In a country where food is synonymous with love and prayer with politics it’s very easy for us to lose perspective. In a world where love is synonymous with finding our better halves, here’s my two bit on the art of eating, praying and loving.
More often than not, we get so caught up with eating healthy, following a strict diet regime and counting calories that we become oblivious to the joy of savoring every bite and using all our senses to relish the act of consuming food. At other times we let ourselves go, binge, overeat and then beat ourselves up with guilt. While relishing every bite of what we eat, not only feeds our body but also our soul, over eating and binging on unhealthy food all the time is a form of temporary gratification and the most insidious substitute for one or the other form of emotional, physical or spiritual void that we are trying to fill.
The sight of beautifully plated food nourishes my soul and sometimes staring at food porn cheers me up. Cooking, eating and feeding friends and family, to me are as soul stirring, stress busting and gratifying as painting and creating art.
So, as we gear up for yet another festival season my wish for myself and everyone around me, including all you fabulous readers is to imbibe and practice the art of mindful eating. What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating has its roots in ancient yoga philosophy that preaches eating as a form of meditation. It teaches you to tame the hunger in your mind and be present in the moment. To think about what you are eating, chew every morsel slowly, taste and relish it with every bite, swallow the food and know that the food is going to do you good. It helps you recognize the difference between when you are really hungry and when you are just giving in to your cravings. This is the essence of mindful eating.
Although I am an agnostic, I do believe in the power of prayer. Paradoxical you say? Well, maybe so but read on and I might convince you otherwise. I believe prayer is very similar to meditation and I use them interchangeably all the time. Any form of prayer requires us to focus, follow a routine and perform a repetitive gesture. Much like meditation, don’t you think?
I believe that prayer is personal and unique to each individual; while for some chanting a mantra maybe a form of prayer, for others practicing an art, exercising or traveling might be synonymous with worship and veneration. Whatever our mode of prayer, at the core of it there must be discipline, dedication as well as the courage to dream and endure.
Yes, endure, as in have the patience and willpower to bear as well as persist and keep moving forward. So, as the festive season descends upon us my wish for each one of you is to find your very own personal brand of prayer. One that is devoid of religious and social prejudices and obligations.
This elusive thing called love may not be as elusive as we think. When I looked carefully I found it everywhere and sometimes in the most unlikely places. The biggest reservoir of love, I discovered, was within me. When I found self love, I learned to recognize love.
So this festive season, look into the mirror and fall head over heels in love with the only person who has any control over your life. Might be difficult at first but then who said love was easy. How hard can it be to love someone you have known all your life, the one who knows your deepest darkest fears and yet has your back?
More often than not we indulge in self deprecating behavior because we do not want to seem immodest. While I am in no way advocating being an ‘I’ specialist (in other words pompous and boastful) we need to give ourselves credit when it’s due. And while you are at it don’t forget to spread the love. Yes, It’s a two way street. The more you give, the more you get and the more love you receive, the more you love yourself.
On that note I’ll bid adieu for now and will be back with some gorgeous finds and creative peeps I have come across recently. May the force be with you ;)
Raja Ravi Varma's Lithographs from here
Heart Photograpy here