Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kaizen Wednesday: Use Your Senses

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly,
our whole life would change.
~ the Buddha

Our February Kaizen theme is mindful eating, which is having awareness of of our reasons for eating, having a greater connection to what we eat, and becoming more comfortable and compassionate towards our eating habits so we can make small changes towards becoming more in balance.  In Kaizen philosophy, we acknowledge that the smaller the change, the greater the chance that we will be successful in our efforts to grow.

This week, I encourage you to take a step from mindless eating to mindful eating.  In his book Mindless Eating, Brian Wasnick, Ph.D., lists five types of "mindless eaters":
  • Meal Stuffer:  eating excessively large portions or taking multiple servings
  • Snack Grazer:  eating throughout the day
  • Party Binger:  using food as the backdrop for social engagement
  • Restaurant Indulger:  living on an expense account
  • Desktop Diner:  eating while doing something else at your desk or table
In A Mindful Diet: Four Weeks to Eating Awareness,   Jeanie Seward-Magee states that eating mindfully requires us to be mindful of our bodies, our minds and our emotions.  We need to first really learn to recognize when our bodies send us the message that they need nourishment.  We need to be aware of our thoughts regarding eating --- all the "should" and "should not" thoughts  that affect our behaviors.  From there we can acknowledge that these thoughts are impermanent, and do not always have to be followed.  Finally, we can get in touch with how we use food to alleviate our emotions -- boredom, sadness, stress, frustration, loneliness.

Magee states that mindful eating, is learning to eat with all of your senses.  Take the time to experience your food fully through taste, touch, sound, smell, and sight.  As we become more aware of our senses, we will notice our stomachs feeling fuller and ourselves being more satiated. 

Your Kaizen task this week is to make your eating a meditation on the senses.  Periodically stop yourself while eating,  choose a sensory response, and become aware of it.  A simple strategy with deep implications!

Check out these other activities at Sacred Arts Studio:

Healing Art Challenge: Loneliness

February Movie Club: World's Fastest Indian

February Book Club: Belong to Me


  1. beautiful painting and quote :)

  2. First--love your painting and next, love the post--this is so obvious--be mindful what you're nourishing your body with--but like most people, alot of times, I don't. I like that--mindful instead of mindless eating--something I'm working on.

  3. Love the color in this...

    ~Pea ♥


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