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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.
A 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.
Welcome to ‘mindful-eating’ and to those interested in learning more about mindful eating and mindful living.
In the beautiful Central West of NSW we celebrate delicious regional foods and wines grown locally. This, when combined with the spaciousness that comes from being in the beauty and nature of an exquisite valley ‘nested in the hills’, gives us plenty of opportunities to reflect. Reflect on how to achieve the balance between pleasure and health, enjoyment and moderation, work and leisure.
Life, we are told, is the best teacher. And life here, like living in all places, has plenty of lessons. Like our ancient hills, life has its up and downs with daily journeys that can go from hilltop to valley floor. Mindfulness, I have found, is an ancient wisdom that we can use to ease our path and to guide our way.
For those who like to seek, write, understand or explore I have found this valley to be a source of great inspiration. It gives us many moments to be mindful and nature offers many metaphors. So, whether you’re here for a few days or a lifetime, I hope this countryside can become your classroom too. It has a wonderful array of lifestyle moments and events – a harvest of abundant, delicious foods and wines, – and time, if we choose to take it, to reflect and re-consider our relationship with our lives, with our food and with ourselves. The cafes, the country lanes, the people and the places help us remember what’s important in life. Time spent here shows us how food, healthy activity and life can be a source of both great nourishment and great joy. May your moments in the beautiful Central West be many; may your moments in the beautiful Central West be blessed.
Twitter: Mindful Eating Moments @eatingmindfully