By Sara Regester
I was recently leading a class in a mindful eating exercise and it evolved into a spiritual experience for the whole class. I reflect on the path where our mindful eating carried us to connect with the Spirit of our food. It truly gave us all a pause for heart-felt gratitude and appreciation for the food we eat. Connecting to our food using all of our senses in that moment. We truly appreciated the nourishment that sustains us and offered gratitude to the animal world and the plant world that provides our food.
The “give-way” of the plants and animals in our food is to give their life so that we may live. Their gift to humanity is to feed the people. Be it a salad, vegetable, fish, poultry or meat, each of these are part of the circle of life on Grandmother Earth. They are all essentially alive at some point before they become our food. They have their own unique “aliveness” and purpose.
In nature, there is a natural food chain of inter-connection, inter-reliability and inter-dependency of how the plants and animals interact as children of Grandmother Earth. We sometimes forget that we are also part of the children of Grandmother Earth. As humans, we tend to separate ourselves from the rest of creation, we forget that we are part of the cycle of life on earth too. All of us; plants, animals, minerals and humans, are going through the cycles of life, death, change, transformation and rebirth.
Your food goes through this cycle when you eat it. The grass goes through this cycle when the deer eats it. The deer goes through this cycle when the mountain lion eats it. This is how it is that death brings life. We forget this when we are simply eating a plate of food.
As we enter the last stages of 2020, what a surprise we are living in, relative to how this year started with such hopes and aspirations for a new chapter, a new decade and optimistic faith for what may lie ahead. Fast forward to November, on the cusp of the holiday season, we see ourselves coming through the most chaotic times that no one saw coming at the start of the year. If this year was written as a suspense novel, we would be turning the page to see what happens next and at the same time afraid to turn the page to see what happens next….
This year brought an awakening for many of us, some would describe it as a “Great Awakening.”
We woke up and took stalk of our priorities to assess what really matters. We took better care for ourselves and our families and co-workers with a commitment to stay healthy and to guard the health of our precious ones who may be vulnerable. We have all been touched by the events of this year in so many ways.
Pause and reflect in this moment….
- What was awakened in you?
- What do you appreciate now with new eyes and a new respect for life?
When you sit down to enjoy your next meal, take a pause, reflect and then start a stream of gratitude for the give-away of the food that is nourishing and sustaining you. Reflect on all that touched your food before it came to your plate.
Grandfather Sun shined his light to grow the food. The water came to nourish it. Grandmother Earth supported the seeds to sprout. Send gratitude to the farmer and the rancher who grew the food, the workers who harvested the food. There were truck drivers who brought your food to the market. Then the food company workers packaged your food. You shopped at your local store where employees stocked your food and then the cashier rang up your food. Then a thought of where the money came from to pay for your food. Perhaps there was someone who prepared your food.
The circle of gratitude and appreciation can ripple out like a pebble in a pond from each of us if we are the pebble.
All of us are inter-connected, inter-reliable and inter-dependent within our community.
During these challenging times we have all felt the ripple of chaos and change that woke us up to pay closer attention to the world around us. We are changed now from where we each were last January. For every part of us that experienced a “death-change” we are also experiencing a rebirth or renewal. Life will always go forward in these cycles of death-change-rebirth.
Let’s embrace appreciation and gratitude for the Soul food that we are connected with in our lives, not just what we eat but “how” we feed and nourish ourselves during these next weeks as this very memorable year comes to a close. Life is precious. We are each precious. Life, death and rebirth brings the promise that on the other side of chaos and change is new life. The invitation is stay awake and aware in your life so you can keep turning the pages of this suspense novel to see what happens next rather than to be caught off guard by the uncontrollable.
You can be the pebble in the pond that is sending out the ripples of connection, gratitude and appreciation for what and who you value in your life.
This is your Soul food.
Sara Regester is our featured teacher this month for our LIVE ZOOM event. Don't miss it!