Every morning when I wake up, I say a simple prayer, “Thank you for another day in paradise” and I truly mean it, I feel it in my heart. I’ve talked before about Primary Food – the food that nourishes you daily but is not on your plate and Secondary Food, the food on your plate. Primary Food is SO much more important than Secondary Food and Primary Food is what I want my practice to be focused around; let me explain further.
Are you familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh? Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. A few years ago at a speaking engagement, Thich greeted the audience with the question, “How many of you have a toothache today, raise your hands” and no one in the audience raised their hand. His response was, “Isn’t that fantastic!!” “How many of you are celebrating today because you don’t have a toothache?” again, no one raised their hands. He continued talking about toothaches and that when we have them, all we can think about, night and day, hour after distressful hour, is the pain and the dire need we have for the pain to go away. But why is it then, that when the pain goes away and the tooth is taken care of, we don’t celebrate the fact that our mouth is no longer in constant pain??
Life is short – we have the luxury, the privilege of being alive. You’re above the ground…you have friendship, love, get to eat amazing food, sometimes crappy food, exercise – that is what nourishes us.
To live a treasured, happy life = a nourishing primary food kind of life, here’s a bit of advice.
Stop criticizing yourself, blaming anyone else and complaining about anything and everything – I know what you’re thinking…whatever…she’s living with her head in the clouds. This is all spiritual holistic bullsh*t, she has no idea what MY LIFE IS LIKE. It’s all rainbows and butterflies in her world. Let me allow you to look into a small window of my life for just a moment. I said my small appreciation prayer every morning while going through my first divorce after 23 years of marriage. And trust me, it was HEARTBREAKING and PAINFUL! And, every morning I woke up after my second divorce. YES, (stop judging me) I’ve been married 3 times and feel so blessed to have gone through all of the pain and heartbreak to have met a partner whom I love and adore. I said this small appreciation prayer every morning when my youngest son was born so premature, we almost lost him because he couldn’t breathe on his own, every morning while watching my Father die of a horrible, debilitating disease, every morning while going through cervical cancer…I could go on but you get the picture. Sometimes life sucks.
Have you ever really recognized daily conversations you have with your yourself, your BFF, your co-worker, or your spouse or partner? Most all conversations are centered around complaining about something. The traffic is horrible, my butt looks huge in these pants, this soup is too cold, did you take the trash out yet? It smells up the entire kitchen! Did you hear what she just said to me?? My hair looks like I just got back from the gym. It’s snowing again? It’s raining again!! It’s too hot outside, it’s too cold outside, my boss is an idiot, I have wrinkles that make me look 10 years older, my husband chews with his mouth open, blah, blah, blah. STOP!!!
Life is precious and your inner thoughts and your outer emotions can and do shape the way you live that very short, very precious life you’ve been given. Stop waiting for your life to begin, stop complaining, criticizing. When your life ends, do you really think you’ll care what the weather is like outside, whether there’s horrible traffic or your boss is still an idiot? Or how big your butt looks in the dress they bury you in??
I want to be remembered for being all ‘rainbows and butterflies’ because that is how I choose to live my life. And when I die…I’ll have less wrinkles around my mouth than Ms. Whiner does. LOL. Seriously tho, every morning, when I wake, until the day I’m no longer here, I choose to wake and say my simple little prayer and think good thoughts and not live with my head in the clouds but love this life I’ve been given, even the shitty chapters – because they are MY LIFE, my Primary Food and I’m blessed and grateful to be here.