Updated: Mar 30, 2020
So I'm back at it - I think. Once I post these 12 Days of Mindfulness, I will probably try to find one a day a week that I dedicate to blogging, until I can get a more realistic time frame of my schedule and when I'll be able to fit it in. This 2019, I'm taking on two new teaching/choreography gigs and hoping to expand my yoga teaching opportunities as well. It is so interesting to reflect on the development of blogging. It's hard. It's not necessarily for a lack of things to write because I have a whole SLEW of ideas, thoughts, intentions.... that said - it is time consuming. Its never a problem with what to write, again, I have a pages worth of themes and ideas, but its getting the inspiration to write about those topics at the same time that I have the time to get it onto paper or on the computer uninterrupted or at least with enough to get main gist down. It is a time commitment and for someone who is already stretched rather thin, making this a daily thing is a bit far-fetched. To those bloggers out there who do this everyday on top of your life and work schedule.... KUDOS. Kudos bro, kudos.
Reflection on Day 4
You may have realized how difficult it can be to truly accept compliments. Today, we got to share compliments. Did you notice how much more freeing it is? Notice how even the littlest thing can brighten someone’s day? When it comes to giving a compliment, did you just say it to say it without meaning it? I highly doubt it, by that logic why would all the comments and praise you were given be lies or untruths? Hopefully with that thought process you were able to take some of the compliments you received and allow them to set in. I just arrived in Cincinnati for the week and knew that accepting compliments was going to be tough, but giving them, it came so naturally. Between spending time with Mike and his friends and engaging with strangers, I had lots of opportunity to share some compliments and thoughts. I found myself even looking for things to comment on, it was like a fun game because it made me truly observant to actions, fashion, self care of others, etc. I hadn't ever really thought too much about giving a compliment - it just sort of happened because I was prompted by something that caught my attention. But paying attention to what caught my attention, had a strange way of enhancing those senses. Watching people who were genuinely touched by my compliments made my heart feel warm and fuzzy. Maybe that sounds a bit silly but there is something about giving positive feedback (whether about who they are as people or the shoes on their feet...) it didn't matter - you could see gratitude shimmer over their face.
Day 5 - Practice Mindful Eating
One of my favorite things, FOOD!
During the holiday season, it can be either very good or very bad for our mindful eating. We are challenging you to be mindful when you eat today (and try to bring it with you everyday).
So what exactly is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is taking time to eat deliberately, without distraction and intentionally. There are a lot of ways to view mindful eating. Some argue it’s as simple as a glass of water before your meal. Others feel the root goes beyond intake and starts with planning the meal itself. Others still feel it’s about recognition of quantity and quality. All are true and valid.
A dear friend of mine, mindfully eats by planning and prepping her meals ahead of time giving her the time to sit down eat and enjoy it. For me, I've in the past year and a half gotten into the habit of meal prepping my dinners for the week. This way, during the work week, especially with my inconsistent and very full schedule, I won't have to worry about getting home at 10pm and not having something to eat. I've also noticed that it doesn’t always allow time for sitting down to eat it but the hardest most labor intensive part aids in ensuring I'm not cooking at 10pm. For me, my hopeful addition to this is finding time each day (even if my schedule only allows it once) to sit down and eat - not as I'm off to the next place.
Another trick for mindful eating is to eat with people and not your technology. Enjoy the warmth of people and their conversation rather than getting warped into your phone. Distractions like phones and TV often lead to over eating because you were not registering if you actually had space and wanted it. .
One of my favorite tricks for this to maximize quality eating and time is with friends is for everyone at the table puts their phone on the table face down in the center, the first person to touch their phone pays the bill. It’s very difficult this day in age to get people to agree to it, but it does lead to genuine undivided undistracted eating and time with people. I've only had a few opportunities to do this with groups willing but it made for such a fulfilling meal.
Tricks and hacks for mindful eating are great especially if this challenge is difficult for you.
Try not to get bogged down but doing all the hacks but finding the ones that work for you! I know when asking around and doing research for this, I found some really intense ones that would almost take away from eating for me... not all but like I said each persons journey is different.
Here were some other ideas to aid with mindful eating:
- Put your fork down between bites
- Try not to pre-cut your meal, lengthening time between bites
- Sit at a table; not on the couch or on the go.
- SENSES: Make your plate presentable, something to enjoy looking at. How does it smell? How does it taste? How satisfying did it sound as it cooked?
- Try to analyze all the ingredients or taste how they combine and appreciate the mix
- Start with your shopping list - consider each ingredients' purpose. What is its health value or benefit? Why are you getting it? Is it in your cart because you want it or it is used for a particular dish? Did you consider your macros (protein, fat, carbs). or its nutrition benefits?
- Don't shop hungry. Whatever you do. Don't go to the store hungry. (Guilty of this, end up with more than I went for)
- Start each meal with a small portion, wait 15 minutes before deciding if you need more.
- SLOW DOWN. Simple. Just slow down.
- Use a smaller plate - your portions will look bigger and your might crave less knowing how full your plate is.
- Give thanks. Take a moment to appreciate the food, the company, your life and be grateful.
- Plan ahead - how many servings of leftovers are you going to have? Divide evenly and enjoy.
Here are a couple more creative ideas that people use but I personally feel would detract from my meal - but if you want to find what works best for you, try them all and fit your fit!
- Chew 25 times
- Feed yourself with your non-dominant hand
- Eat everything with chopsticks for a week
- Take your first bite with your eyes closed (I assume this suggestion was chew your first bite with your eyes closed - if it were me, my food wouldn't make it to my mouth.
- Eat in Silence (I have misophonia* so this wouldn't work for me.)
There are so many tricks - if you have any of your own, please don't hesitate to share them in the comments below!! If you've tried some of these, let me know which work best for you!
*Misophonia - its a chew sound thing - I'll be writing about it soon. I'm not crazy I promise...