Let me start this post with an offering of a poem by Martha Postlewaite.
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.
Create a clearing in the dense forest of your life. When I say pause, this is precisely what I mean by it. There is wisdom to pausing.
Have you seen how an artist steps back from time to time and takes in all he has done, before proceeding?
This act of taking a step back is a learned skill and a deliberate practice. It is part of the painting process itself. Just like how gaps between the two musical notes are part of the composition itself.
Are you wondering to yourself, ‘what’s all _this_ got to do with food?’
It takes a pause when you want to check if your urge to eat something is worth acting upon.
If yes – how much of it. And when.
Pause to appreciate it. Pause to say thanks for the food. Pause and see if your hunger satiated. All these count as steps within the process of eating.
If you’re going to instantly stick the food in your mouth upon sighting it, smelling it or desiring it – without pausing, you’re robbing yourself of an opportunity to evaluate it.
When you observe someone who relishes their food or eat in alignment with their goals or values eating to support life as opposed to living to eat – they would have invariably mastered the skill of pausing.
A pause gives you those precious few moments to reflect upon your choices and actions, helping you to navigate the course better. In a way, this is to say, each time you pause, it puts you in power.
If you have ever felt how you feel powerless around food, get into the habit of pausing from time to time.
Reflect upon your longing to eat that cookie, check if you really want to.
Gaze at the food in front of you. Do you like how it looks?
Stop after every few spoonfuls or mouthfuls. Do you want to eat some more? Do you need to eat some more?
Reconnect with yourself.
Pause. Reflect upon the longing to eat.
Pause. And appreciate the food in front of you.
Pause. Relish the feel of food and its taste in your mouth.
Pause. Check to see if you’re feeling full.
Pause. Give thanks for the food you just ate.