I taught cooking to grade tens last year. What an eye opener that was. Some families never ate together. When I asked what the kids did eat, they replied with whatever I want. Everything came from a package and was already prepared and ready to eat. No one in the house cooked. Given a spaghetti squash, these young people had no idea how to open it or use it, or cook it, and once cooked , how to serve, season, and enjoy it. I would say most were entirely skeptical and negative from the get go. Sad. That is the mental part.
If we tell ourselves we are not going to like something, chances are we won't. We won't even get as far as to give it a try. Had I not included spaghetti squash in the lesson, 90 or so kids would never have tried it. I find this with lamb meat here in the area. The locals have never tried it, have decided they won't like it and therefor have closed minds and are not willing to even give it a go. We have to change that mindset if we are going to be healthy.
And there is the spiritual side. Gratitude. My goodness, I am humbled by my daily farm life. This morning I held a ewe who is reluctant to stand and nurse her newborn ram lamb. She did not want to be caught, she never does, but once I have her, she relaxes and stands for her baby. He eagerly drinks his fill and we repeat this process in a few hours. There is so much love filling my heart and soul holding that mamma sheep. Tears spill over my eyelids with gratitude. Without me, this little lamb likely would perish and my small part will help ensure his survival. There are no words to begin to express how I am humbled. How I am thankful. How much in awe that I am even part of this episode of life.
When we live in cities, we go to stores for sustenance. We never consider the chickens who laboured to provide the eggs, the cows who suffered to give us that yogurt, the piggles who never had a chance to run around and snuffle the ground as piggies love to do, or those steers who were stuck in feedlots engorging on grain so heavily sprayed with glyphosate that they would not be able to live long and productive lives, but that was never their fate. We buy, and eat. No gratitude. Sometimes, instead, there is irritation because the line up was too long, the meat was not fresh enough, the yogurt we prefer was out of stock. Shopping is not a moment of bliss for most.
But here on the farm, every moment is filled with gratitude and thankfulness. Yesterday, sitting with the bed and breakfast guests and chatting, the conversation revolved around the piece of paradise I have created as my personal haven and to share with others. They were not those to sleep in, but they did not arise until 9 am, perfectly tranquil and at ease with no agenda. For them, they marvelled at the sleep quality and were happy to see the leaves rustle on the tepid breeze and watch the newly hatching ducklings scramble over the lush, green grass to keep up with their very patient mother. They expressed feelings that were joyous and peaceful.
No matter where you live, please find time to get out in nature. Smell the trees. Oh my goodness, there is nothing finer than walking in a black poplar forest in the evening and breathing in that incredible, fresh, sweet, green, living scnet of the trees. Walking on the EArth, feeling the steps on the soft, yielding meadow and seeing nature, tiny insects busily scurrying for food, little frogs hip hopping away from my footsteps and into the safety of the tall meadow grass, and the birds, singing for joy, singing for love and the pleasure of just being alive - this is spiritual ! One does not need a church, for the whole forest is the temple and the life therein is the congregation. Sometimes I raise my arms and sway with the trees and sing with them. I don't know what I sing, but pins and needles run from my head down my spine to my toes anchored on the EArth and I know the trees hear me.
So, for your health, what you eat is paramount, how you think is also paramount. Live with grace. Practice gratitude if it does not come forth naturally. Be alone. Take time to restore your reserves and love. The other parts of that diet for health, are indeed spiritual, and mental, as well as physical. We can nourish our bodies, exercise at the gym and still not find tranquility and joy in life. But it is there. And the more we deliberately go out of our way to BE in it, the more it simply becomes our lives. Mind, body and spirit, or soul, if you prefer, must all be nourished.