Re-framing How We View Our Time in The Kitchen
Glass half full or half empty?
Perspective is everything. I recently came across this interesting concept called the Hedonic Treadmill. Basically, it is the concept that humans have a set level of happiness that doesn’t really change a whole lot despite things like increased income, or more possessions. We walk on this treadmill in our belief mindset that we will be gratified and happier from our experiences in the external world, when in fact we really aren’t moving.
What can move are our mindset, our thought patterns, and our ideals. The shift from ‘I want’ to ‘I have’ can be very powerful in changing perspective. Do you really need that thing you are considering? Does it meet a basic need, does it fill your life with joy, or is it a thing that may just be part of keeping up with everyone else or the latest trends? You can still work toward your goals, but this shift allows you to enjoy what you already have and enjoy your walk through life.
How does this relate to us? There are a lot of opportunities to reframe our thinking. Let’s consider meal preparation and time in the kitchen for a moment. In a recent newsletter, I talked about how to begin viewing cooking as an opportunity to nourish your family, not just feed them. Let’s expand on that idea.
What if you started to tell yourself that time in the kitchen is time for you? A time for you to create, a time for you to infuse your family meal with love, knowing it will provide your family with health and nourishment, a time for you to meditate. Stay with me here. What if you took the process of food preparation and thought of it as meditation in motion? Meditation is a time to go inside and quiet the mind. It is an opportunity to be completely present in yourself. It is time to allow other things to be put aside and to clear your mind. It is a chance to calm your mind and be introspective.
What do we need to do to begin building that connection between something we may view as onerous and daunting, and something that can bring us peace and contentment? First, we reframe how we view it. Then, we change the thought process around it and explore the opportunity to infuse this moment with love and gratitude. Finally, we start to see that this walk on the treadmill is not going to change through possessions, but through experiences where we reframe our thoughts.
How you can bring meditation and gratitude into your cooking
Make it a sensory experience. Instead of just viewing the food as items, view them for what they are; tangible sources of nourishment and pleasure, living organisms with the ability to be a complete sensory experience. Notice the colours (every colour brings with it unique phytonutrients). Notice the texture (rough or smooth). Smell your food and notice how it can bring back memories, notice the earthy smells, notice how it can even start the digestive process. Get in touch with each sense in that moment and be grateful for the opportunity.
Look at every ingredient and recognize it as a source of nourishment. Food isn’t meant to just fill us; it is meant to nourish us and sustain us. See your food as more than an ingredient. Be grateful that this food has been provided for you. Send a little thanks to the universe, or the farmer, or the store for this food.
Get chopping, slicing, and dicing. As you are cutting up your food notice how it can become a rhythmic experience. Repetitive motions and sounds can be quite soothing.
Think about the people you are going to share that food with. Imagine the pleasure that meal can bring them and how happy and grateful they will be.
View the preparation process with love instead of as a chore or just another part of your day. Instead of viewing this as time wasted or that could be spent doing something else, view it as time well spent on yourself and the people
There are so many ways to bring gratitude into our life. One of the greatest obstacles we face is our own mind. It gets infused with the day in day out stuff in life, with the negative messages from the media and those around us. We covet what others have and want more. Empower yourself with the tools to manage these thoughts. Flip your thoughts on their head and view them from the perspective of gratitude instead of want or unhappiness. Reframe how you view the world, the people around you, and the experiences you have.
Our lives are all about perception. When we make the choice to view things from the perspective of gratitude we can literally rewire our brains.
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