The other day, I made a salad with dinner.
I LOVE makin’ a fresh salad with whatever I can find! My favorite dressing is simply balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cracked pepper and sea salt. The sea salt brings out all the flavor.
Tastes even better with home-grown herbs thrown in the mix. And color. Loooots of color! All kiiiiinds of color, ok? lol
Momma has always cooked with color, because it’s fun and has great eye-appeal. Makes the eatin’ all the better, too :)
So anyway, I made this salad. And I really took my time eating it. VeRy slowwwwwly. I savored every single bite. And I wanted to bring my attention to the whole experience. Not just scarf it down, but be fully conscious while I was eating it. You’d think it would be so easy, right? And especially if food is your favorite hobby, right? HA!! Uh-uhhh!! Nada! No way! lol
The TV was on. Momma was sitting next to me. She was masticating. Max the cat was trolling around the kitchen for free food. And I was sitting in the easy chair with my bowl of salad. I looked at the salad. Picked up and ate some salad. Chewed it. But I wasn’t all there with the salad. I was everywhere but with my salad! I mean everywhere! And I’m like – Lis’!! You need to focus on your salad! F – O – C – U – SSSsssss [ and, no I am NOT Martha Stewart! ] ….
And so I brought my attention back to the salad. Picked through it. Looked at it. But didn’t really see it. Just vague shapes and colors. Put some in my mouth, but didn’t really taste it. Rolled it around my mouth, but didn’t really feel it. Was way too busy repeating the process of before. Then I was like – Ok, Lis’, you really need to give this salad your full attention. It’s called mindful eating for a reason, silly. You can DO this! Then I was like…. siiiiiiigh…ok, sistah! Reel it back in. Get it together! You need to focus on your salad! Focus on your salad! And then I was like – you know this is crazy! I know how to focus. I can focus. Ok, lemme focus.
Then I repeated the process again. But when I once again returned my attention to the salad, I was like ok – take a bite and taste all the different flavors in your mouth. What do you taste? Name them one by one. Mutter, mutter, $@#! , *%#^* !! Phhhhbbt, phhhhhhbt! Deep siiiiiigh…..geeeez, this is soooo hard! Ok, well, I taste vinegar, sea salt and oooooo, oooooo!! Cucumber! I love cucumber! Lettuce….mmmm….mushrooooms….mmmm…what else have we got here? Tomatoes! Grape tomatoes packed with a world of flavor. And…wait….wait! Cracked pepper! And how ’bout those green onions? Oh yeah, now we’re talkin’!
By now, my chewing had slowed down dramatically, and so had my breath. My shoulders dropped down considerably, too. No longer way up over my ears. Then I was like — wowwwwww! I’m finally breathing again. I feel relaxed! And THEN – I exhaled such an exhale! And it was theeeee most wonderful exhale I had experienced in a good while.
Next, I was like – Ok, let’s take a closer look at the salad. Look at the salad in the bowl. What do you see? Well, I see lots of round shapes, spheres, pie shapes and edges. Ok, you’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work! Now. I want you to go deeper into that bowl. Shift your focus ever so slightly past the shapes. Now what do you see? I see color. Serious color! I see red. Pops of red in the tomatoes. I see light to dark browns and black in the mushrooms. I see dark forest and emerald greens in the skin of the cucumber, and that soft, mystical light neon green in the pulp. And finally, the reddish browns in the grapes.
And then. For a brief moment. I sat there in awe. Marveling at what I had just experienced. The infinite wonder and detail in everything I had seen on that closer examination of things. What happened next I cannot properly express, except to say it was swift and sudden. It brought me to my knees. Humbled me. Touched my soul with white-hot fire. It was intense, bright light, expansive warmth, joy and sunshine. Pure ecstasy. The peace that passes all understanding. Living Grace!
I knew I was in the “in between”.
Lastly, that still, small voice inside me said. . . .
Now Little One – I want you to take it even deeper still into that salad bowl. Go past the shapes and past the colors. There’s so much more that awaits you! Look for the deeper meaning of things. Go on now. You can do it! Just look, and you’ll see. I promise!
And so I did. I went down deep. And I looked for that deeper meaning. And there it was! In high-definition. Intuitively, I knew it had been there all the time.
First I looked at the grape tomatoes. Then I looked at the mushrooms. Then it really hit me! OMG!! Thunder & Lightning :) Would you look at that?
The tomatoes thrive in the light, and the mushrooms thrive in the shadows!
Ok, look at the tomatoes and the mushrooms again, except this time, I want you to THINK. Really think about this:
What do the tomatoes and mushrooms have in common? Well, let me think now. . . .
They both thrive under the same sky – yet they live in different conditions
One from seed, one from spore
They both grow and both have to let go
They both come from the same Source
Our Earth Mother
They are both nourished and supported by her
She feeds them from the same waters, soil and light
Don’t you see, Lissy? It’s about harmony. It’s about balance. It’s about light and shadow.
They can both co-exist happily together.
And, yes….it’s about letting go
So go on now. Let go, and enter the shadow! No fear, Lissy!
You’re gonna be just fine. You’ll see.
For wherever you go, there I will be!