The Invitation to the Life Feast
How do we stop merely subsisting on fictitious table scraps and instead start just drenching ourselves in all of life's wonder?
Let's Eat - Hafiz
Just show you God's Menu?
Hell, we are all
Our appetite can be insatiable if we allow it to run wild. Many of us suffer from the affliction of all-consuming consumption. The bottomless pit that needs to be fed. Desire begets desire. What is enough? Is our life enough? Our house enough? Are our kids' enough? Our clothes enough? And of course, all of this compare and despair comes down to the main killer existential question, "am I enough"?
Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest have brought coveting someone else's life to a whole new level. You've probably had the experience of looking at someone's feed and thinking, I want HER life. Her happiness. Her kitchen. Her body. I am not happy FOR her. I am now feeling like my life is not enough because of how picture perfect her life appears to be.
What is Enough?
How will we know when we reach enough? And even if I have enough greenbacks in my wallet, the catalogs will still roll in telling me I need more. Will these shoes fill me up? How about this skirt? Or that kitchen table? Or this self help book? In the post-Christmas carnage that is known as January, many of us are feeling that consumption hangover on our credit card statements and in our stuffed closets. Materialism tries to be the cure all and is really the catch 22 for enoughness.
I'm saying that it is ENOUGH torture for our inherently beautiful souls. When we were little, my sister and I would fight incessantly in the back seat of the car. And my mom would promptly lose her shit and scream "ENOUGH!". It jolted us into momentary silence and compliance, so I'm recommending that we try to give a loud "Enough" to our insatiable thoughts.
- But how do we take it one step further and actually nourish ourselves into feeling like there's more than enough?
- How do we stop merely subsisting and start just drenching ourselves in all of life's wonder?
- How do we acknowledge life's overflow and drink from that fire hose rather than wanting to lick the trickle that will never even come close to quenching our thirst?
If we choose to delight in the everyday, we can find beauty in the ordinary. We can marvel at the curiosities of our strange human tendencies rather than spiral into resentment or annoyance of others. We can laugh at the absurdity of our beautiful and messy lives.
We can slow down.
We can stop.
We can notice.
and then we can get curious.
In Tibetan Buddhism, a Hungry Ghost is someone who is not fully alive, not capable of fully living and not able to appreciate what the moment has to offer. They keep consuming because their bellies are bloated, but never full.
Going with the flow always gives you more than you need. Your cup runneth over. It's kind of ridiculous to be thirsty when you're standing in the middle of a river. Or hungry when you've pulled up a chair at life's buffet. Satiation is everywhere. Just set an intention to really see it.
- So what are you not acknowledging in your own life that would be totally awe-worthy from a curious point of view?
- Where are you skipping over the everday beauty to get to the elusive rainbow?
Joy is an unlimited resource. There's not a finite amount of humor in the world. There wasn't a recent clearance sale on laughter. Life's beauty and strange charisma is wildly abundant.
My life is cumulative. It's not only the sum of its parts, but it's also singular beauty in each individual second. All Lives are made up of thousands and thousands of moments. How much life any of us put into those moments is up to us. As John Lennon so beautifully said, "Life is what happens while we're busy making other plans".
So I invite you to take a page out of Derek Walcott's book this month and sit and feast on your life. Your life as it is exactly right now. Perfectly imperfect. Flawed and fantastic.
Your Life's Feast
Love after Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.