Creating Spiritual Connections at Mealtime
Many of us have a spiritual connection to food. Every time you make Grandma’s famous cinnamon roll recipe, it takes you back to when you were 8 years old, standing on a stool in her kitchen learning how to make it for the first time. You can smell Grandma’s perfume and hear her laughter as she teaches you how to knead the dough. You might turn on her favorite music and recall how you danced around the kitchen waiting for the rolls to bake. And each bite wraps you in the warmth of those memories.
Whether it’s Grandma’s cinnamon rolls or your Abuela’s tamales or even your dad’s bratwurst on the grill, we develop strong memories and feelings related to food. The act of preparing, serving, and eating is a great way to pull yourself out of the hustle and bustle of every day and tap back into your spiritual side.
With fresh herbs, vegetables, and seasonings, we maintain our connection with the earth. Feeding ourselves well enables us to remain balanced and focused. If you’re a meat-eater, using ethically sourced products not only brings better balance to your meals but also enhances the flavor.
If an animal is raised and processed inhumanely, the glycogen that is stored in its muscles is turned into adrenaline to help cope with those stressors. In an unstressed animal, the stored glycogen is converted to lactic acid after death, which helps keep the meat tender and flavorful.
To mindfully create a spiritual connection with food, which will not only help you disconnect from your daily stressors but also help create those powerful, bonding memories with your family, here are some tips to try while you cook:
- Create the scene: build a relaxing scene in your kitchen. Turn off the TV and instead turn on some soothing music or nature sounds. Light unscented candles to enhance the mood without interfering with the natural smells of your meal. Take a few minutes before you begin your meal prep to breathe and relax.
- Meditate as you prepare: let yourself be in this moment and not thinking about the work you left unfinished at the office or the kids’ schedule for the week. Focus on your intention for this meal and the result you want to create: a beautiful dish, a family excited to sit down together for one of their favorite dishes, etc.
- Appreciate the food through all senses: concentrate on how the vegetables release their aroma as you chop them, feel the softness of the floured dough as you knead it to perfection, listen to the pot as it begins to boil and how the tempo changes as the temperature grows.
- Clean your kitchen: don’t leave the dishes for another day. When you leave your space cluttered and dirty, it pushes you out of spiritual alignment. It’s like that ancient saying, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Similar advice can be found in many spiritual teachings from Buddhism to Christianity to Wicca. When your space is clear and clean, it naturally lifts your vibration, which allows you to feel motivated, inspired, and creative.
To truly be spiritually connected and receptive, everything we do should be purposeful. As people with many responsibilities and expectations, this isn’t always possible so slowing down and creating a meal with true intention and reflection is a great way to find time each day to refocus and connect with yourself and your family on a deeper plane.
Image Credit: From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository