Food for the Soul
Food Groups for Living Happily
Food. It seems simple. You are what you eat and therefore, the food you eat creates the physical body you live in. But that’s only half the meal!
Look and Feel Your Best
You create a healthy body to help you look and feel your best. You eat from different food groups, have appropriately sized portions and eat fresh, quality food. Yet even when we know exactly what and how much our bodies need, we reach for food when we are sad, tired, bored, angry, and stressed.
Even though we are full of nutritious food, we’re starving for that which feeds our lives. We crave soul food – nourishment for our being. The five food groups come together to create your quality of life. Those food groups are connection, acceptance, peace, joy and love .
The ability to truly connect with others and have meaningful relationships feeds us in a profound way whether it’s within ourselves, or in our role as a parent, partner, friend, family member or coworker. It’s a delicious blend of active listening, trust and taking the time to communicate thoughts and feelings.
Connection with self gives us the insight to know the experiences we want to fill our life with. Connections with others inspire us, give us a sense of belonging, and can build our inner confidence and trust. When you’ve filled yourself with great connections, you feel happy and full!
Acceptance is one of those food groups that we know we should eat more of but it doesn’t always make it to the plate. Accepting both ourselves and others is an important part of living a happy life for without it, we move out of present moment joy into striving for an idea of what we or others should be. Acceptance provides us with energy to move forward and grow.
When we don’t have enough acceptance in our diet, we give up our sense of self to be accepted by others. This happens among peer groups in school, in relationships where one person has a domineering personality, and in work scenarios where you trade your true self for a paycheck in a job you don’t love. Choosing acceptance as a part of your daily diet leads to amazing relationships and peace.
Ah, peace. ..a delicious combination of many different ingredients: 1 cup of feeling fulfilled in our connections, education, career and hobbies; 1 cup of spirituality; 2 cups gratitude; 1 cup compassion for ourselves and others; and equal portions of forgiveness and self-love.
When you’re done combining all these ingredients, take the time to savor what is good. It’s living in the present moment free from worry and fear because you have faith that things happen for a reason. This recipe can and should be shared!
Joy is hopefully a heaping portion on your plate everyday. It’s right there in the buffet line. You just have to choose it. When you do, life is fun. You relax, smile more, and celebrate the gift of life.
Even though joy doesn’t cost anything, some overlook this food group because they don’t feel they’ve earned it. They haven’t worked hard enough, long enough or done things perfectly. You don’t have to work for joy. It’s free and it has your name on it so take a bite!
Love is a wonderful food. It’s like water: critical for life and refreshing. It’s in everything and although it has a mild flavor it quenches your thirst on so many different levels. Self-love, friendship, and intimate love are just a few of its brands. It’s unconditionally available to you at all times so it’s the perfect easy choice. If you haven’t already acquired a taste, keep trying until your taste buds get used to it.
Soul Food Starts with Understanding
When we don’t have soul food, we can over-indulge in other ways like over-eating, over-spending, gossip, abuse substances and worse, all in an effort to feel full. They’re distractions from the nourishment we need to have a happy and healthy life. The recipe for soul food starts with understanding what you are craving, making it the same priority as having three full meals per day and being grateful when you have it.
Like eating carbohydrates, fats and proteins, soul food requires conscious choices, having discipline and balanced portions. Similar to acquiring a taste for whole grain pasta, it just takes practice. Taking the time each day for connection, compassion, joy, peace and love is like filling a plate of food for your soul. Bon appetite!