And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart,
“Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”
-from Kalil Gibran’s gloriously beautiful book, The Prophet
Okay, so I can’t ever read the above passage without tears coming to my eyes. This is how I feel about food. I’ve felt this way ever since I read Robert Heinlein’s book, Stranger in a Strange Land, in high school. That unforgettable sci-fi novel introduced me to the word “grok,” a Martian word invented by Heinlein, which literally means to drink. Figuratively, it means “to understand,” “to love,” and “to be one with,” according to Wikipedia. As often as I can, I try to experience the food that I eat in this way, with deference to the sacrifice of its existence for the purpose of continuing mine.
All too often, we take what we eat for granted. We eat what is cheapest, or easiest, or sweetest, and miss out on the opportunity to experience this everyday occurrence of consumption as a miraculous event. We rush through meals. We eat standing up, while driving, and during business meetings. Can this possibly be good for us? I feel that if I am going to take in sustenance in order to be alive, I should choose wisely and with respect for the exchange of energy. I know that probably sounds preachy and heavy handed and impractical. But really, it’s more doable than you may think. Have you ever seen the movie Sideways? There’s a lovely example of what it means to grok in the scene where Virginia Madsen’s character Maya describes her thoughts when drinking Pinot Noir:
“…I do like to think about the life of the wine, how it’s a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing, how the sun was shining that summer or if it rained…what was the weather like. I think about all those people who tended and picked the grapes…”
I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: If as Nietzsche says, “the noble soul has reverence for itself,” shouldn’t that idea extend to how one maintains the body that houses the soul? Is it sufficient to just eat what comes before us without thought, feeling or judgment? Or, is a process as fundamental as keeping one’s body alive and well something to be continually evaluated and refined?
In her book, Meditations to Heal Your Life, Louise Hay (www.hayhouse.com www.LouiseHay.com) offers this about food:
“I lovingly take charge of my body now.
I care enough about my body to nourish myself with all the best that life has to offer. I learn about nutrition because I am a precious being, and I want to take the best care of myself that I can. My body is special-different from all other bodies; therefore, I learn the things my body assimilates the best… I search out the foods that give me good energy. I am nurtured and nourished. I feel healthy, happy and energized.”
Maybe now is the time for you to acknowledge the special relationship you have with the food you eat. Ask yourself, where does it come from, what was added to it, and what is best for your body. Your mental health is directly connected to your physical health. The food you put in your body supports your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Please contact any one of our counselors directly from the Our Team page, if this blog has sparked an interest in nurturing you physical and mental well being. Fondest Regards and Good Health to You, Kim
To Contact: TherapistKimMurphy@gmail.com