When I was studying for my Bachelor's Degree in Speech Communication, an exercise in one of my classes was about "mindfulness." Mindfulness is something that is much more difficult than you might think. It is the practice of being completely aware of something. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong-o!
We were instructed to be mindful during a normal activity like washing the dishes or brushing our hair or whatever... Mindfulness requires complete focus and presence of truly being in the moment and then; here's the kicker, accepting one's feelings, thoughts and sensations. Try it sometime. Next time you are doing a mundane activity like washing the dishes, try to just focus on "washing the dishes." Nothing else. Try reading this blog post and thinking about nothing else. Not your job, family, the fact you're out of milk, nothing else but the brilliance of this blog post. (Come on. Give me a break. I figured since I got ya, I'm gonna plant the idea of my brilliance. When else will I have this opportunity? Can you blame me?) Ok. Ok. Getting back to mindfulness. Were you able to do it? It's difficult.
I have always taught our children to be mindful of what they are doing. "Mindful" is the actual word I use. 'Be mindful when crossing the street Honey.' or 'Be mindful of how you speak to me.' or 'Be mindful of how you treat others. or my favorite, 'Be mindful of what is around you.
I often post blogs about being "aware" of what is about you, be it nature, sounds, your neighborhood, your home, etc., because awareness (a.k.a. mindfulness) brings appreciation. Appreciation promotes joy. Joy promotes good health. See where I'm going with this? Aren't you glad you read this post today? You're welcome.
In the kitchen it is important to be mindful because it is a safer way to cook. Ever try to cut/chop something when you're not paying attention? Ouch! (At least I've heard injuries can happen.) Tuning into ourselves (a.k.a. mindfulness) is also a way to give all of our heart when we cook and you know I am all about giving your heart and love into cooking. Mindfully and lovingly share your cooking talents. Openly and freely give yourself over to the pure joy that cooking a meal for someone you love can offer. Your food will taste better, you will be more relaxed and I bet you need a few less bandages.
Share your mindfulness experiences in the comments section.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor