This weeks post is all about mindfulness. Mindfulness plays an important role in our overall health and happiness as it allows up to pause and engage in the moment. Mindfulness also allows us to appreciate the beauty in the most simple of situations. Take our relationship with food for example. “I love food” is a common sentiment yet many people are not really allowing themselves the space to truly love their food experiences.
Do you love food as much as I do? Then why not take the opportunity to stop, breathe and celebrate every bite on your plate? It’s so easy to get caught up in the “should’s” that you may forget to glorify the little things that make your life rich on a day-to-day basis. For many, food evokes a negative response – when in fact it’s a positive and crucial part of our lives. You can change your relationship with food, and it starts with appreciation and choosing to be present. Slow down and engage all of your senses the next time you shop for, cook or eat a meal, and the result will be a transcendent, extraordinary experience.
The first step in engaging your senses is taking time to experience the moment. Once you find the space to breathe and be present, you’ll be amazed at the joy your food has to offer you. When you engage all your senses, the brain releases feel-good chemicals, which elevate your mood and evoke feelings of trust, enjoyment and relaxation. The result is that you’ll enjoy your food in a new and exciting way. Click here to read more!
The simple act of taking a few purposeful, deep breaths can be life changing and it does not have to be complicated or time consuming! Take a few seconds (right now!!!) and find a comfortable, seated position. Close your eyes (ahhh…that feels good) and simply focus on your breath. Inhale through your nose filling up your lungs and exhale through your mouth–relaxing your belly. Repeat this a few times and practice greeting your thoughts with curiosity instead of judgement. Visualize the air, as you inhale, calming any area of your body that need attention.
Take a moment to relish in the simplicity of this exercise and the calm that it brings you!
When I was younger I had a tendency to dwell in negative thoughts. I purchased a print of the above picture from Brian Andreas of “Story People” when I was in college as a reminder to nurture the positive seeds in my life. It still hangs on my wall and I am happy to say I now smile each time I look at it. I love the following quote which is from one of my favorite Buddhist teachers as it speaks to the sentiment of the above picture and the intention to see the good in each moment.
“ We each have many kids of “seeds” lying deep in our consciousness. Those we water are the ones that sprout, come up into awareness and manifest outwardly” If we pay attention only the negative seeds, we are wallowing in our sorrows and not getting any positive nourishment. We can practice appropriate attention- giving attention or “watering” the wholesome qualities in us by touching the positive things that are always available inside and around us. If you practice mindfulness and compassion every day- the seed of compassion will be with you- naturally if compassion goes up- arrogance goes down. We can selectively water the good seeds and refrain from watering the bad seeds. ” — Thich Nhat Hanh from Shambhala Sun Magazine