Primary Food

 Primary Food

By Jennifer Kelleher

I invite you to welcome yourself home, into presence, with a few conscious belly breaths.

In preparation for the new year, I thought we could use this week’s column to do some reflecting. Take out a piece of paper and a pencil as you consider the following twelve categories: Health, Physical Activity, Home Cooking, Home Environment, Relationships, Social Life, Joy, Spirituality, Creativity, Finances, Career, and Education. Spend some time thinking about what success looks, feels, sounds, smells, and tastes like in each of the areas listed. Then, rate your current level of satisfaction in each area on a scale of 1-10 (1 being unsatisfied in this area of life, and 10 being fully satisfied).

Now that you have this insight, spend some time journaling on the following questions:

(1) Are there any surprises for you? (2) How do you feel about your life as you look at these ratings? (3) How do you currently spend time in these areas? (4) How would you like to spend time in these areas? (5) Which of these elements would you most like to improve? (6) How could you make space for these changes? (7) What help from others might you need? (8) What would improve your ratings? (9) What would a balanced life look like to you?

In my health coaching certification training, we were taught that nutrition is a secondary source of energy and what really fuels us are primary foods, or non-food sources of nourishment. Think about it. Can you remember being in love? Life is vibrant and you feel full of joy, sustained and exhilarated by the blissful connection with your lover.

What about a time when you were involved in an exciting work or school project? You felt deeply engaged, confident, and stimulated, and you could work for hours without realizing the passing of time. Look at children: 9/10 times they would rather keep playing what they are playing than sit down to eat a meal. In all of these circumstances, food is an afterthought. Now, remember a time when you were feeling low. No matter how much you ate, you never felt satisfied, and this is because you were starving for primary food.

In order to feel satisfied in life, we must nurture ourselves beyond what we put on our plate. Career, relationships, physical activity, and spirituality can be considered the four main primary foods. The more primary food we give ourselves, the less we depend on secondary food to fill an emptiness. Contrarily, the more we stuff ourselves with secondary food, the less space we have for primary food, which is our true source of nourishment. Many religions and cultures around the world practice fasting to create space in the system and open the channels to receive more primary food.

Awareness leads to aligned action! I invite you to take some time thinking about the balance you currently have between secondary food and primary food. Which of the twelves categories above could use some attention? Use your answers to the nine reflection questions to help guide you in prioritizing these areas of life. It can be helpful to come back to this exercise every so often to track your progress and become aware of any areas that may have fallen out of balance.

For one-on-one or small group health coaching, contact me at (917) 318-1168. Also, the December schedule is up at Ocean Bliss Yoga! Register for classes and workshops at OBY yoga teacher and Ayurvedic counselor Kristin Sluyk and I will be doing a Winter Solstice Ceremony to ring in the new season on Wednesday, December 20 at 6:30 p.m. Spaces still available; sign up on the OBY website.

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *