It’s actually Thanksgiving Day evening now, and so however you could incorporate mindful eating into the day has happened. Perhaps you’re pretty happy with the balance you were able to maintain when faced with the combination of social time, special foods, and a focus on eating. Or perhaps you didn’t. Here’s where the RAIN approach can be useful, especially the “N” – nurture with self-compassion. (An exploration for another time would be to combine or compare self-compassion practices with the work of Carl Rogers’ unconditional positive self-regard. A longer post needed for that!)
When mindfulness becomes strengthened and you are able to find the pause in the momentum you have around eating, there is a natural evolution toward just simply giving yourself a break. It’s possible to begin to see that who you are is not just the thoughts in your head, your habits, or your last “failure.” Mindfulness practice can lead you to experience that kind of open space, call it awareness, where you impartially observe your habits and how you either follow them on autopilot, or stop and do something differently. Either way it goes – whether you fall into habit or whether you choose another action – you can invite kindness toward yourself and release of negative shaming and repetitive criticisms.
There are a number of techniques for fostering self-compassion. A traditional loving kindness meditation can help to connect you to bringing the kindness you would offer to a loved one, a child, a pet, or a friend, and then extend that same kindness to yourself. This may sound simplistic, but this practice has been found to be a powerful ingredient to moving away from self-recrimination or expecting yourself to be perfect at all times. If you are curious to explore these topics and practices further, please come to check out a Thursday evening Mindful Eating Group meeting, and also visit and join the Western Mass Mindful Eating Community on Facebook.
This ends the Mindful Eating for Thanksgiving series. I hope you found a “tidbit” here or there that supports you on your mindful eating journey.
Mindful Eating aspiration:
“I am able to observe my behaviors and habits toward eating and release negativity and shame through cultivating self-compassion.”