From the Editor's Computer
I read an article in the Good Housekeeping magazine the other day that twigged my interest.
While the article was about dieting, it had broader application than that.
In the article participants in a diet program were given only one raisin, one corn chip and one Hersey chocolate kiss. I can’t remember if there were any other food items, but those three were definite.
Each participant was to eat the one raisin...and I mean really eat it...they had to smell it, examine the texture, pop it in their mouth and really chew it so they got the full benefit of the flavour. There were some surprised reactions when the participants actually found out what a raisin tastes like.
Same thing with the corn chip. One participant who could eat whole bags of corn chips in a week was shocked to discover that when she ate only one corn chip, very mindfully, that she absolutely couldn’t stand the flavour. The thought of giving up her habit of munching corn chips didn’t seem so difficult after that exercise.
The participants were even more surprised to discover that while they may live for chocolate, eating only one Hershey chocolate kiss emphasized the waxy artificial flavour to the point that it was nauseating (that’s why I personally prefer the novelty Hershey Chocolate Kisses to the original).
Instead of feeling like they would be depriving themselves of their favourite junk food snacks as they progressed with their diet plans, the participants voluntarily were able to give up the foods that just did not appeal to them...once they had really tasted them.
So let’s take that same process and apply it to other areas of our lives.
If you were to participate in an activity that is part of your normal everyday routine and really, mindfully, consciously engage in that activity with your full awareness for a mere 5 minutes...would you want to continue that activity after the time allotment was up?
If not, why are you engaging in that activity and spending precious time on it? If so, why are you not engaging in that activity and others like it that you truly enjoy on a more regular basis?
Conversely, what activities are a struggle to do, and you would find any excuse to avoid them? Could it be that once you spent five minutes really participating in the activity you discovered that you really enjoyed the activity and no longer sent you screaming for the hills.
So much of our lives are taken up by habitual tasks that we do almost without even thinking or being aware of what we are doing. As we become more aware and awake in each task we do what habits will just naturally fall by the wayside? What activities have you longed for more time to do? We have the choice to do what we want.
Wouldn’t you rather spend your time doing something you truly enjoy, rather than just acting out of habit.
From the Editor's Computer
Ah, those lazy days of summer. Have you experienced them yet? Are you planning on any laziness this summer?
For me, summer is a time to laze around reading. Okay, I admit, I easily do that year-round, however, in the summer I really get into the lazy mode as some days are just too hot to do anything else.
While the stack of to-be-read books beside my bed doesn’t seem to be diminishing noticeably (I suppose it would help if I didn't keep adding to it every week), I have managed to work my way through a few books this summer.
Some of the more interesting books I read in the past month include (this is not a complete list):
“The Not So Big Life” by Sarah Susanka - she gives an architect’s perspective to creating a balanced, harmonious life.
“The Law of Attraction” by Jerry and Esther Hicks - a spin-off of “The Secret” processes - Gratitude is the real secret.
“The 100 Mile Diet” by Alisa Smith and J. B. MacKinnon - chronicles the year-long adventures of two Canadians and their quest to eat more local fare.
“The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland: the True Story of the Royal House of Stewart and the Hidden Lineage of the Kings and Queens of Scots” by HRH Prince Michael of Albany - a 400+ history and call for Scots independence from Britain.
Now, I must take a break from my work to read a few more pages of “Pause: putting the breaks on a runaway life” by K. Gibson! Beth Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua. To contact The Chautauqua, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.