It's that time again, the end of another year—time to celebrate the good times, forgive and forsake the bad times, celebrate our milestones, purge our clutters, and share our gifts and time. Our celebrations are not complete without the highlight of food. There is no feeling as powerfully intimate as gathering to break bread with friends and family. This time of year, especially, gathering for meals and enjoying the defining act of eating, sharing food and conversations, exchanging ideas and laughter, with great anticipation of a new year, a new beginning.
The very act of eating and sharing meals with others is pleasurable - it unites old acquaintances and loved ones, it invites new acquaintances. The way the food tastes satiates and nourishes our bodies affects our serotonin and endorphin levels. It rejuvenates, restores, nourishes, and heals. Eating celebrates the welcoming of life and to say goodbye to life. It's a necessary act that deserves our undivided attention, yet we often take it for granted.
How often have you heard these solemn words—"I have been so busy, I forgot to eat" Or those who started their mornings with a coffee on-the-go, maybe grabbed a fruit, or not taking anything as they scurry off for the day? It's an all too familiar scenario that plays out in many homes across the globe, from young to old.
But what would happen if we slowed down, practice conscious breathing, and allowed ourselves the time to intentionally enjoy the foods we often take for granted?
Eating is something we should include in our daily acts of gratitude. By extension, food isn't just the fuel we use to help us get through the day. The act of eating is something we are purposed to partake of on a visceral, vibrational level, as part of a full and whole life experience.
For the closing of 2020, we are all anticipating the same gatherings and celebration routines. But unfortunately, we have all faced unpredictable, unprecedented challenges this year that have reshaped our lives' rhythms. We have watched and listened painfully as our world shifted and transformed, not in our best interest. This year, our existence has been a combination of an almost desperate attempt to hang onto our everyday routines and keep a semblance of life before the pandemic and navigating new and unfamiliar territories to hold ourselves and each other accountable and safe.
As we make plans to celebrate this holiday, we've had no choice but to reflect on our traditions and cherished gathering-times through the prism of a global pandemic and the discords it inflicts in our lives. We are on notice to stay home and avoid the large gatherings. For most, this is a departure from our accustomed symbolic celebrations – the wining, dining, dancing, playing and sharing to celebrate the season.
So, for this Christmas season, we must adjust to a more intimate, unfamiliar scaled-back celebration with our closest and dearest; perhaps the holiday meal can be even more meaningful. As we prepare our heritage foods, probably in smaller proportions, we can pause to consider the joy and gratitude intended in the act of eating, and specifically in sharing time and meal with loved ones.
Eating is indeed pleasurable – or it's meant to be. But perhaps more importantly, especially at this time of year, it is the nourishment to our souls, the enrichment of sharing a table rich with foods, and the loving effort expended in preparing it that is most significant and appreciated. Every thought and expression of gratitude leaves an imprint on your countenance and character. Stay in the moment, so you do not miss that rhythm. You will feel the vibrations from the people you have the pleasure of breaking bread with; it will emanate from their eyes, forehead, smile, the touch of their hands, and the eloquence of their voices. Pay close attention to the experience of eating this season – the pleasure, the nourishment (literal and metaphorical), and the power of sitting down to share a meal with those you love.
So, my friends, breathe easy – and enjoy your festivities responsibly and safely!
Life as we know it ends when we stop dreaming! Hope is fruitless when we stop believing! Love ends when we stop caring. So, dream, love-on, stay positive! Hopeful! Continue to share and inspire!
About the Creator - Maxine Mclean Ph.D., Doctor of Integrative Medicine, A Homeopathic Doctor, Author, Metaphysical Healer, Humanitarian, the founder of Gratitude Keeper®. Health-Coach-Speaker, Meditation, Healing Facilitator-Educator, and Creative Entrepreneur.
Blue seal Award – Writing, Canada's 100 Black women to honor 2019. Eminence Award 2019.
"I'm encouraged to connect, inspire and positively impact other people's lives to help them rise." – Maxine McLean Ph.D.