The final chapter of Martha Beck's "The Joy Diet" focuses on one of the most luscious ingredients - FEASTING. I love Martha's idea that there are many kinds of feasting - not all food related. "Anything that feeds your true self, whether it's physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual, is a feast in the making."
Feasting on Food
Not my favorite of the feasts, to tell you the truth. But I did think of food in a very specific way when I read this. I was thinking about Moroccan food or Indian or Thai food - how they are so complex in flavor and spice in ways that a lot of American food is not. Most recently, I have discovered a love of ginger chicken with fresh green beans from Pho Van, a local Vietnamese restaurant I was introduced to by a friend.
The Joy Diet Food rules (unabridged)
1. You must only eat what you really enjoy.
2. You must really enjoy everything you eat.
Feasting on Beauty
I haven't feasted on beauty in a while...I can certainly think of feasts for the eyes or ears - the perfect color paint, the waves crashing on the shore in a storm, listening to favorite songs on my iPod, watching a beautifully filmed movie or video...there are so many things but I don't usually take them in for very long. I'm always moving on to the next thing. I have to work on this.
Feasting on Rest and Relaxation
This one is coming along. I am trying to rest more and relax when I am on vacation or when I am away from work. Sometimes it makes it harder to go back to the craziness of real life after some R & R but I know that they really are necessary to balance each other out.
Feasting on Brain Candy
Martha talks about loving television. I miss reading, but I tend to be attracted to what we classify as literary fiction as opposed to popular fiction - sometimes it is just too much work. I finally figured it out last year when I read all the "Twilight" series books- it made me realize that my brain just needed to escape. Some escape hatches for me include Zuma's Revenge (a game on the computer), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Friends" and right now, I am reading a series called "The Weather Wardens" about people with special powers to control the weather.
Feasting on Love
This one is harder. In some ways, people become more open as they get older but in others, they are more guarded. I feel more guarded with love now that I am older and have been banged up a few times. I want to give it away, but I have a hard time trusting sometimes. Trusting motives or what is real...This is definitely an area where I need to focus more attention. I have been working on it. Goes back to my post a couple of days ago - opportunities are needed. I have to cultivate them and go from there.
I have been talking about, meaning to write a Thank You note every day. I even bought cards because I wanted to make them but I just never have found the time. So Martha had a worksheet that was a Gratitude Starter list and I decided to post mine here, just as a reminder to myself.
I am grateful for:
1. My health
2. My mother
3. Good friends
4. I am employed
5. I have a good job - good benefits, pay
6. I have a roof over my head
7. I find reason to laugh regularly
11. Online friends - those I have met and those I haven't
12. I have the opportunity to express myself here on my blog
13. Pink things!
14. Diet Orange Sunkist soda
15. Beach trips
16. I am learning photography
17. I can take a class in Winter term
19. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
20. art supplies
21. The Next Chapter group
22. Jamie Ridler for conducting these groups
All in all, this has been a good experience. I got behind a few times and that was frustrating. The most important thing for me, though, in this process is the opportunity to connect and find like-minded folks out there who are searching for more joy, more life, more art. I am so happy to have found this group and I hope to participate in many more "The Next Chapter" adventures.