Food For Thought: Dec-Jan 2017
What Are You Feeding Your Mind?
“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.” —Emmet Fox
Feeding our bodies a diet of healthy food and water is essential to maintaining our physical being. We’ve heard a million times: “You are what you eat.” We don’t talk about it as easily, but the same thing can be said of our minds: We are what we think.
What are you feeding your mind? Over the past few months, we’ve been surrounded by harsh conversations, strong emotions and a lot of fear-generating headlines. Th at “golden rule” philosophy we learned growing up is being tested, creating a challenging holiday environment for many.
As we enter this time of giving, gratitude and hope for a New Year, allow me to suggest meditation, a practice my mind (and soul) have been feasting on for the past two months at the Earth & Spirit Center*.
Th ousands of years old, meditation has been scientifi cally proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, among other benefi ts. Meditation is not meant to suppress feelings as much as it helps you, basically, become friends with yourself. And, couldn’t we all use a good friend about now?
Here are a just a few proven ways meditation transforms your thinking:
» Improves focus
» Increases sense of connectedness and empathy
» Prevents and treats depression
» Increases sense of well-being
» Improves creativity
» Reduces distractions
» Improves memory
Our bodies benefit too: blood pressure drops, stress hormone levels decline and cellular health is boosted. The brain actually rewires itself as neurons make new connections, which in turn aff ects how we respond to situations. Meditation techniques are as varied as the benefi ts: guided/silent meditation, walking, transcendental, tai chi, yoga, to name a few.
As we experience the holidays and begin a New Year, I hope you will consider feeding your mind as you’re feeding your body, building your character around patience and inner peace.
Ann Curtis, Managing Editor
The Earth Spirit Center in Louisville offers a variety of classes, as does the Yoga Meditation & Therapy Center in Lexington. EarthAndSpiritCenter.org, YogaHealthCenter.org. Also, check out Dr. Hedy Kober, professor of psychology at Yale University, explaining mindfulness meditation in a TEDx talk: https://vimeo.com/93676
Incurvatus in se
Reaching deep into my past memory as a theology major at a small Texas college, I recall the Latin term some scholars used for Original Sin as incurvatus in se— which can be translated “to be curved in on one’s self.” I cannot think of a better term to describe this year’s election: special interest and self centered candidates across the country from both sides with free and paid media budgets larger than the Gross National Product of many countries, used expertly to lead and mislead a vulnerable nation. (Where have all the true statesmen/women gone?)
We are now left with a future where, if policies and ideas being promoted (including food and agriculture) are actually implemented, the results will not simply be felt over the next four years but rather for decades. I am left exhausted, mentally spent, perhaps a little clinically depressed. Maybe I need a change of scenery. (New publisher of Edible wanted?)
Perhaps there is only one thing left to do: EAT. Comfort food shared with family and friends. A shared meal has always been a path for conversation. Try taking a deep breath and share a meal with someone from the other side, however you may defi ne that. Focus on policy, not personality, and listen. You might fi nd some common ground from which to grow. In fact, that might be our divided nation’s best hope. Now back to work on “Celebrating the Pleasure of Local Food and Beverage” here in Kentucky.
Steve Makela, Editor-in-Chief