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The Lifespan of our Meals

December 28, 2013
Family Eating in Dining Room

Family Eating in Dining Room

My brother-in-law is a very concrete thinker and I remember the first time I heard someone ask him if he enjoyed his meal. He stared back at the person who asked the question and repeated the words “enjoy my meal” with this quizzical look on his face. “What do you mean? I just eat it, and that’s it. How does someone enjoy their meal?”

The more I implement mindfulness into all facets of my life, the more elaborate the definition of the word enjoy becomes. Like the layers of an onion that peel away to reveal the more flavorful and beautiful portion of the onion, so it is with in-depth focusing and awareness in the moment.

This may sound strange at best to many, but have you ever thought deeply and fully about the “lifespan” of the food you eat? It takes an amazing amount of work, effort and energy to produce the result of getting our food onto our plate.

If it is a fruit or vegetable or grain, it began somewhere in some field by a farmer with the sowing of the seeds. Personally, I find the idea of focusing, even for a few brief seconds, on this type of thought when I sit down before a plate of food and devoting my full energy to different aspects of my food this way produces a sense of inner calmness in me that then spills over to my being able to eat slower and enjoy the experience in a different way.

We have implemented a “no-fly zone” for anything electronic at our dinner table for years in our family. It usually gets a bit of grunting and grumbling, especially when new children come into our home, but it doesn’t take long before conversations begin to flow and people feel they are a part of something quite unique and special that they don’t get everywhere.

Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

By keeping outer distractions to a minimum and permitting dinner time to be a time without turmoil, it permits us to focus on other things that matter. No, I don’t impose my new ideas about tracing the evolution of my food to our teenagers. They would laugh me out of Dodge on a rail! But we do respect the time together, enjoy the moment, and relax a bit. This in turn makes us all a bit more mindful, whether we realize it or not.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

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From → Mindfulness, Wellness

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