This week I am writing down a detailed list of all that I eat and drink. It’s part of a coaching thing I’m doing. I am typing out loud everything going into my mouth. It feels somewhat confessional.
Observing myself is an interesting practice. I like to think that I am pretty aware of what’s going on, but it isn’t until I have to sit and remember that I see what I missed. Did I really buy an overpriced cookie and coffee yesterday afternoon? Yikes, was that two or three glasses of wine last night?
Being conscious about how I feed myself would seem a pretty obvious and simple thing – however, how does that explain the feeling I get when I’ve eaten too many tortilla chips, or when I wake in the morning after an evening of red wine & port?
How much of my day am I really just asleep at the switch? Never mind the meals, what about time, energy, thought – where’s all that going? As a kid one of my favorite excuses was “I didn’t realize”. Not much has changed, evidently.
It just seems odd that I’m not aware of all that goes on between my ears, or at least am not paying attention to it. Clearly, I’m not alone. The word bandied about in yoga class these days is ‘mindfulness’. I know the idea isn’t that novel, but the ‘new and improved’ packaging of the concept is in line with this sliding into unconscious that our society seems to be doing.
I remember my brother recounting one of his first Zen experiences. He was ‘sitting’ with a group. All quiet and still. When all of a sudden the Abbot yells “Wake up!…this is what we’re here for!” Amen to that.