One thing that continues to resonate with me on my journey through this world…
I find on days when I eat lots of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, perhaps some seeds and oats, my awareness of that which is good is peaked. On days when I eat healthily, it becomes very easy for me to flow in what feels like Peace, Love, and Joy, in Abundance!
In contrast, on days like yesterday, when for the first time in many months I ate not only some ice cream, but more like 3 pints of it (it was a lot!), well let’s just say my consciousness was low. I felt ineffective, complaisant, and relatively mindless.
On the journey of recovery from the ice cream indulgence, carrots alone are my source of nourishment for the day, and so far I feel fantastic 🙂
Everything we consume affects our level of consciousness, whether we are talking of physical, mental, or spiritual food. In a way, everything is food. Perceiving such phenomena as Bliss, Peace, Love, Joy, or a connection with the Divine is very hard to do if the body is being filled with unhealthy foods. I don’t quite understand all the reasons and science behind why food has such a strong impact on the quality of the present moment, yet my own experience leads me to believe that the healthier foods I eat, the better I feel, and the greater my experience becomes.
Health and food…you better believe there is a connection. And, to expand upon the idea of health, I think perfect health ultimately means happiness, peace, and connection. So, as we consume good foods for us, ranging from fruits and vegetables to enriching books and conscious people, our health in all forms increases.
Food is much more than just what we put into our mouths. We consume via all of our senses, each and every moment of our lives. We are always eating something, whether it be an orange or a song or a sunset, even a conversation, it’s all going into us and it will come out of us one way or another.
You are what you eat. As far as physical food goes, I think health doesn’t get much simpler or delightful than an abundance of fruits and vegetables. For the mental and spiritual food, it’s important to spend time with people you admire. And, if you can’t find these people in the flesh, look to books as a gateway to experience the essence of some great men and women history. There are certainly plenty of worthy role models to be found in the books.
I say this as much for myself as for you, oh mysterious reader, that it is vitally important that we become aware of what we consume, and as much as we can only consume that which nourishes the body, mind, and spirit. If what you’re consuming doesn’t bring you greater health, happiness, or harmony, let it go. (Now time to walk the talk!)
Over the course of my moneyless journeys, I’ve found myself using the excuse, “If I don’t eat this it’s going to waste in the trash.” I use this excuse to eat some of the worst foods, including all the ice cream from yesterday. I thought on some level I was doing a service. And really, even though eating all the ice cream lowered my consciousness temporarily, I’m glad it happened. After all, it’s in those moments of pain when we are offered such an incredible opportunity to grow and overcome.
So, thankfully, I received many insights after eating all the ice cream. For one, eating unhealthy food rarely serves anyone, and it is certainly no one’s responsibility to rescue foods from being thrown in the trash by offering up the physical body as a garbage disposal. That’s quite the mistreatment of the temple!
To consume everything with an intention of nourishing the body, mind, and spirit – that is an ideal way to consume.
With a final reflection on the ice cream extravaganza of yesterday, at no one point during the day do I recall considering what effects the ice cream would have on the health of my physical body, mind, or spirit. Nor do I recall considering what kind of example I was setting.
I remember reading once in book a book called Zen Golf the idea of always acting as if your 5-year-old child is present and is looking to you as an example. Have you ever noticed that when children are present, your behavior becomes that much better?
We are all in this world together, here to learn from and learn with each other. Every moment, we are setting an example whether we want to or not, and the example we set is the primary way in which we all serves as teachers, each and every moment. However we act ripples out into the actions of all those who experience our presence, and even when we act in private, those actions ripple out to affect our actions in public. There is no separation – we are connected.
In every moment, as best we can, it’s important to be aware and consume responsibly.
“Whenever you do a thing, act as if the whole world were watching.” – Thomas Jefferson