Most mornings, I have oatmeal for breakfast. I’ve probably had oatmeal 29 out of the last 30 days and I’m not tired of it at all. But while I was packing lunches and making breakfast for the girls this morning, I eyed the apricot jam on the refrigerator shelf and remembered that I bought this delicious salted butter from the grocery store yesterday. My mouth started to water and I decided I’d have toast for breakfast.
Toast with jam and butter is kind of like eating cookies for breakfast. Both are sweet, delicious with tea, and a bit of an indulgence. Toast with jam is not for every day. Not like oatmeal.
I toasted two slices of bread while Nora sat at the table to eat her breakfast-peas. She reminded me that her friend invited her for a play date after school today and wanted to know if that was really happening. I spread the butter and jam onto the warm toast and went to the table to sit down. I brought my phone to the table so I could text the friend’s mom to confirm while I took a bite of toast. After texting, my email was right there so I opened up my email and took a look at the annoying office depot ad, the girlscouts newsletter and an evite reminder about an upcoming Halloween dance party. Then, as habit would have me do, I did a quick check of facebook and saw I had a friend invite from this very muscular tattooed man who I don’t know. Though I’m sure he’s very nice, I deleted that request. I probably would have continued in facebook-landia but Nora explained that her peas were like little water balloons in her mouth and she wanted to have a pea-water-balloon fight at the table. I discouraged this. It was at this moment I turned my attention back to my meal and in my hand was my VERY LAST BITE OF TOAST. As soon as I saw my bite of toast and put my attention there, my mouth was flooded with the delicious butter and sweet, fruity apricot already in my mouth. I had been eating that whole time, but with my attention on my phone, I hadn’t tasted any of it. I didn’t even realize that I had been feeding myself. I was surprised and very disappointed to see that my special breakfast was nearly gone.
This is no joke.
Where we put our attention determines our experience.
I put all my attention on my phone and missed out on enjoying my toast. And if I had taken time to choose the best place to put my attention, it wouldn’t have even been the toast. It would have been Nora. Because there I was, sitting at the table with a kid who is so funny and so great and who will only be 7 for a few more months. It was just the two of us and it was the rare morning when we weren’t rushing around. I missed out on a chance to connect with Nora before she left for school. Nora is a good place to put my attention, every time.
Just being physically present isn’t enough. Robotically putting toast into my mouth at breakfast isn’t where the nourishment comes from. It’s the taste, the smell, and the feel of what comes in. When we choose what we want to connect to and put our mind on what we are doing, then that’s nourishing. That’s presence. That’s yoga.
Cultivate contentment: Holiday Stress Preparation through Yoga
Upcoming Workshop near Austin, TX!
Saturday, October 31st, 2015
As 2015 comes to a close, move into the upcoming Holiday Season with mindfulness and grace. This workshop will provide steps to learn gentle breathing and calming techniques to help you manage and even avoid the stresses of the season. You’ll leave empowered with tools you can use for self-care, self-reflection and gratitude.
Onion Creek Country Club
Fee: $35 member/ $40 guest
To register, please contact: Amanda