| Anne Williamson |
Saturday, many from the WAYfinding community gathered for dinner and conversation around creating meaningful meals. We prepped and served spaghetti and salad - delicious, and inspired by last week's "Friday Night Meatballs" article, intentionally simple. Then, while the kids engaged in their own learning activities, the adults heard from Indiana farmer Jeff Hawkins of Hawkins Family Farms. What a joy! Jeff and his family's approach to farming is holistic and deeply thoughtful. I, and others, left feeling inspired and hopeful for Indiana agriculture.
So engrossed in the conversation with Jeff, we didn't get to part 2: creating a more meaningful experience around the dinner table. It's about being intentional with this time - living into our values - rather than simply going through the motions when we eat. So in lieu of that conversation, and for others who may be interested, I invite you to reflect personally on the below questions as well as consider integrating some of the suggested ideas.
- What did mealtime look like when I was a child? Were there any rituals? If so, what? In what ways does this history show up in my eating/meal habits today?
- Paint a word picture of your meals today. What is the general mood? Who prepares the meals? Do I normally eat alone, with another, kids, etc.? Where do I/we eat?
- What would I like my meals to look like and/or feel like today? Perhaps consider... a) What do I and/or what does my household need more of now? b) What values are important to me? How might I infuse these into the selection, preparation and eating of my meals?
CREATING MEANINGFUL MEALS IDEAS:
- Set an intention for your grocery store run, the preparation of a meal, and/or the meal itself. (Perhaps using the mealtime vision you described above.) Pay attention to how it feels, changes your experience, etc.
- Take a moment of silence/meditation before beginning your meal.
- Pray. Consider incorporating a unique offering at each meal - for example, a daily gratitude(s).
- While eating, share gratitudes around the table.
- Recall and share (in detail) a favorite memory from the day. Perhaps something that filled you with awe or wonder, questions, laughter, etc.
- Take the first minute of each meal to intentionally eat mindfully. Adapted from Thich Nhat Hahn’s Peace Is Every Step... As you eat very slowly, think about each person, creature, plant, element, etc. involved in making this moment possible. Think about each bite as it moves down and through your body. Think about its nutrients, and even spiritual history and essence interacting with and impacting your own. Open yourself to your inextricable interconnectedness.
- Eat your values and remind yourself/your household why you're doing so around the table... It's important to me to eat locally grown food because... The reason I eat whole foods is... I value organics because... There are many farmers in my/our family so... Etc.
- Incorporate what matters to you/your household... Is laughter/humor valued? Share funny jokes. Politics? Justice? Discuss a topic. Etc.