In the early morning hours, when the sun creeps in and the symphonic sounds of nature begin their song, there is an air of potency. In a culture obsessed with fast pace and endless to-dos, we are gifted a spacious segment of time every 24 hours when we can choose to begin our day in tune with nature’s grace.
Breakfast—the sacred ritual of breaking the fast of the night cycle—is the perfect opportunity to commence the day with mindfulness and an open heart. Instead of the usual frantic rush of a meal eaten on the go, or with news in the background, or in the midst of a stressful conversation, what would shift for you if this meal was taken in quiet sanctuary? To come into the kitchen, feel the ground below, make the connection with food, and prepare the meal with intent? To sit and take a breath, feel the air above, and offer gratitude for seed, farmer, and cook? To chew one bite at a time, notice your internal dialogue, and make the choice to stay present? All of these inquiries of awareness are ones I was introduced to at Kripalu back in 2003 when I started volunteering. Each morning meal at Kripalu is taken in silence: It’s a time to start the day in a mindful space of being.
In our day-to-day life, it’s often the littlest rituals that make the most amount of difference in our health, longevity, and vitality. With more and more research correlating stress to diseases like obesity, chronic fatigue, cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune dysfunction, it’s no wonder that many are searching for new ways of living. A meal taken in silence reduces stress, elevates immunity, and increases the body’s ability to digest and fuel us for the day ahead. And, perhaps more importantly, it gives us the ability to create emotional spaciousness, welcome our light and shadow, feast on the gift of who we are at that moment, and remember that we are an intricate part of this precious treasure we call life.
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