artichokes, there is a definite sense of satisfaction when it’s time to harvest. You can even share or trade your extra bounty with others.
Focused Grocery Shopping
Do you decide what meals you want to make ahead of time, and then prepare a list? Do you follow this list to the letter? Or, do you change your mind based on what’s available—or what looks more appealing? Perhaps you’re also one of those indiviuals who sees grocery shopping as an adventure as you walk up-and-down each aisle to see what’s on sale or to explore new ingredients.
Yes, shopping can feel like a routine, even mundane, part of your life. And yes, you are going to be in different moods depending on how busy the store is, what else you need to do that day, and so forth and so on. Consider, however, the effect a positive state-of-mind can have on what you purchase and how you prepare it.
Sometimes, you may choose to ignore your hunger pangs because you don’t want to interrupt what you’re doing. You may even feel annoyed by being hungry. Hunger, however, is usually a sign that you need sustenance.
When you answer this call, do you just wolf down something over the kitchen sink, or do you prepare yourself a healthy meal? If it’s between meals, and you’re focusing on attaining an ideal or optimum healthy weight, do you grab a piece of fruit or have a few slices of leftover pizza?
Have you considered checkiing in with your body when you’re hungry, taking a moment to ask yourself what you need versus what you want? How you want to feel after you’ve eaten? Energized? Satisfied? Relaxed?
Sending Reiki and Positive Intentions
Are you a Reiki student or practitioner? If so, then you probably practice self-healing on a daily basis. In addition, you likely send Reiki to the food and drink you prepare as well as the friends and family who are enjoying it with you.
If you’re not a Reiki practitioner, you can still hold a positive intention that the food you prepare and serve will be nourishing and nurturing. This mindfulness practice can have a wonderful, positive impact on your wellbeing as well as those around you.
So, the next time you discover that you’re rushing through the grocery store, taking bites of salad while checking email and making phone calls or postponing having family and friends over for a real, home-cooked meal, take a moment to consider the alternatives. Just allow yourself to imagine how wonderful it will feel to just relax and savor the moment.