How one woman found yoga, eased her inner hunger, and started loving herself. Follow Kimber as she shares her journey to loving her body, the joys and sorrows of yoga teaching, and venturing into the wilderness of writing and publishing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Love Your Body Blog Part 42: Eat Like a Goddess

Years ago I asked my yoga students, “How would you treat yourself differently if you believed you were divine?” After class one student told me with a laugh, “If I believed I was divine, I wouldn’t eat standing up over the counter.” I agreed; if I believed I was divine, I wouldn’t eat behind the wheel of my car.

Can you imagine Aphrodite slurping down a veggie sandwich leaning over the kitchen counter (it would totally mess up her hair, and her toga… do you know how much the dry cleaning bills are for those things?), or Athena chowing down on a carnitas asada burrito behind the wheel of her convertible PT Cruiser? Seriously, the burrito is less believable than the car.

How would a goddess eat? Definitely sitting down. Preferably with servants waving palm fronds, serving peeled grapes… sorry, got a little carried away. How about with a single flower in the center of the table, a lovely glass of water with lemon, a freshly prepared dish in front of her with a seasonal variety of colors, textures, and flavors? As she settles into her chair she takes a moment to enjoy the beauty of the food in front of her. As her eyes take in the rich hues, she imagines the farms the vegetables came from, the sun shining on them, the rain moistening their roots, the nimble bees who pollinated each flower, and the hands that tended and picked them. She opens her hands around the plate and offers a blessing, “May all those who offer me this meal be blessed. May this food nourish me. May my energy and life honor all beings.”

Then each bite she takes in she sighs and lingers over, enjoying every aspect and sensation of eating. Yum.

At the end of her meal, perhaps in the company of other smiling goddesses (and gods), she leans back in her seat, feeling full and sated.

Why don’t we eat like goddesses? We’re busy. We’re tired. We have little ones to feed and laundry to do. We don’t feel entitled to really sit down and enjoy a meal.

But really, could you eat like a goddess once a day? How about once a week? Plan a goddess lunch with a friend, or make yourself a goddess meal. When you’re planning a meal or going out to eat, ask yourself, “What does my inner goddess want to eat?”

My inner goddess loves:

Eating outside, at a café patio, or in my own garden

A carafe of water at the table

Sweet red peppers (probably because they’re seasonal and pricey!)

Figs and berries

Leafy salads with Goddess dressing (c’mon, what did you expect?)

Finger foods like spring rolls

Curried vegetables, daal and rice

Asparagus, avocado, and artichokes

Sauteed greens

Flowers, yes even in the food

A sweet blessing

Anything prepared with love and creativity

My inner goddess also likes to eat slowly and in the company of good friends (even if they’re flowers). Listen to your inner goddess and let her teach you how to eat with great mindfulness and enjoyment. To nourish her, ask her what she needs, what she loves, and feed it to her. Slowly and with great love.

What does your inner goddess love?