Have you heard the saying: “How you do one thing is how you do everything”? Say you are very supportive of your friends. You stand for them. You see their best, you cheer them on, you listen to them, you support them in every way you can. You’re flexing the muscle of being supportive. Since how you do one thing is how you do everything, you likely offer this kind of support to your clients, to your life partner, to your children, to causes important to you, and more. You’re supportive. You practice and strengthen this ability all the time.
Say you keep your kitchen pretty messy. There’s often dishes in the sink, a little tomato sauce on the floor, some moldy leftovers in the fridge. Chances are you keep your car, your closets, your office, and perhaps your relationships in similar states. How you do one thing is how you do everything. You’re messy, disorganized. It’s what you practice and what you practice you strengthen. The first example is not intended as praise and the second example is not intended as a negative judgement. The point is that ways of being of all kinds are practiced and reinforced. Ways of being, in fact, become habits.
How does this relate to wellness? To eating? To sex? Let’s see.
Scenario 1: You’re feeling hungry and you hit the Taco Bell drive-thru. You wolf it down in the car while doing errands. You ate it so fast you barely tasted it. Let’s face it, you stuff a lot of garbage in your gullet. This is just plain sloppy, careless eating. You eat lots of processed food, eat on the go, and are generally not really taking good care of yourself with how you eat. Stop by any highway rest stop in America and you will find lots of these people.
Scenario 2: You count every calorie you eat. You get nervous when you have to go to a social function because you’re afraid there will be nothing healthy to eat. Nutrition is serious business for you. You strongly identify with your way of eating (vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, gluten-free, etc.) and frequently proselytize your food values. You think everyone should eat like you do. You obsessively watch food documentaries and you are very angry about how other people eat. You’re hyper-vigilant about how you eat. Let’s face it: You’re more than a little bit uptight about food. This is becoming so common that psychiatrists and psychologists have actually created a term for an extreme or excessive preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy and/or eating foods perceived to be healthy that they have created the classification of orthorexia to identify these ways of being.
Scenario 3: You meet your life partner at the local market after work. You greet each other with a kiss and stroll through the market picking up some fresh produce and fish. You enjoy taking your time, seeing what’s fresh that day, and taking it all in—the beauty of the food, the smells, the textures, your imagination of how that pear will taste. You feel creative as you think about what you can make. At home, you put on some music and start making a meal. You chop the vegetables and season the fish, again enjoying the process with all your senses. In good time, you enjoy the meal and talk about your days and enjoy each other’s company. This is present, mindful, conscious eating. You eat for the nourishment food provides, the simple pleasure of eating, and to be social. You thoroughly enjoy eating and take great care of yourself.
Our approach to food and eating, something we do every single day, reflects a great deal about how we approach all of our lives. How we do one thing is how we do everything. And eating and making love, in particular, have a great deal in common as both are incredible acts of love and both are filled with sensual experience.
So I’ll leave you with a few questions. As a lover, do you want to grab some food on the go? Be uptight and rigid? Or be present, mindful, thoughtful, conscious, and sensual? You can practice at your next meal.
Remember your mantra for today: NOURISHING MOVEMENT, NOURISHING FOOD, NOURISHING LIFE.