Autumnal Equinox 2006
It's true that intentional breathing, intentional water drinking (imbue and imbibe), and intentional sleeping cause balance. But there's one thing more, and that's intentional eating. With your practice of breathing and drinking water, and your practice of gratitude and generosity, you've been bringing balance and openness to your life. Your awareness is alert. Now bring your awareness to bear on the food you eat.
I'm not suggesting that you change what you eat so much as you change the way you eat. As you have discovered, intentional breathing is both different from and influences your everyday breathing. Many of you have reported that after practicing intentional breathing for a while, you began to be aware of your breath during the day. Your everyday breathing changed seemingly on its own as a result of your intentional breathing practice. You'll find the same to be true of intentional eating.
When you sit down to eat your main meal of the day, take a moment to breathe. While you breathe, experience gratitude. Gratitude for the farmer and the food for sure, but also experience wonder and gratitude for your body -- that you can put something in your mouth and know that your body will turn it into life -- your life. It truly is a wonder, don't you think?
This is a little different from saying grace or blessing the food. It is intentionally waking up to the wonder of your innate tendency toward robust health. Experience the wonder, feel it in your body. Know it. This piece of food becomes your life! Then enjoy your meal!
As you did with your breath, you're taking something that was automatic and bringing your awareness to it. And as you have learned from your breathing practice, the act of bringing your awareness to it can change everything.
With your breathing you began small, 3 or 4 minutes, and built up to the goal of 15 minutes twice a day. Do the same with intentional eating. Don't set a goal that is daunting, such as every time you eat. Pick one meal a day that you think you're most apt to be able to practice intentional eating with. Start there. Build from there.
Try it. Intentional eating. And as always, let me know what happens.
WHERE AM I?
Not in Duluth. I'm in Minneapolis for a few days, but it looks like by this coming weekend (the 23rd or 24th) we'll be moving to Clear Lake, Iowa for a week or two, then maybe on to Omaha. All this moving is for Deb's job.
Do you know anything you'd like me to know about Clear Lake/Mason City? Omaha? Kearney (Minden), Nebraska? Tell me, please.
It's all part of the adventure!
The Autumnal Equinox is upon us again, and it's time to pay special attention to balance. Breathing for 15 minutes morning and evening brings balance to your body and your spirit. As does drinking enough water every day, and getting enough sleep. Look back at your life since you began your Breath and Water practice. Can you find evidence of balance? Celebrate it! Then share your story with the rest of us -- send it to me and I'll pass it along.
And during these days surrounding the equinox, have fun with balance. Dance a balancing dance, learn to juggle, walk a fine line. Spend a few minutes writing about what helps you maintain your balance day by day. Share that with us, too.