Not that long ago I decided to learn something new - actually it wasn't my idea. I met a woman who teaches folks how to make chocolate truffles at home. She talked me into it. I almost backed out multiple times.
Class day came and I had more fun than I expected. Figured out I could make wonderful tasting candies that didn't aggravate my food allergies or sensitivities! Talk about a self-care celebration!
But the best part of the entire program was on the last day. She talked us through what she called a chocolate meditation.
Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of meditation; it actually increases my anxiety instead of helping. But I am a true chocolate lover, so I played along.
And it was LOVELY!
It was actually more mindfulness than meditation. I know those two words are used almost interchangeably many times, but let me explain.
Being mindful simply means you're only thinking about what is going on right now in this moment. And as the moments change, you pay attention to what changes. Through it all, the idea is to not judge what is going on - it's neither good nor bad, right nor wrong.
There's a lot of freedom in that moment - because there is nothing to fix or apologize for or regret.
With something like a chocolate meditation, aka chocolate mindfulness, you're focusing on and actually tasting the thing you're eating or drinking. You notice how it smells, what it sounds like and what it feels like. You notice how the tastes change over time and on different parts of your tongue. Ultimately, you notice how it makes you feel.
There is a lot more to the act of eating than what we really take time to appreciate in this crazy, zooming world. In fact, it's probably more common to skip a meal than to really sit and pay attention to what you eat.
But for those of us who want to incorporate mindfulness or meditation but just can't seem to find the time, what if we used the first few bites of a meal or a cup of hot, aromatic tea or an afternoon snack as a way to take a few breaths and focus on something other than the perpetual to-do list? What if eating became our mindfulness practice?
Perhaps it's one way to multitask which will actually serve you well instead of making things crazier!
Sixty-second Self-care Tip…
Everyone has their own way of doing a mindfulness practice, including the ones involving food and drink. You can find all sorts of write-ups online.
But this is what it really comes down to: with whatever food or drink you're using, take your time and observe how that food or drink affects each of your senses. Remember those? How it looks, how it sounds, how it tastes, how it smells and how it feels.
Keep in mind "how it feels" may even be different depending on how you're touching it - picking it up in a hot mug or on a fork, how it feels on your lips and in your mouth, and how it feels when it hits your stomach.
You can go hunting out there on the interwebs and find examples of chocolate meditations - which you can apply to any food or drink. But the cool thing about doing your own mindfulness practice instead of following someone's recording or written guidance, you can avoid any considerations you find uncomfortable. Make the practice your own - and make it something that serves you well.
I would love to know what you think about the potential of turning your business of eating into a mindfulness practice for yourself. Leave a comment below and let me know what's on your mind! (Or if you want more info about learning how to make food-sensitive-friendly chocolate truffles, let me know!)