This past year I’ve spent a lot of time in trainings, a lot of time learning about meditation, training our parasympathetic nervous system, about eating for wellness, and the number things that continue to come up time and time again are slowing down. breathing. Enjoying versus doing. Eating mindfully.
Enjoying versus doing. Eating mindfully.
Connecting with one another.
Things we automatically did even when I was growing up, but in this age of technology, the goal has quickly become focused on doing more, not less. Priding ourselves on how busy we are. Shoving food in our faces while we are driving and working. Spending more and more connecting with people online, and less and less in real life.
In many ways, I think we’ve stopped living.
It’s time to slow down.
“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” -Zen proverb
People who meditate regularly will tell you it is the only way to slow down time is by meditation. And it’s true. When you learn to slow down and take that time to quiet the mind and reflect, time does seem to slow down around you.
Meditation can seem foreign and frightening to many, but it doesn’t need to be. If traditional meditation doesn’t feel like something you can get into, don’t worry! While meditation might be a wonderful way to slow down and reconnect, it’s not the only way.
I’ve been working with President’s Choice on their #EatTogether campaign, and how so many of us are eating alone. How the tradition of enjoying supper together is something we’ve lost and why they believe it’s important to bring it back. In case you haven’t yet seen their video from earlier this year I’m embedding it below.
It might not be a traditional form of meditation, but eating together, connecting with friends and loved ones is a spectacular way to slow down and reconnect with “your people”. It’s also the perfect time to practise mindful eating. Taking breaks between bites as you converse with your neighbour, and slow down the eating process.
A shot of the table from one my favourite #EatTogether nights each year! The PC Christmas Party!
I’ll admit that I am not a mindful eater. I am always hungry, so shovel my food it. Not a great habit, haha, but one I really try to work on when I do get the chance to sit down and eat with others. Because I certainly get the struggle. I teach classes right before/after/during meal times which makes it very difficult for me to eat normal meals at all, and even more difficult to share a meal with someone. Last week someone asked me if I had ever considered moving one of my later evening classes to an earlier time frame. I told them no, that, that evening is the only weekday evening I actually get to eat my supper. And at this point in my life, that time slot is more important to me.
Over the weekend I read The Weekend Effect (affiliate link), and in it, the author Katrina Onstad talks about the importance of The Sunday Meal. The one meal each week when you maybe break out the fancy china, invite your extended families to join you, and together enjoy a bigger, fancier meal than you have the rest of the week. She also talked about how not only the Sunday meal but all family meals are on a decline, that the sale of dining room tables and dinner plates have gone down. The Dining room table stat didn’t surprise me that much but the sale of plates!? They definitely surprised me. Either we are eating over sinks and out of frozen meal containers & takeaway boxes, or there is something going on that I just don’t know about.
But doesn’t that speak volumes about our go-go-go lives? That even using a plate has become too much!?
So today I am urging you all to stop, to find a way to slow down whether that means 10 minutes of meditation, a relaxing bath, making more of an effort to Eat Together (and use a darn plate!) or taking a walk in nature.
Who knows, you just find that slowing down gives you more time in the long run.
If you decide you want to make eating together part of your plan to slow down, I urge you to participate in Eat Together Day on June 29th. To get more info on that initiative, please head over to their Facebook Page.
Disclosure: While this is not technically a sponsored post for President’s Choice, I am working with them on their #EatTogether social media campaign and felt it necessary to disclose that for full transparency.