5. Practice intention and attention: Focusing on what you are doing in the moment is not as easy as you think it is.
What does it mean to set your intention and attention on something?
As a noun, intention means to have a purpose, objective, or goal. Attention is about being observant. But there’s an energetic aspect of these also, and I think it’s about approaching something with a heart and mind that are fully engaged and aware and in-the-moment.
How often do you do something else while you are eating?
Try focusing only on the food you are eating, as you are eating it. That means not reading a book, watching TV, looking at your computer or talking on the phone. Instead, remind yourself to pay attention to what you are doing (eating) and what your goal is (to enjoy your food and let it nourish you).
What you will discover might amaze you. First, I think you will find that you are chewing your food more than before, and with that, there was more taste and enjoyment. Secondly, this can make it easier to be in touch with your satiation level, so you are able to stop eating when you become full. This is the beginning of losing those few pounds, with no effort other than attention and intention.
The practice of meticulous self-care is simple: prepare ahead of time; be supportive of yourself and surround yourself with others who support you; eliminate the toxic and the unnecessary; live fully in the moment. But how often do we really do these things?
So, to help you get started, I’d like to suggest an exercise: dinner. As soon as you are able, choose a night to practice true self-care with your dinner. Plan out and make a healthy, delicious meal. When you sit to enjoy it, turn off all distractions. Close your eyes for just a brief moment before you start to eat to center yourself. Concentrate on your food and anyone you’re sharing it with. Taste the flavors, smell the scents, notice the colors and textures. Imagine it moving through your body, nourishing you, energizing you.
Do you feel any different? Did you eat less or more slowly, did you enjoy your food more, did you have better conversations and feel better after the meal was over?
Meticulous self-care is really about being deliberate. Watch someone who’s really good at what they do: a chef, or a rock climber, for example. See how each move is planned, deliberate, with no stress or fuss, no wasted time or motion.
At its best, your being is in alignment with what you are doing and the action comes from your heart! The more you can be deliberate about your choices, your work, your food, the people you surround yourself with, the calmer and more purposeful your life can be, bringing more joy to your heart.