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Appreciation & Blessings To Eating Peacefully

Author Melodie Beattie clarifies to us, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a weirder into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and makes a vision for tomorrow.” Cultivating an inner appreciation for the joy that is already present in our lives shifts our focus from what is incorrect with our lives to what is right. If we take the time, no matter how troubled we feel, we can find something to be thankful for. The more we seek gratitude, the more reason the angels will give us for gratitude and joy to exist in our lives

If you are reading this newsletter, chances are you have less than peaceful coexistence with food. Perhaps you have a like-despise relationship with food, wish that food didn’t exist, or have some other distorted relationship with food. Whatever your individual challenge, food may no longer represent enjoyment, satisfaction, and nourishment. One small step in changing your relationship to food is to offer heartfelt blessings, prayers, or simple moments of silent contemplation for the food that you do eat. Gratitude acknowledges not only the life-giving mystery inherent in food, but also reminds us of our innate connection to the earth and animals, people who made the food you eat possible, and the Spirit present in all things.

When I was small, I used to say a prayer with my family before each meal. But back then, the prayer didn’t have much meaning. It seemed like another meaningless rule we had to obediently follow to appease family and a seemingly overbearing, mad god. Once I reconnected with who I am, started living once more in my body, I felt my connection to the earth. I now experience the God in all things. Blessings before eating are again a part of my day. This time is different. I now take breath before eating. In my chair, I open my senses to the meal spread before me. The awesomeness of life washes through me. Each dish, whether plant or animal, represents life that is sharing itself with me. I take a moment and accept that the food I eat becomes my flesh and blood.

Animals and plants are a few of my passions. At times I have considered why it is that to live we must consume other life. There is no answer that satisfies my dilemma. The only answer is appreciation and prayer. Acknowledgment of the life that is shared with me and of my own life. This prayer opens my heart to a greater sense of purpose and connection. My own life is being supported. I recognize that I am a part of this earth, and my life has meaning. Who I am is vital. The way I can honor the life that is being shared with me, is to become a fully alive, vital, exited, passionate, loving human woman. I choose to share my right Self, my like with this earth. I choose to live in my body, and laugh, dance, like, and feel my emotions – including the pain. These are my prayers now as I observe the food before me. I belong to the cycle of existence.

Opportunities to bless food can be found endlessly in everyday life. Whether you start the day with a cup of coffee or cereal; eat a frozen dinner warmed by a microwave oven at work; snack on a bagel or apple; eat a light fare of steamed vegetables for dinner, or find yourself after a binge…each time you’re around food you have the opportunity to appreciate it and to appreciate your own life. Inhale deeply and exhale. Summon a feeling of sincere regard for your food, your body, your life, and say a small blessing that fits your unique personality.

Listed below are some blessings from many different cultures and from around the world. Let yourself be inspired!

ZEN BLESSING FROM THICH NHAT HANH

In this plate of food, I see the entire universe supporting my existence.

A JEWISH BLESSING OVER BREAD

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, Creator of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

SANSKRIT BLESSING

The food is brahma (creative energy). Its essence is vishnu (preservative energy). The eater is shiva (destructive energy). No sickness due to food can come to one who eats with this knowledge.

CHRISTIAN BLESSING

In a few moments of silence let each of us be mindful of all we have for which to give thanks: friends, food, hopes, health and pleased memories (a moment of silence observed). So in giving thanks we are blessed, Amen.

MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA

Make us worthy, Lord,
To serve our fellow men throughout the world
Who live and die in poverty or hunger.
Give them through our hands this day
their daily bread
And by our understanding like
Give peace and joy.

SAI PRAYER

Oh Lord Hari, You are the food, You are the enjoyer of the food, You are the giver of food. Therefore, I offer all that I consume at Thy Lotus Feet.

SUNG TO FRERE JACQUES

We are thankful, we are thankful
For our food, for our food.
And our many blessings,
And our many blessings
Thank you Lord, Thank you Lord.

IRISH BLESSING

May you always have …
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you like near you
And all your heart might desire.

ASHANTI, WEST AFRICAN TRIBE

Earth, when I am about to die I lean upon you.
Earth, while I am alive I depend upon you.

CHINA

O God, I am as one hungry for rice, parched as one thirsty for tea. Fill so my empty heart. Amen.

WICCAN FOOD BLESSING

As a Wiccan, be conscious of where your food comes from. Visualize the source of the food: The gods, the farmers tending the crops and animals, the Earth in which it grows, the Sun’s rays warming the soil and turning the leaves green; the Wind carrying pollen and bees for pollination; the Rain. Do not forgot anyone who might have had any part in bringing your food to your table: the truck drivers, clerks, etc.

A sample food blessing follows:

We are grateful for the seeds that grew the plants,
For the cows that gave the milk, for the chickens, that laid the eggs,
For the lives of the animals whose bodies will nourish ours,
For those who planted and tended,
For the Wind, the Sun, the Rain, and the Earth that nourished them,
For those who harvested, milked, gathered and slaughtered,
For those who carried, prepared and delivered,
Thank you all who provided our food today. Blessed Be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Helping people let go of self-destructive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors has been the life work of Dr. Annette Colby. Her fascination with the power of the mind, emotions, spirituality, and physicality has led her to become a leader in the field of personal growth and consciousness. She is a valued counselor, and an inspiring teacher, as well as an independent writer, mentor, and guide. She is a highly sought-after trainer with a unique ability to inform and inspire individuals to open their hearts, like more openly, and pursue their dreams.

Dr. Annette Colby, RD

Nutrition Therapist & Master Energy Therapist

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