“We live, embrace and put to rest our dearest things, including how we see ourselves, so we can resurrect our lives anew.”
Meditation is the practice of mindfulness, of being present to “now”, this moment, non-judgmentally. It is the practice of meditation that strengthens and anchors the skills of mindfulness, of reducing the stress of bombarding and negative thoughts and feelings. Having a practice of mindfulness allows us to question the activity of our minds. Without being able to look at this activity from a larger, compassionate perspective, we are at the mercy of each thought, desire and emotion.
Eating mindfully asks us to be present and aware of our thoughts and emotions in regards to food. Often there are deep feelings of shame and hopelessness – and thoughts and opinions that are self-loathing and degrading. We must look with inquiry, not our usual mistrust, at what is actually “here”, including the assumptions and judgments we continually make regarding life. When we consistently use defenses and safety nets we developed 20 or 30 years ago or more, we become stuck in the past. We are not living in the present and we are not living in truth; we, instead, believe a lie and it is a lie that can become deadly.
Being present moment to moment provides us with the opportunity to disengage with the destructive part of ourselves and reclaim our own strength, respect and dignity. Only then will we be able to make decisions about our relationship to food and to food choices. Meditation teaches us to return, again and again, to ourselves and to what we truly love. It is our path to becoming present – to inhabiting our bodies once again. It is from this place of mindfulness– here, now (and only here and only now) – that we are able to make healthy, informed choices about food and about our health and well-being.
Try devoting a few minutes each day for beginning or deepening your meditation practice. Find a comfortable place – as free from distraction as possible – and sit quietly, focusing awareness on the breath. Allow thoughts to come and go, returning awareness to the breath each time thoughts wander. Notice the quality of the breath: is there warmth or coolness in the nostrils? How does the abdomen and the entire body move with the breath? Continue breathing, letting the body breathe itself. And if you care to, gradually increase the amount of time you spend each day in meditation practice, knowing each moment spent in silence is golden.