A few years ago I would never have thought I would be the kind of person that sits down to a meal and says Grace. We grew up saying the Blessing every night but once I was away from home, that little ritual slipped away. And my husband definitely isn't the kind to say anything much to any sort of God type figure (or Goddess for that matter).
A few years ago I saw the following video from the Institute for Noetic Sciences.
The video, along with my other studies about consciousness and intentionality, started to shift my thoughts around saying some sort of Grace over my food.
Still, talking directly to God (Goddess) right before we sit to eat isn't going to fly with my husband. And my daughter at 2 has the attention span of well, a 2 year old. So recently we've started a new ritual that works for everyone. We sit down at the table, hold hands, and then take 3 deep breaths. We follow that by saying "We are thankful for our food and those who made it" Simple. Quick. Easy.
I've found it makes a profound difference in the tone and enjoyment of our meals as a family. The three breaths help us transition into the present moment of mealtime. It's the pause we need to shift gears from whatever we've been doing individually into the collective effort of enjoying this time when we're seated together. Offering gratitude then helps me pause for even longer and call to mind whoever has helped make this possible. Many times yes, I'm offering gratitude to myself... but come on who couldn't say Thank-you to him/herself a little more often. I also get to genuinely offer gratitude to my husband. Or to my friend or family member for cooking a few days ago if we're eating leftovers. Even in a restaurant I'm taken for a moment out of myself and I recall that this is a meal that some actual PERSON prepared for me. And for that person for that moment, I am grateful. I think my food actually tastes better too!
Gratitude is said to be one of the highest vibratory states and most positive states to experiences as a human being. It can be quite healing and life changing. I am continuously exploring how to truly create opportunities for gratitude in my life (it doesn't always come easily.) This quick and simple ritual seems to be helping. At least 3 times a day I pause and am grateful. I'd say that's a move in the right direction.
Contemplation: How can I intentionally make a shift towards feeling more gratitude in my life? and/or What can I offer towards my food to make it a more satisfying meal?