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‘Pause’ and be mindful

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Pause. Take a breath. Focus.

It’s so simple. Yet why do we forget this small, first step towards mindful eating?

It’s easy to forget to eat mindfully anytime, but at breakfast it’s more likely than most. Hurried. Routine. Same food often, day after day. Another workday and another meal with our minds more occupied by the “to-do list” than the food before us.

I was reminded to ‘pause’ at breakfast today by a wise teacher. The pause reminded me that breakfast is often the meal I enjoy most. Oats. Dried fruit. Yoghurt. Not much extra time was needed to taste, explore and fully experience it. A gratitude for the farmers and those who helped it arrive at my door. This moment. This food and it’s nutrition, nourishing and becoming me.

pause takes exactly 3 seconds. Yes three. And this alone can make the difference between a mindful meal and a mindless one. The power of the pause is that its reminds us to ask: “Where is our mind right now?”

So perhaps a mindful eating practice may be:

  • Pause before you start.
  • Pause half way through the meal.
  • Pause at the end of the meal.
  • Pause when you notice you are distracted or eating out of habit.

Pausing may not be the only step – but it’s the first step – and without it, we spiral down into unconsciousness, with the loss of this one delicious moment forever. Mindless eating undermines not only our health but the qualities of our life. So if you do nothing else for yourself at your next meal, do this…

Pause. Take a breath. And focus on the food before you. It is such a simple way to bless yourself.

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