Happy New Year! If you’re wired to ‘begin your year’ on the school calendar, not the Universal calendar, you get what I mean. Whether you’re an educator, an administrator, a parent, a student, or whomever is impacted by the transition from summer to school, you’re probably in the midst of sharing some common experiences, bittersweet sentiments (maybe? 🙂 ) and the hustle that comes about at this time of year.
The new school year often resonates as strongly as the January New Year because with it, comes a whole new set of goals, intentions, practices, as well as a brand new energy.
For many, and certainly for me, structure and routine are key components for maintaining balance. I thrive on schedules for my mental health and well-being, and also for my daily mindfulness practice.
So for me, a new school year means getting-back-on-track with my best self, and tweaking those little nuances that were overlooked while pushing the boundaries on later than usual nights, or with one extra cool beverage on a sunny patio.
One aspect of course, of the typical ‘New Year’s Resolution,’ is to step up the food and physical activity regime that may have been compromised during the hazy, possibly lackadaisical, summer months.
Part of my mindfulness practice is to also eat and move mindfully, as many of you already know. With that, comes the commitment to packing healthy snacks and meals that contain proper nutrients that will sustain my high energy, jam-packed days. While I have that part down pat – being mindful of my food choices and providing my body what it needs, I realized that I have missed one very important component…my snacks and meals are missing LOVE!
How? You might ask.
I spend countless hours on Sundays and on each night of the week, in the kitchen, meticulously preparing what I think will best nourish my sacred body; however, I dread it, and I even sometimes complain about it! Seriously. No – New Age Teacher is not blissfully ‘zenned’ out, whistling while she works in the kitchen.
I spend the time because I believe this is what will help me to be healthy – because I have to.
However, like all thoughts that come up for contemplation, especially the not so desirable ones, they’ve come up for a reason – to be re-examined and to change for the better.
You see, I recently had a very powerful conversation with a new friend. It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was a lasting one. In it, this individual and I were discussing lunch ideas and what she makes for her kids for school. I commented on how challenging it must be to come up with healthy, school-safe, child-desired, time-manageable meals.
“UGH.” That was my response to the previous list of requirements.
My second remark was, “that must be so difficult for you.” And my third (the most embarrassing) was, “I hate making lunches.”
Yup. You saw it here friends. I admit it – not very mindful words from the New Age Teacher herself.
But within this short dialogue was the gift, because what my new friend said next held so much power. She provoked such an immediate thought and habit changing condition within me, that I did not regret opening up this dialogue in the first place.
My friend said, “No, I don’t mind a bit. I love making lunches. I love making lunches because I get to nourish my children’s bodies.”
Boom! How can you argue with a beautiful statement like that?
This statement literally stopped me in my tracks…my thinking tracks that is.
Yes, making mindful choices for healthy meals may take a little extra time, but we are so fortunate that we get to. I am fortunate to live in a country where food is plentiful, where a variety of options are available, and where I’ve been afforded the privilege to eat healthily.
I get to nourish my body and in turn, it supports me to enjoy life, to thrive in my passions, and to even have the energy to share this same message, this same gift if you will, with you.
So, to the many individuals entering this ‘New Year’ with dread already entering your mindset, and with anticipation of the assembly line of lunches on your kitchen counter…please take a mindful moment and consider it a privilege. Consider the fact that you get to nourish your body, mind, and soul, and those of your children and family members.
By taking this mindful moment, you’re going to add that one major life giving, nourishing, ingredient that was missing from your meals (and mine) to date – LOVE. This one extra ingredient alone, can shift your wellness into high gear this year and I bet, even make your meals tastier!
Wishing you a ‘New Year’ filled with delicious meals made with LOVE ♥
*Note: In an effort to maintain anonymity – no names were mentioned in this blog. However, I hope my new friend, we’ll name her “B,” knows who she is. Thank you for the gift of your words. Your kids are receiving the absolute best kind of nourishment they could ever receive from you.*
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