I was flipping through our 5-minute Calm book at the clinic on a break one day and it randomly opened to a page about doing laundry. It was a meditation exercise that taught you how to be more mindful even with the routine tasks we may have. Most people don’t love laundry so I didn’t include it in this month’s newsletter, but I did connect with the chopping veggies meditation listed below. I also found that the gratitude exercise at dinnertime around our table lasted about 5 minutes before it became way too silly. But looking back it was a great way to connect and have some laughs and the boys want to do it again. Whether it is family of 4, a couple, or just yourself, both of these exercises can help us become more deliberate, aware, and grateful in our day to day lives. ENJOY!
Excerpt from p.260-261 “5- Minute CALM” by Adams Media
Chopping vegetables can be really relaxing and can itself be mindful mediation. Use it when you’re preparing a lot of vegetables for a stir-fry or similar meal.
Stand with all the vegetables laid out on the counter in front of you. Line up the vegetables to chop. Make sure you do this slowly and while using all your sense.
Look at the colours of the vegetables: the bright orange of The carrots, the green of the broccoli, the white of the onion.
Feel the texture of the vegetables: the softness of the silky threads of the corn on the cob, the rough skin of carrots, the
bumpy eyes of a potato. When was the last time you really appreciated a vegetable?
As you chop an onion, enjoy the smell and how it stings your
eyes after a while. Notice the great variety of herbs and sample their different smells.
Taste a raw vegetable now and then as you are chopping and really appreciate the texture and taste. Sprinkle a little sea salt onto the vegetables as you chop and enjoy the salty raw vegetable.
Listen to the sound of the chopping and how it sounds different with each vegetable. While you are cooking, listen to the sounds of simmering and sautéing. Smell the food as it cooks- for example, savour the scent of garlic.
Take every moment to really appreciate and give gratitude to everyone who worked to make that food available to you. Offer gratitude to the farmers and workers (who often receive very low wages) who harvest the food, to those who work in the factories to produce and prepare packaged food to the store clerks who sell the food, and so on. The more you offer appreciation and gratitude, the more you will learn to appreciate your many blessings as well as the unknown people who contribute to your blessings.
Practice the ABCs of Gratitude
Excerpt from p.244 “5- Minute CALM” by Adams Media
The times when your family is sitting down together for dinner can be the best to learn about and teach gratitude. Studies have shown that those who have the most gratitude are the happiest.
As you are having dinner play this 5-minute gratitude game: start with the letter A and think of something you are grateful for that starts with that letter. For example, “I am grateful for apples.” Taking turns around the table, go one to the letter B and then C. Try to make this game silly as well- laughing together can be a beautiful memory. Even if you don’t make it all the way through the alphabet in 5 minutes you’ll still have made a positive difference and maybe even put a smile on your children’s faces.
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