In my experience, I have found the discipline of nourishing our bodies to be an amazingly effective vehicle for spiritual development and transformation. How can food and feeding ourselves be a spiritual practice? Food is one of our primary human needs. Every day, multiple times a day, we put something in our mouths. When we consume food without much thought beyond its taste, it’s call eating. You know what eating looks like: It’s the compulsive reaching into the potato chip bag; eating when you’re full because food is just there; grabbing a quick bite for lunch between meetings; indulging our taste buds while ignoring how our bodies feel.
When we make deliberate food choices based on our needs for physical energy, mental clarity, creativity, and focus, I call this feeding oneself. I use these terms to emphasize the difference between mindless consumption and purposeful, conscious fueling. The term feeding oneself also shows how transformational nourishment requires two components: the part of ourselves that does the nourishing (feeding) and the part that receives it (oneself). When we feed ourselves, we are aware and responsive to our particular needs for nourishment in the present moment.
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