In my history of dieting it felt like every time I would go off plan it was an excuse to count my whole day, sometimes my whole week, as a write off. I would tell myself that I could start again tomorrow next week. I would then be free and engage in an overeating ritual that was spurred on by a strange combination of punishment and welcome indulgence. Dieting was always about absolutes, ‘good food/bad food’, or ‘on diet/ off diet’. With a mindful eating approach to food there is no right or wrong, there is only noticing ‘what is’. Within this there is an opportunity to mindfully notice all experiences of food. Even if we are in the middle of eating the third cookie in a row, by just experiencing a bit of that cookie mindfully we can instantly be connected to the moment and in that there is healing.
Presence with food awakens a feeling of reverence about the food that had never existed prior. For example, we can have several bites of a regular sandwich, just vaguely aware of the tastes and textures, and then, as if by some magical transformative process, take one powerful mindful bite where the spirit of the food is unbridled. Then it is possible to truly taste the aliveness and connect with the different flavors and the various sensual experiences on the tongue, teeth and throat. It is not just about an enhanced sensory experience: Those mindful bites offer the potential for a connection to our spirituality.
Through the deeper cravings course we learn that adopting a practice of mindful eating has us arrive at a place of gratitude, encouraging us to eat only what is needed and respecting the process that it took for the food to get on the plate. This positions us as appreciative recipients of the gift. Mindful eating is generous in that way; so much opportunity, not only each bite but each morsel within the bite. If only one crumb is experienced mindfully it opens the door for Spirit.