So here I am, outing myself for shoveling sushi into my mouth right out of the cart as I walk to my car in the grocery store parking lot. Obviously this is NOT a mindful way to eat!
I am a spiritual teacher. I teach about meditation and mindfulness, including how to eat mindfully. I know how to eat mindfully, and I normally DO eat mindfully, but on this day I didn’t.
We all have off days. Days where even though we have the tools and know how to use them, we don’t. I am living proof of this. This scenario is the antithesis of mindful eating, and you know what…it happens! I believe that our true growth comes when we admit to ourselves that we stumbled, and we don’t give up. Instead we recommit to our healthy habits and put more attention into living the way we want to live going forward.
I teach that it is ok to have thoughts during meditation, and when we have them we gently, and without judgement return to our focus. The same goes with everything else. I didn’t beat myself up even though I looked like I had no manners and hadn’t eaten in days. I actually started laughing as I completely busted myself, and snapped this picture because I immediately knew it was a teaching moment.
The key is awareness. As we become more aware of our habits, we start to notice what feels good to us and what doesn’t. It doesn’t feel good for me to eat like this, so I am back to putting more attention on my mindful eating habits.
I’d love to share my two favorite tips for eating more mindfully with you. Together they take less than a minute before each meal.
#1: I do a super quick body scan before I eat. I often notice that I am holding tension in my body before I eat, and if I can release it before I take my first bite I really slow down. I have always had a hard time with pacing when I eat and this starts me out on the right foot.
#2: I bless my food. I say something short and sweet like, “I love my food and my food loves me back.” I am putting positive energy and intention into the act of eating, prioritizing the way my food will nourish me above all else.
Be sure in the comments to share a time that you fell off the wagon and got right back on. It doesn’t have to be food related. This can happen with our meditation practice, our workout schedule, or anything else.