Overwhelmingly I'm reminded of one simple truth. Showing up, putting in the work is the only secret to success. Whether for your career, fitness, health, nutrition or relationships you have to show up, put in the effort. This reminder courtesy of an ant on the floor of my local Starbucks.
You'd think this post would go in the food portion but I'm going to be rebellious and stick it under life where I think it better fits.
I was thinking about this post this morning over a bowl of oatmeal that I was enjoying more than any person should enjoy a single bowl of warm breakfast. It was my first non-fruitarian breakfast in four days so I was really enjoying the warmth and heartiness of it. But it made me recall a key change in my morning routine that allowed me to enjoy such a simple moment.
I used to subscribe to a paper newspaper years ago that I would enjoy at breakfast. As technology allowed I switched to reading the news on an iPad every morning. I loved my routine (ask my wife, I'm seriously routined in the morning) and was often annoyed when it was interrupted. If a member of my family tried engaging me in conversation I'd be irritated at the distraction. If the paper or digital reading was interrupted by email, work calls or poor news content I'd be starting my day off poorly.
Then one day I realized I never sat in presence with my food. What I mean by that is I hardly stopped to enjoy the mouthfuls, the taste and the pleasure of the ritual of eating. The food was an excuse to sit and get caught up on news that was a distraction at best and bad news at worst. Not only was I ignoring my family and home, I was trivializing being present with the food that was meant to nourish the beginning of each day.
And so several months ago I stopped reading while I ate breakfast. I sat quietly after preparing my food and ate. Noticing the taste, warmth and feeling of my food. How it smelled and made me feel. When I was full and when I felt I needed more.
Even when interrupted by family members it no longer became an irritating distraction, but curiously I found myself not being approached as often with demands for my attention. I found the morning became more relaxed and had better flow.
Yes I still catch up on social media and news each morning. That's a habit I'll deal with at another time but the simple act of sitting with my breakfast each morning has been a remarkably positive change to how I start my day. It's all part of the path to being more present in life and one I hope to translate to the other meals in my day that tend to be more social and eaten with others. This time being more present with the people I'm with and slowing down the eating experience.
Appreciating your meals each day and how they make you feel would seem to me to be a great way to make the connection from food to well being. As a bonus it's also a way to avoid distracted eating which tends to result in overeating. When was the last time you could give an intimate description of how a meal tasted and made you feel?
"Realize Deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life." - Eckhart Tolle