THE EATING RITUAL:
A WINDOW INTO YOUR MIND BODY RELATIONSHIP AND EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
When last did you sit down with yourself, and make an offering to your digestive goddess, to feed and nourish both your body and your spirit – as an act of conscious loving support for yourself? When last did you prepare an absolutely beautiful meal for yourself, with all your favorites, and eat it slowly and savour every mouthful and nuance of taste and moment?
Digestion works better when you are present, part of the process in a way…supporting the absorption and assimilation of the food you nourish with and the attitude you feed yourself with.
Digestion begins with sight, stimulating the flow of gastric juices in the body, and ends with elimination. The entire process from beginning to end is representative of and influenced by our mind, by our attitude to life and by our ability at any time to digest what we are experiencing in life. Knowing where digestion becomes sluggish or stops entirely can become the tool to unraveling deep seated emotional or mental states of being.
Our digestion begins with sight, and is hugely facilitated by proper chewing, by breaking down food into smaller, partially digested food for the stomach to handle. If the food arrives in the stomach, almost in its original form i.e. in the mouth and swallow – sounds familiar?, your stomach has to work that much harder and longer to transform the food into a ready state for the small intestine, cause stress on the stomach. The gall bladder, pancreas and small intestine secrete enzymes for digestion and then the food passes to the colon where peristalsis aids water absorption and movement over a 12 hour journey to the rectum. Evacuation occurs when the rectum is filled. This the body does all very naturally, per its design, and the entire system is stimulated by the presence of food in the mouth, so as you eat, you encourage the further digestion of the previous meal along its process. Eating regular meals therefore aids digestion and elimination.
If you are not eliminating on a daily basis, you are constipated and it might serve you well to reconsider how you are eating: physically, mentally and emotionally. The eating ritual is symbolic of a number of things: deservability – how much time you give to yourself to nourish yourself; perception of time – your ability within your mindspace to take in life and digest it; mental/emotional state – what you are choosing to eat as a form of nourishment or punishment; over-eating – emotional suppression/avoidance or fear; under-eating – not being worthy/low self-esteem on a deep unconscious level.
You are what you eat – the physical aspect of all food taken into the body sustains the life force in your body, the prana or vital life force of the essence of food taken into the body feeds the mind. A person’s mental make up can be classified by the foods they prefer: wholesome, natural foods without additives, preservatives etc, called sattvic or pure foods symbolize a peaceful, quiet mind; hot & spicy, fried, oven hot or stimulating foods or drink, rajasic foods are taken by an overactive and anxious mind; leftover, stale and heavy foods, tamasic foods are taken by a lethargic, lazy and depressed mind.
What you crave or habitually eat will enlighten you as to where your mind generally resides between these three states, and then how you eat – quickly/on the run, nibbling here or there, sitting down to a calm meal, or skipping meals will also indicate which state you usually operate from. How you eliminate will also educate you about your mind state.
Foods can be used to help you move from one state to another like eating stimulating foods when you find you are depressed to move out of depression, however, although effective, this is a quick fix and largely once the high is over, the low returns. A more regular habit of good eating will benefit far more over the long term to mind, body and Spirit.
Your relationship to food, to eating, to your digestion and elimination can teach you wonders about yourself if you are interested to know. Taking notice will help to draw you out of the coping mechanism or hamster wheel, fight and flight or survival mode of life, to find balance. We use food often as a form of procrastination in life, for a sense of control in life, or to deny our existence and the responsibility to ourselves and others that that implies. These are habits that can be broken once we understand and make a decision to live more fully, starting in our bodies!
This is only the beginning of a rich exercise in self-knowledge through how and what we eat. If you would like to know more, please contact Kerry at 084 800 4444 or email@example.com for workshops or consultations or intensives around this subject.
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