Have you ever felt the need to ‘get away from it all’? Have you ever seen the pattern of life? Our lives can be so repetitive that sometimes it’s so difficult to step back and see it. Some refer to the ‘rat race’, the monotony of perhaps a high powered job until you can’t take it any more and make a radical change in lifestyle.
Others are so engrained in this rat race that they cannot think beyond it. The moments in between commuting and work are filled with video games, cultural rituals like going to a bar or the endless consumerism.
My great friend Lee inspired me to write this after I saw that he had this video on his YouTube channel. I thought it was a really excellent illustration of how we live but perhaps more importantly, it raises your awareness. It applies to most cultures. Use it as a tool to help you step back. If you don’t subscribe to the idea that others are controlling you, that’s OK. Hopefully it’ll give you a broader perspective of the game that we all are a part of.
Lee, Obrigado! (If you don’t know what that means, that’s, thank you, in Portuguese)
When you first start to eat in a different way to most people, you have to endure the trickle of comments that, in one way or another, are designed to make you justify your choices. Sure there are going to be some people that are genuinely curious. I went vegetarian around 1989, later vegan and since 2011 mostly raw food but always vegan. In my experience, these conversations start because if that other person accepted your choice then they’d have to accept their way isn’t necessarily right. I have never brought up my eating choices for conversation but am often asked.
One of the most common remarks I hear is that it’s important to ‘enjoy’ your food. I suppose it is. But who really enjoys their food? I’m sure the majority of people will positively state that they do. But they don’t, and nor do you. Perhaps a Buddhist monk may enjoy their food as they meditate or eat it mindfully. But other than that you’re watching TV, reading something, you’re chatting with someone either at home or at a restaurant. Before you know it, it’s gone. You didn’t savour every mouthful. You may say it was lovely when you finished it, but that isn’t the same thing.
Are you a happier person today because of that lovely meal you ate last week? Last month? All those meals you enjoyed so much last year? Ask yourself that question, I don’t need the answer. Your first line of thought may be that yes, you are happier, because those meals were part of your life and you were able to carry on because of that food. But this isn’t about that, this is about whether you enjoyed it, really enjoyed every mouthful. Because that’s what enjoying something is, right? If you’re not enjoying every moment, it’s merely an activity that takes place whilst you’re thinking about or doing something else.
I certainly think food should taste good but so it should otherwise we wouldn’t eat it. But if your happiness comes from food then you’re likely to have a problem. How much time do we spend actually eating a day? 30 minutes? 45? It’s a very small part of your day and you’d do well to think about the 90% of the time you aren’t eating and see what you enjoy from that.