“A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting" Abraham Maslow, psychologist
Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash
Food means the world to me. Not just its obvious life-sustaining abilities, but the emotional attachments certain foods have, and the memories they can spark.
Here are two examples:
I associate prawns - really juicy big prawns - with my nan, Nanny 'Billy'. She was quite a large lady, who loved a prawn or three. And she also taught me how to peel them properly.
Raspberry jam reminds me of my other nan, Nanny Oatts. She had a massive garden where she grew loads of fruit and vegetables (a hangover from the WWII 'Grow Your Own' ethos). From her annual raspberry harvest, she would make the most amazing jam - that very nearly rivalled Tiptree Raspberry Jam. I'm from Essex, where Tiptree jams and preserves are close to being a religion. So that's a big statement. But I stand by it 93%.
Whenever I eat either of these foods, I am reminded of my nans. A different time and place, a mood, a way of being. The tastes change my thought patterns and processes and frequently lead to new thoughts that relate to the here and now. What I'm not advocating here is: 'eat loads of different things to get loads of different ideas'. We've enough of an obesity problem in the West as it is.
What I'm speaking to is this: Think more about what you eat and it may just take your mind somewhere.
If you're stuck for ideas, then use breakfast, lunch or dinner to create some. If you stop and think about the food you’re eating, you might think of something else. And if you stay with that thought, it can lead to another.
Sprouts, for example. Sprouts = Christmas. Christmas = presents. Presents = the BMX I wanted (but didn’t get). You could keep going. But the point is, it’s creating a chain, which can lead to an idea. Or the alternative is that you can let your mind diverge from the thinking you've applied to a particular subject, allowing your subconscious to ruminate - while you masticate.
Below is a great mindful exercise around eating chocolate that can help you be more observant - using food as your focus.
Savouring the flavour helps us ruminate on our senses - savouring our thoughts as well as our tastes. Just focusing a little on what we're eating, rather than slamming it down our throats could reward us with a new thought or quick idea.
Or we just tap into an old sensory memory about prawns or jam.
At the very least that might make us smile.
Interested in more chocolate meditation? Check out Deep Tasting: A Chocolate Lover's Guide To Meditation by RM Peluso.
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