How does our energy, words and emotions affect the food we eat? by Amanda Mackay
Have you heard about mindful eating? I’m sure some of you have, focusing in the moment when consuming a meal, appreciating flavours, textures, where food was sourced and feeling your body appreciating its fuel.
Sounds personal doesn’t it? Can words and energy change or build dynamics, flow and connection during a family meal?
I have a full table at dinner time with four children and whoever else happens to be there. When they were little, I started the ritual of ‘best part of your day’, where each person shared something special, interesting or funny. When the day had been challenging everyone still needed to find the good.
Each member of the family was heard (vital in a family large or small), they learnt the ability to focus on a positive and verbalise their feelings, thoughts and ideas, creating connection and our meal could be eaten with balanced emotions.
For parents or carers, it’s learning to listen without editing, correcting, modifying or directing the conversation. Speaking but not being heard and not having the skills to express thoughts and feelings, is one of the most common difficulties I witness in clients and it all starts in the early years.
I have spoken to many clients who struggle with being able to communicate with children (this does vary during the teenage years!). One thing they had in common was trying to broach ‘issues’ during dinner. What child wants to eat while being grilled about grades, pushed to share uncomfortable feelings or being shamed for whatever it is the parent doesn’t like about their behaviour? None.
Do you enjoy that horrid conversation with Aunt Pru when she pulls your life apart? Imagine how children feel with the imbalance of power.
Meal conversation applies to any social interaction. So complaining, denigrating a colleague or recounting a past personal slight, generates energy of ‘not good enough’, ‘victim’ and ‘anger’, food then absorbs these emotions.
When the plate hits the table in front of you, do you look at the server and say ‘thank you’? Do the people you’re feeding offer appreciation and are there manners when passing condiments? The energy of recognition and gratitude creates respect and connection.
Throughout preparing a meal, smile and feel love for those you’re giving to. If you’re receiving, feel the blessing of being taken care of. When dining out, connect with the wait staff and compliment the chef (having worked in a commercial kitchen, I know how much it’s valued).
Weave the fabric of relationships at the table, create fun and memories, choose the feelings, hold the space for individuality, imagination and inspiration, and infuse the food with good intention, connection and love.