Mindfulness is an important aspect of my daily life. I tried to be mindful of what I eat, what I put on my body, the environmental impact of what I use and do.
However, I must admit, there are areas in my life I can use more mindfulness in. One such area is: eating.
I love to eat. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love to eat and have deep appreciation for food.
Indeed, I do express such appreciation and savor what I eat on a regular basis, but when it comes to day-to-day eating, I find myself mindlessly eating with one hand on a phone and the other holding a fork.
Just this afternoon as I was eating my lunch, I caught myself yet again reaching for my phone to check my email.
Did I not just check my email 30 minutes ago? What is so urgent that I have to check my email so incessantly?
Nothing. Nothing at all.
I even have a section in my free guide called "Sensual Eating," where I instruct people to take a time out to enjoy and savor every bite they take. (Practice what you preach, anyone?)
So I put away my phone to actually focus on the food I was eating. I tasted the food slowly. Taking in the texture, taking in the taste. Enjoying my lunch and enjoying the moment.
Our mind often wanders off somewhere in the future or the past or fantasy land, so this simple act will help you bring yourself back to the present moment.
And what happens when you can be present to what's happening in the now?
Your joy increases and you put hold on your misery (also known as your story), which you can choose to take back later if you so choose (but why would you want to do that???--more on that on future post).
And, pleasure level goes way up when you eat this way mindfully.
4 Eating Rules To Increase Pleasure By Tenfold:
1. Put away your phone.
I know a part of you may have a fit hearing these words, but tell that part she/he can have the phone back in 15 minutes (or however long it takes to eat your meal).
Put away (or turn off) any other kind of electronics or distraction (book or magazine) so that your entire attention will be on the experience of eating.
2. Give gratitude for the food.
It took the energy of the sun, rain, soil as well as many hands to bring you this meal to your table. Recognize the miracle and express appreciation in any way you would like.
3. Take in the beauty of the food.
We often just start gobbling up our meal without giving it much thought or look. Take a look and notice what it looks like, smells like, and feels like. You might discover something you never noticed before. Take it all in.
4. Slow down, chew, and savor.
It's embarrassing to admit but I used to (I still do sometimes...) eat as if I was a starving child growing up. No, I was never starving (perhaps in another life...) but I remember stuffing my mouth as quickly as I could, even before I was far from done chewing what was in my mouth.
I was always rushing to put "more, more, more" and I didn't want to take a pause. I just wanted the flavors to continually be in my mouth until I was totally stuffed and done.
I realize now that, I was missing the beginning, middle, and end that comes with every bite. I was just going for the most dynamic experience of eating--the burst of flavor in the beginning.
There is much complexity in every bite, when you actually slow down and let yourself go through each phase of eating: a burst of flavor with your bite, a more subtle complex taste as you chew, and then the cadence--where you allow things to fade and you can deeply appreciate what you have just experienced as you rest before you take another bite.
Let it be a full, rich experience that it can be.
*****If you are interested in step-by-step instructions for "sensual eating," be sure to sign up to download my free guide here.