Friday, February 17, 2012

Nosh Thoughtfully

I'm a couple of days behind posting this week's mindfulness challenge, so let's wrap up last week's assignment. We were tasked that, when eating a meal, just eat. Don't watch TV, don't look at your phone, don't read the back of a cereal box... just eat. I found this challenge enlightening, some days I couldn't remember the challenge and was halfway through a meal before it popped into my head. If I'm eating on autopilot, I might be overeating, or just overlooking my food. This was easier to do in restaurants, while traveling, all I had to do was leave my phone in my bag. At home and the office, however, it was exceedingly difficult to break the habit of eating at/on/with my computer while I work. If I must be stimulated by something other than my food, I am probably generally overstimulated. Noted.

Another twist to the 'Just Eat' challenge, Bart had his jaw surgery on Wednesday, and with both jaws broken, he can only drink liquids through a syringe. Helping him with this process has been another eye-opener. First, he has no choice but to 'just eat', since it takes both hands, mouth dexterity and concentration to get the tube behind his cheek far enough that his liquefied food doesn't escape down his chin. For the last few days, he's been on clear liquids only... so he's probably starving underneath the surgical bands, but the process of eating is so frustrating, it can't be satisfying. I really have been taking for granted the use of my mouth, not only for eating, but for talking, coughing, sighing, laughing, smirking, screaming, for many things. I need to respect it and when it's in use, pay a little more attention. I really enjoy the cumulative effects of this challenge thus far, by adding one mindfulness measure a week, I'm able to juggle them and keep track of my progress on all of the initiatives. I might eat (just eat) with my left hand, leave the kitchen cleaner than before dinner, and describe the meal with fewer filler words while observing my own hand gestures. And it doesn't at all seem like I'm patting my head and rubbing my belly, they all work in concert. Brilliant. It reminds me of that irritating song kids sing about the guy who works in the button factory, "Hi. My name is Joe. And I work in a button factory. One day, my boss came up to me and said, 'Hey Joe, turn the button with your left hand..." This is incidentally how I learn a room full of people's names in less than an hour. I start with one person, once I remember them, I move on down the line until I've added everyone's faces and names to my memory.

This week's challenge is to give 'True Compliments'. Once a day, I am to think about someone close to me, a family member, a friend, a co-worker and pay them a genuine compliment. Not the kind of compliment where you notice someone got a haircut and you say you like it, just because you're pointing it out... but a real, thoughtful compliment that you might not otherwise have the opportunity to say. Also, to be aware of the compliments others give you. Why do they do it? What does their compliment do to you?

A big thanks to my big mouth for helping out with this week's challenge. You're awesome, and perfect, and I wouldn't want any other mouth. Does that count as a compliment?

back to hospital noises... Bart should get to come home later today.

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