Being one to always want to analyze, this mental exercise allowed me to proceed with the next step of formulating my hypothesis which was: If I made an effort to be more aware of how I eat I would be introducing a new nurturing and self-healing behavior into my life. In order to test out my hypothesis, I decided that I would try and eat one meal a day mindfully by myself. I defined mindfully to mean sitting down at a table, taking time before I ate to express gratitude for my food and then eating slowly in silence.
The duration of my experiment was 2 weeks and counting. My first meal was a dinner. I took the time to initiate the start of my experiment by cooking a special dinner consisting of salmon, sweet potatoes and salad. Before I ate I lit a candle and paused to think about all the people and elements that were necessary and responsible for my meal. This was a profound experience for me because even though I have felt appreciative and thankful for my meals and have expressed gratitude in the past I never took the time until this dinner to really think this process through in detail before eating a meal. Not only did I think of the natural elements in the process of growing our food ( i.e. sun, rain, soil), but thought about the person who planted the seed, caught the fish, tended and harvested the plants, packed the food for shipping, transported the food, received the food, stocked the shelves and checked me out in the store. I also started to think about who these people might be and what was maybe going on in their lives and did they realize the importance of their work to us all. This dive into this process of thought made me feel very humble and appreciative of how we are all connected not only in spirit but in human survival.