“I Am Here, Noticing This Mouthful”

“I am here, noticing this mouthful”

Say this thought to yourself little and often throughout the day. Or may be wait until you can enjoy a nap or its bedtime.  

 Write it, draw it, meditate on it.  Stick a Post It on a mirror.  Set yourself a reminder on your phone if you’d like to.

Practicing this thought throughout the day will help you notice this sequence and support you to navigate daily life in many ways.

As many of you know, one of Alexander’s major discoveries about us mammals is that the relationship of the head and spine govern the coordination of the rest of us.  Yes – all of us!  Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – we don’t separate – its all one thing – our Self.


                              

Chopped fruit in bowls ready for the addition of porridge


“I am here, noticing this mouthful”

This week I am writing on the theme of eating.  There are many components and aspects to this.

Today I am attending to the discipline and practice of staying present, here and now as we eat.  One mouthful at a time.  

Changing habits is simple enough, but not easy.  It requires laying a new neural-pathway, noticing when we have returned to our normal path and steering ourselves, by choice, back onto the path we have chosen.

So today we are going to apply this to mindful eating.

If we are eating mindlessly, without due care, we don’t have the capacity to choose what we eat, how we eat it, or to notice when we have had enough.  We may be distracted – watching TV, reading a book or the cereal box, scrolling through Facebook on your phone etc.  These can all be ways of disconnecting from our simple experience of doing what we are doing now.

We can train ourselves to become more and more aware of food, so we can really enjoy what we eat fully, and know when we are full.  So that eating can become an act of kindness to ourselves.

As with any habit – it can be useful to start by really noticing what it is you currently do.  I’m not wanting you to attach blame, or tell yourself or me the list of things you eat, I’m interested to know if you can bring the full focus and power of your attention to the next mouthful.

“I am here, noticing this mouthful”

  • Sit down at a table with your food in front of you.
  • Notice the colour, texture and smell.
  • Become aware of the plate or bowl it is in.  
  • Really see it, feel it, appreciate it.
  • Notice the weight of the spoon or cutlery you will use.
  • Take your time.  
  • Before you eat anything, pause to remind yourself of the length of your head, spine and pelvis.
  • Notice that you are breathable – and watch a full cycle of breath – going out to its end, coming in all by itself.
  • Now lift the food near your mouth and wait.
  • If you are hungry you may notice your mouth start to water, as saliva gets ready to get to work on this mouthful of nourishment.
  • Pause again and then let the food come into your mouth (just like drinking – don’t let your head bend to hasten the food in) wait until you put the food into your mouth, staying tall.
  • Don’t chew yet.
  • Put your spoon down.
  • Notice the temperature of the food in your mouth.
  • Notice the shape and texture of this mouthful.
  • Now slowly move the food around in your mouth and chew, chew, chew.
  • When the food has turned to liquid, swallow.
  • Pause and reconnect with the full length of your head, spine and pelvis.
  • Pick up your spoon and do this again.

There are many steps here.  See if you can practice one or two for the next meal or snack.

“I’m going to eat a spoonful.
Pause – I’m noticing the texture – I’m putting my spoon down – I’m staying tall…

I am here, noticing this mouthful”

The more present you are with the food we eat, the more likely we are to make more healthful choices.

Now, in case any of you think I’m a paragon of virtue, I need to tell you the truth – as a busy working mum, I sometimes get hangry (angry induced by hunger) and then have a tendency to eat quickly, often finishing first at the table.  So this is work in progress for me too.

Work on making incremental improvements.  Work on one element a day – consistency is the key.

more tomorrow…

I’d love to know how this thought exercise is for you?  
What do you notice?  
How does your body respond?

I love hearing what you are enjoying about these daily writings and how your are benefitting and applying this in your lives.   lucyascham@hotmail.com

Written by Lucy Ascham, Body & Soul Energy Expert

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