Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Keep knocking

"Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who's there."


Hale Sofia Schatz uses this quote to open her chapter on the daily practice of nourishing ourselves. She acknowledges how this simple practice of feeding ourselves daily can cause an incredible amount of confusion and anxiety. This chapter of the book aims to guide the reader into eating patterns that are more balanced and nourishing. "Instead of being bewildered in front of that open fridge, you can learn how to feed yourself exactly what you need...not what your mind thinks you should have, not what your sweet tooth craves, not what your loneliness longs for, not what's easiest to grab, but what your spirit needs to grow and thrive in this body."

I wish that I could say that I followed her suggestions everyday. In my world, there are good weeks and bad weeks. Sometimes I make up big pots of soups and curries to nourish myself all week. In the summer, I find it harder to prepare fresh meals, because they tend to spoil quickly. So sometimes I choose what easier. Today my meals included some nourishing choices: yogurt with fresh local blueberries and ground flax; and some not nourishing choices: cliff bars for lunch. I had time this afternoon to choose to eat a nourishing lunch. But somehow the cliff bars were just easier. I need to "keep knocking" and keep working to get to the heart of nourishment.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Transformational Nourishment

In her book, If the Buddha Came to Dinner, Hale Sofia Schatz brings up the idea of tranformational nourishment. Transformational nourishment is the process of transforming habitual, constricting patterns and behaviors into nourishing practices that encourage growth and development. She says that the key to transformational nourishment is awareness. It turns food and eating into a daily practice for becoming physically, emotionally, and spiritually aware.

She talks about how it is natural for us to continually grow, change, and create. So our natural state is one of growth and change. Unfortunately, sometimes we get stuck along the way, and the foods that keep us stuck are sweet, sticky, highly refined foods that perpetuate a sedentary existence. Schatz says that these foods tend to trap us in places where we feel resistant to change.

Schatz says that when we are clear about our intention of how we want to develop, the foods that propel us forward are usually the ones that we don't crave. I think that she means that "addictions" to food can hamper our personal growth, the same way that drug or alcohol addictions can hamper our lives. The idea of being stuck in a pattern that retards personal growth is very powerful, and its very easy to do. Maybe its your job, or spouse, or your own way of looking at the world that can get you stuck in these patterns. But eventually your body and soul are ready to grow and change again, which will eventually compel you into action.