Shuba’s Weblog

Journeys of the soul…

nourishing our body and soul

on May 6, 2008

This weekend, I had the opportunity to go to the greenhouse at the local farm stand with a friend. My friend is a CSA member, supporting the local agriculture by buying her produce from the local and organic farms right here. This involves paying ~400$ in May, for getting fresh produce each week from the farm stand for June through October.

Though expensive, my heart jumped at the thought. Buying locally would be great. Both Abhi and I love fresh food. However, it does mean a commitment to the particular farm, and more importantly, cooking what you get seasonally. Now, if you were to ask me if we eat a lot of fresh veggies, my answer would be a hesitant yes-which is really a no. Its been only recently-less than a year now when we have started cooking fresh food regularly, almost everyday, with rice, a daal and some vegetable-usually frozen broccoli or peas sauteed with spices, unless the once a week spinach dish that I love making. We do use the peppers, onions, tomatoes and regular stuff. I’ve cooked with squash probably countable times. Beets used from cans generally. Packaged carrots. never cooked green beans at home or for that matter, a lot of other veggies that would be available in New england, that I’ve never seen my Mom cook growing up, and wouldn’t know what to do with .

Abhi’s first thought when I mentioned getting a farm share was, why put pressure on yourself to cook all these veggies? His concern is legitimate. Last summer we did buy our produce from the local farmstand so we could continue to support it, but with our own choice. I brought this issue into my attention this morning in meditation and realized-I do want to support the local farmers. and I do want to know what veggies are grown in this land I live in and how they taste fresh. and I want my body to be nourished by what I eat. The less the food has travelled to get here, the better it is for my body. Its obviously not going to be easy, and some days, I’ll break my head over produce I don’t know what to do with. BUt atleast I would have tried it for myself. Atleast one summer.

That brought my attention to nourishment. After thinking of food this way, I went into the shower. And I looked at my soap. Did it nourish my skin? IT had a long list of ingredients, mostly chemicals. I had no idea. I have bought organic soap in the past-but supposedly organic when it comes to cosmetics, does not mean much. I looked at my shampoo-recommended by my hair stylist. It smelled great-of coconuts and the tropics. and my hair was soft. was it actually nourishing my hair long term? I had no idea. The list grew this morning as I realized how much I take my body for granted. My body sustains and supports me every day every breath. and I generally do not think twice about what I fed it, bathed it with or which skin products I use.

I would love it if someone could tell me the answers. Wouldn’t that be an easy way out! We would all do the right things if only someone told us what it was. That is the hitch-there is no right way. We all have to find our own right ways. We have to ask ourselves with each action-does this nourish me?

And there is no steady-state answer to this. The answer is different each day. each moment. Like yesterday morning, I woke up early and did sun salutations. It felt great. I told myself after-I would do this everyday! (I always plan to do all good things everyday!). But I know very well that this morning, sun salutations was not what my body needed. It needed restorative poses, and just meditation to calm my busy mind. I don’t know what I will do tomorrow. I know it will be a different moment, and I will have to make the choice dynamically.

Its the same with life. We would love to go on auto-pilot and do all the right things if we had a list. But you cannot really live life in auto pilot. There are no right things. There is just mindfulness. Of what is, right now. and our actions, coming from this mindfulness of what nourishes us, brings meaning into our lives, and aligns us with our deepest desires, become easier. and right. for now.

With love, S.

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