What does it mean to be mindful? Many of us have very full minds, but little conscious awareness of what we are thinking, feeling, observing, and sensing, moment to moment. A mindfulness practice can slow the process down enough that we can become aware of our actual experiences in life. However, we don’t need a “practice” so much as the intention to stay in the present: to eat when we are eating, talk when we are talking, read when we are reading, walk when we are walking.
Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life. – Thich Nhat Hanh
The culture many of us are immersed in encourages us to consume, consume, consume, and often at a rapid pace. We move swiftly from bed to breakfast to work – often eating lunch on the fly, or not at all – and completing the circle back home, perhaps for a meal, or even later after social time out or shopping, or more work, then back to bed. And repeat. As long as we are “on the track” there is little time for reflection – for really becoming aware of the quality of our lives. In our haste, we overlook the fact that the food we eat doesn’t really satisfy. We eat expediently, using old familiar recipes, but not experiencing fully what is on our plates – we don’t savor the flavors, the colors, the tantalizing smells that call to our senses.
At RAWareness we believe there are so many great opportunities to enjoy what we eat – from exploring new foods and new recipes, to growing fruits and vegetables ourselves, to buying direct from farmers, to joining a food club or CSA, to thoughtfully shopping at grocery stores, to awareness during food preparation, to offering gratitude before or after meals – all this before we actually savor what we put in our mouths!