I’m taking a series of wellness classes centered around the principle of health being within our power to alter, elevate, and take power back over. One of the most enlightening moments of this ayurveda-focused workshop was finding out that there is one simple act, done consistently, which has the vast ability to put us on a path to unshakable vitality.
This “secret sauce” turns out to be rather surprising. You see, what we eat and in which combination rank 2 and 3 in the list of importance, but it is HOW we eat that ensures we are tangoing in rhythm with our own life-sustaining forces. This is because digestion insists that we give it a calm, safe space to do its job. When we do this, it rewards us by spreading nutrients throughout our bodies. When we don’t eat calmly and mindfully however, the byproduct is toxins that can build up and lead to dis-ease.
Yes, that’s right. We can eat Doritos mindfully and this is actually better than shoving rice and veggies into our pieholes while stressing about our next to-do list task! This is great news for carb-lovers like myself.
All joking aside, eating more calmly also has the added benefit of making us more mindful of WHAT we’re putting in our palates – so that we’re more likely to reach for healthy, complex carbs such as baked potatoes over processed snacks like chips.
The even better news is that this principle of how we eat is as a great metaphor for life itself. Titles, resumes, our number of social media “friends” – none of these things is as important as how we go about living our life. Do we deeply enjoy our friendships, or worry about quantity over quality? Do we work to find work that fulfills us, or simply work to buy more and more of what we are told is important? Are we concentrating on “being the change” we’d like to see unfold in this world, or are we being what others think we should be?
Here is what the ancient practice of ayurveda is actually trying to tell us: We can either do what we need to digest the lessons we are sent here to learn, and spread the messages gleaned from those hard-earned experiences, or we can look outside ourselves for solutions to our problems and “villians” to blame when those solutions aren’t forthcoming.
Ironically, the word villain derives from the Latin word “villanus” – meaning farmhand. One who grows the food we eat. So as it turns out those who we make out to be villains can actually nourish us if we learn the lessons they came into our lives to teach us, and then use the gift of our newfound wisdom to uplift our lives and the lives of others who seek our help. In so doing we create a more positive, healthier world.