I am always looking for ways to expand my capacity for mindfulness, not only when I am playing flute but for all activities. Dictionary.com defines mindfulness as, “ I am always looking for ways to challenge my mindfulness to be fuller, more accessible. Mindfulness is a synonym for “Inclusive Awareness” used in Body Mapping. I recently uncovered my ultimate challenge – Eating!
Eating is something I totally take for granted. I have been doing it for so long and there are many emotions tied up in food I often don’t notice experience of the flavors, smells and movements of eating. Most commonly, I notice the flavor of my initial bite, but that is usually all I notice. Sometimes when I am working and eating I don’t notice the food at all, instead my attention is absorbed by conversation, thinking or looking at a screen. The challenge for me is to experience the food I eat when I am eating, no matter what else is going on. My theory is that learning to be a mindful eater will inform my awareness in other parts of my life like during my movement practice, flute practicing and performing.
What can you experience while eating? The aromas of the food, the movements of chewing and swallowing, the taste of the flavors, and feeling the textures. Becoming a more mindful eater will not only allow me to appreciate the meals I eat, it will stretch my awareness skills in a new way. I believe this will make mindful awareness more accessible in pressure situations.
I have been working on this for a couple of weeks now. For awhile it was really challenging to notice. I found myself feeling mad at myself when I hadn’t noticed anything. Lately though, I have been more in tune with the process and have been enjoying my meals more fully (extra bonus)! I am finding that this project is informing my ability to experience activities like teaching. Stay tuned for details on what I uncover.