‘Well maybe you need to practise what you preach girl.’ Said one friend. ‘Do you actually never get stressed?’ said another. ‘You just float about the place, you can’t be chilled all the time?’, ‘Come, on where’s Mindful Miss Green now?’. There’s a different answer to all of these questions and things that people have said to me. To the first friend, yes I do, but just because I talk about mindfulness and well-being, doesn’t mean I’ve reached the epitome of chilled, I’m still learning too. I now use the experiences that occur in my life to do just that, practise and learn. To the second, all the time! It really made me laugh when this person asked me that (and I’m also glad it seems this way) but of course I get stressed, now, I’ve just found better ways of managing it so that anxiety doesn’t have the room to settle in. I’ve learned different ways through reading, talking to people and doing different courses. This is why I’m so passionate about teaching kids this stuff in school, so they don’t need to wait till something bad happens in life, they will be equipped with tools to maybe handle things in a better way as they occur. (PS – I wish I could float about, it would make getting to the printer room a lot faster 😊)
So, like I said, I’m still learning too. I posted a while back about ‘Mindful Munching’, teaching the kids to eat mindfully. Of course I have eaten mindfully many times and sometimes do this as my daily practice. But here in India, I will be doing this every day, three times a day – for a whole month. It’s compulsory. I have to admit, when they first told us no talking at dinner time I noticed the slightly rebellious Ashley from teenage years rear her cheeky head ‘Na, that won’t really happen.’ Yep, it does, and not just for dinner, for each meal. So, I have went from occasional mindful eating, to full immersion and I really am practising what I preach.
It was unusual the first couple of times but I have to say, really easy to get used to. Initially I thought ‘But these are my new friends, I want to chat to them as we eat’, but the routine is, you finish your tray, take it over to the wash basin then go back to the table to chat to whoever else has finished – perfect. It really forced me to take care with my food, thinking about each bite and here’s the good part, not throwing it down my throat because I’m starving. (Definitely not starving, but not used to only having three square meals a day. What - you mean no Oreos OR Pickled Onion Monster Munch between meals?!’) And here’s the even better bit, eating this way means you take longer and you eat what your body requires naturally, I feel really healthy for it. Think about it, how many times have you sat in front of the tv mindlessly chomping down on crisps, chocolate, pizza etc (no judging- my particular favourite is a whole tub of Haagen Dazs) I have time to think about eating my meals here in the yogshala, sometimes allowing my mind to wander through the events of the day all with the lovely comfort of the others sitting beside me. Like everything in India so far, I’m surprised by just how much I value and learn from each experience.
Give it a try, maybe start with just the first bite of a meal or a
breakfast. If you would like anymore tips about mindful eating, just ask Google or me 😊
Love, Miss ‘Practising What I Preach’ Green x