With all the information out there about what foods are good for us, it takes a solid commitment to keep checking in with my body about what’s good for me. I trust now that my body knows best, but only when I get out of the way. And that’s the tricky part. I often don’t even know that I’m in the way!
But even my intention to be mindful of my body has paid off over time. I am beginning to be more aware of what gets me fatigued after a meal, what makes my stomach feel bloated and what make me hungry an hour after I’ve had a meal. Along with that, a little slower to follow, is the willingness and ability to honor what I’ve learned.
As with food and drinks, there are those things that nourish our senses, our intellects and our spirits. Thich Nhat Hahn is my particular inspiration here. His writing and talks have brought to my attention the fact that so many of us have a hard time with aggressive energy. He points out how it is often a result of all the stress hormones we consume from the meat we eat, animals that secrete these in the hours and moments before they are killed. These become part of us. We then sincerely try to manage our emotions in different ways, and it’s often a great struggle. We are what we eat is powerful statement.
What do I choose to read and what television shows do I watch? What conversations do I choose to be part of and which ones do I avoid? What visual sights are life-giving for me? What fabric does my skin like the feel of? What shoes do my feet feel comfortable and secure in?
Just being aware of this: the things that make my body happy and energetic, helps me also… over time… choose to follow through with the changes I need to make. Something in me seems to support my efforts to reduce sugar by mysteriously lowering my need for it! All of a sudden, familiar items begin to feel ‘too’ sweet for my taste!
When I begin to tune in to what feels good for me, what ‘I’ like, free from what I ‘should’ like or ‘have liked’, I begin to do much better. I have to worry less about whether I’m doing it right and what professionals have to say. I do read and hear all I need to and then I can check in with the boss, myself!
A student of mine, after a class on this topic decided to PAUSE before she turned the TV on… just allowing for enough time to make it a choice. She also became more conscious of the effect that watching different programs had on her. Another student made a decision to walk away from certain groups when they began to gossip. This is not a moral issue we’re talking about. It’s about doing what feels right and delicious for us at every point. It’s about making choices for ourselves from a place that’s free, a place that knows and cares for us.
Take a moment to PAUSE!
What resonates with you in all of this?
- Do you think about the consequences of choices you make every day?
- How aware are you of what goes into your body and what your senses are exposed to?
- Would you consider pausing more in your daily life, before you make choices about what to eat, watch, do or say?
Perhaps you can engage the support of family and friends in the practice of this PAUSE. It can be fun!