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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Feeling Full... the Silver Spoon Meditation

The following is a meditation that took me a while to feel ready to try.  The reason for this was that I intuitively understood that this meditation would bring me face to face with old and very personal food issues.  It took me a while and many false starts to complete the meditation all the way through.  However, after completing it just once, I found it so powerfully beneficial and insightful, I have come to enjoy this mediation very much. 

The power of the meditation lies in its ability to help you make connections between feelings and food.  When, in the course of the meditation, I see myself reaching for the bowl of buttery mashed potatoes covered in turkey gravy - served by my mother wearing a ruffled apron - I know it's not time to grab the peeler and the turkey roaster; it's time to offer myself some heavy-duty mothering.  As an adult, I know there are many ways to meet my need to be mothered - and actually eating all those potatoes isn't one of them.  This mediation has become a vehicle for me to understand how to feel truly "fed."

Do not attempt this meditation until YOU feel ready to embrace the full spectrum of thoughts, emotions and images that your subconscious mind can conjure when it comes to eating and body.  The purpose of the meditation is to create a link of understanding between you, your feelings and the foods you love.

Be patient and gentle with yourself.

For people who have food-related physical or emotional issues , I recommend you show this meditation to your health practitioner to help you assess if it is appropriate for you.

- Choose a time and place where you will have a few minutes to yourself.  Make sure you are not hungry.  Have a journal or notepad handy.

Bring your attention to your breathing, and focus on each body part in turn, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head, relaxing, then tensing, then relaxing, until you are completely aware of any tension you may have been carrying in your body. Take a few minutes to pay some extra attention to these places…some of them may surprise you.

- When you are ready,imagine if you will, a large table on which are placed all of your favorite foods, no matter what they are or how “bad” they are for you. Allow yourself to envision everything you really like spread out before you, perfectly prepared just the way YOU like it, at the perfect temperature. Give yourself permission to imagine how wonderful each food smells, how good each food looks as it steams or glistens in its serving dish. Wallow in the images of all of these foods, and then, if you so desire, choose one, or allow one to choose you.  

As you look around the table, you notice a single dish and a single silver spoon.  The silver spoon is bright and shining.  When you pick it up, it feels good in your hand.  Take a moment or two and see if there's something special about this spoon that makes it uniquely yours.  Then, when you are ready, take as much of your chosen food as you would like. Allow whatever memories, associations or images your mind may show you to flow freely in and out as you envision yourself enjoying and savoring this food. Feel free to imagine yourself eating your fill. Understand there is something about this food that meets a deeply rooted need.

When you are full, put down the spoon. Notice that the serving dish is as full as it ever was. Notice that you are comfortably full.  Notice the spoon is bright and shiny and clean.  Realize that you may return here whenever you wish to feast as often and as completely on any of your favorite foods.  The ability to come to this place is yours. 

When you are ready, allow yourself to come back to the present moment. Note any impressions you received during the meditation, such as the food you chose to eat (or which chose you), who served the food to you, how much of it you ate, how you felt as you ate it, or any memories or other sensations that came to you. If possible, indulge in a serving of your chosen food at some point in the next several days. Again, note your response to any images or associations that come if and when you actually eat the food.  Pay attention to your dreams or journaling. 
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