A few days ago, was Susana’s birthday, a lovely lady who works at my house. As a present, my husband bought her a cake to take home and enjoy with her family. It was a coffee cake that we had never tried, and he chose that one because she loves coffee. It looked delicious.
To our surprise, when we came home we noticed she had cut a piece of her cake and left it in the fridge for us to enjoy. That was a very kind gesture of hers, so we were happy and excited to be able to taste the delicious looking cake! But it was a slice for the five of us (my children, my husband and I). So, my husband cut the slice into five little pieces of similar size.
We all sat down at the table, each one of us with our little pieces of cake. Suddenly, there was a brief silence. I looked up and saw my family. I was amazed to see my children with their eyes closed and my husband looking at his spoon. They all seemed to be mindfully tasting their pieces of cake. The silence was broken by phrases like “oh, wow, how good this is!”, or “delicious!” I was smiling in my heart to see them enjoy and I reflected on how wonderful it is when we really take the time to savor our food and our lives.
Nobody commented on how small the pieces were or that they wanted more . . . It was as if the amount of cake each one of us got was enough. And it was. We all enjoyed the dessert, the family moment and I would say that we were also rejoicing in the love that Susana shared with us in that slice of cake.
When we all finished the cake, I was burning in curiosity to know if my children had noticed how they ate their cake. So, I started by asking if they had liked the cake. They all said “yes”. Then I asked them how was the way we just ate this cake different from how we normally eat cake? My son Mateo said, “Mom, it was a little piece and we ate it slowly because if you eat mindfully you enjoy more”. Simple. End of the conversation. They all got up and took their dishes to the sink. I love how simple kids are.
Sometimes, mindful eating is something I have to consciously remember to bring to my intentions and behaviors, especially when I am going a hundred miles per minute. But some other times, in those moments when I am savoring life, either by myself or with the people I love, it comes naturally. It is, as in those special moments the time slowed down allowing me to enjoy more fully, more deeply.
Have you ever found yourself eating mindfully without knowing? How do you enjoy food and life when you take the time to slow down?
Claudia Vega, Mexico