It took me a while to set up this blog, because – to be honest — I don’t always feel delicious. Like most of us, my life has a lot of challenges. Yet I was drawn to the name and whenever I tried to think of another one, I kept coming back to it.
‘Feeling delicious’ is a great aim; although trying to feel delicious all the time can actually be a strain.
Perhaps the best goal is simply to notice when we feel delicious, and fully savor it. To feel it fully; but also to feel painful states fully too — the ouches and the purrs. And let them move through us, without holding onto either state.
Perhaps, by becoming aware of all our emotions and how important they are in a healthy balanced life, we can feel surprisingly delicious more often.
I remember watching a film a few years back, something I’d recorded late one night to keep for a rainy day; unfortunately I can’t remember the name. It was about a North American woman struggling with grief in the aftermath of losing both her husband and child in an accident, who goes to Burma for a holiday. It was 1988, and when the security forces fired on pro-democracy demonstrators somehow she got swept up in the chaos and ended up on the run with a group of dissidents.
Their escape from the city was fraught and horrifying and full of danger and tragedy. They reached a village where they had some friends and were able to spend one night where they could be safe. Able to wash, given clean clothes and food, they laughed and talked with their hosts. The next day, they headed off again, into danger, uncertainty, pain and grief.
The North American woman was astonished and said to the older man who was with the group, ‘How can you be so peaceful and enjoy yourselves in the midst of all this?’
I was going through a rough patch at the time and his reply affected me deeply. What he said was something like this:
‘You Westerners think that happiness is your natural state and your right. And so you suffer when you don’t feel happy. Whereas we are surrounded by pain and hardship and struggle and see it as normal. Thus when we do have moments of happiness we embrace them with complete joy and make the most of them. We see these moments as a great gift.’
By naming my blog ‘feeling delicious’, I don’t want to suggest that life is or can be continuously sweet. Or that we are doing something ‘wrong’ if it isn’t.
But there are always moments of sweetness, even in the darkest times, if we can allow ourselves to be awake to them.
So this is my aim – to feel all the moments in my life (this moment, right here): to taste the bitter and the sour, the salty as well as the sweet — all the flavours of a rich and juicy embodied life experience. To chew things over mindfully. To take in what nourishes me and throw out the bones and the bits I don’t need. To become adept at savouring and digesting experience and emotions fully, so I can let them go when they’re over, and keep moving into a new present.
Here’s to being open to the new, to reducing the junk in our lives, embracing what is fresh and alive, exploring a full palate of flavours and textures, relishing the spice that adds variety, letting go easily, respecting and appreciating the abundance of this planet, and sharing wisely and generously with good companions.
Or in other words, here’s to feeling delicious more often, whatever is on our plate.