In case people don’t know, the concept of mindful eating means not sticking anything in your mouth without thinking about what you are doing. As in the opposite of “mindless eating”. It is an excellent concept, especially when it comes to snacking. It is so easy to eat huge quantities of chips or popcorn if they are available while watching tv. The lack of mindful eating leads to over consumption, and a consumption of unhealthy foods. This was brought to mind as I was debating how to use the water I had brought in the house.
Our well failed, and we are in the process of getting a new one dug. We have been without running water since Friday, and short on it since Wednesday, so it’s been a week. Fortunately, it rained this weekend, and we bought garbage cans to use as rain barrels. This gave us over 64 gallons. However, we have to bring it in in gallon milk jugs. This has taken all the daily chores out of the realm of mindless habit and into mindful meditation. While I certainly don’t want to live like this, I do appreciate the lesson. It makes me think about those who live like this, and the worldwide problem of accessable water. It’s made me think of how people behave-when things are readily available, we use more. A lot more. It takes 3-4 gallons to flush a toilet. A little over a gallon to wash dishes. How much more would it be if the water was running? What do I NEED to do, and how can I do it, without running water?
I don’t think a year from now I will be thinking about how much water I’m using. It’s human nature to put things in the background, so we can concentrate on other things. But just like you clean your closet once a year, getting rid of the clothes that don’t fit, how about getting out all those habits and cleaning them out? Are there habits in your life that are the equivalent of mindless eating or mindless water usage? For one thing- how much time do you spend on entertainment? Are those activities benefiting your life or spirit? Personally, I hate the idea of sitting there, “vegging out”, watching tv, probably a program you don’t even care about. You only have 70-80 years on average, why waste a minute of it? If you are too tired to do anything, go to sleep! If you want to watch a program, because you enjoy it, fine. But 40 hours a week? What are you not doing while you are watching tv? What goals do you have? Learning a language? Shooting a bow? Hiking in the woods? Learning an instrument? What could you get rid of to find time to do these things? Is there someone you hang out with for no reason?
I’m not saying you can’t spend time playing. Play. Play a lot. Play hard. Just do it because it fits your life and what you want from it, not because you fell into it and don’t really care about it. Just don’t waste time or pass time. Choose your activities mindfully. Just like I won’t be thinking about water in a year, you and I will slip into habits requiring this housecleaning from time to time. If you tell me you don’t have time for this that or the other thing, ask yourself, “how much time do I spend watching other people live their lives, instead of living my own.”