What a nectarine taught me about mindfulness

What A Nectartine Taught Me About Mindfulness
My pregnancy has taught me many things, one of which is to slow down, especially during the first trimester but more so in the third.

My body has been growing a healthy human life for nearly 36 weeks and it’s feeling a little tired and as though I am in slow motion.

Being a person extremely connected to my body, I listen to the subtle whispers that urge me to take a moment to rest rather than wait for the screams of injury or pain, which are impossible to ignore. When I honor those whispers, I find balance and free myself from stress. Though this lesson comes to me time and time again, some days, I struggle with the urge to multi-task or check something else off the list while I “rest.”

I’m a believer in moving forward in life and being productive. I’m also a believer in finding the balance in life. There are appropriate and important times for action, just as there are for non-action.

This morning, yet again, was a lesson in listening to my body’s needs and uncovering that balance.

Coming home from my brisk morning walk, I felt energized for the day. As I stepped into the shower, a wave of weariness washed over me. Moving slowly and honoring this feeling of fatigue, I strived to get through my morning routine so I could sit down. Luckily, I have also learned during this pregnancy that it’s imperative to give myself enough time in the morning to get ready so I don’t need to rush before my first client arrives for their one-on-one yoga session.

Ready for a break, I grabbed a nectarine and thought about reading while I ate. As I mindlessly washed the fruit, my mind wandered about what book to read and tried to calculate how much time I had. I knew I needed to get off my feet soon as I swiped a paper towel to wipe the fruit dry. I took a bite and walked over to my rocking chair.

I gazed at a stack of books I had on the table and picked up “Spiritual Midwifery” by Ina May Gaskin. I took a bite of the fruit in my right hand and uncomfortably held the book with my left as I fumbled to the page I was on. I took another bite and began to read. It was as though I rushed from sentence to sentence, checking the clock, not really reading or tasting the sweet nectarine.

Noticing that I was somewhere else, I took a deep breath and put the book down. I decided that it was more important to me to be present than trying to rush to the next thing or cram in a little more reading.

While I enjoy sneaking in moments here and there to read, I also know how important it is to be present for life. I decided that I wanted to slow down and find ease. Eating that nectarine became my priority and it was my sole purpose in that moment.

Mindfully, I gazed at the partially-eaten fruit and noticed the color, texture, shape, smell and feel of it in my hand. I noticed what it sounded like to take a bite and then to chew. I closed my eyes and chewed slowly, tasting and observing; feeling it on my teeth and tongue.

I thought about where the fruit came from, envisioning the tree growing up from a seed. I imagined how many people over the years cared for that tree, watered it and nurtured it. I thought of the bees, the rain and the sun. I imagined the day it got picked and tossed into a basket. I dreamed up its trip from my local farm to the grocery store. I felt so thankful that I had access to buy fruit from local farmers.

Eating one mindful bite at a time, I witnessed the transformation of the nectarine and felt so grateful that my purpose was to simply eat and savor a delicious piece of fruit, before the “busy-ness” of my day began. Being mindful with my snack also grounded me before my daily meditation, and was a meditation in itself. There was no other place I had to be or task I had to complete. I connected to being and my breath while nurturing my body and baby with nutrients and mindfulness.

My life in that moment was so simple and pure. I tasted and surrendered the need to do more.

I let it be okay that I was exactly there, enjoying the simplicity. Everything was perfect, soft and timeless. Slowing down was a powerful lesson and I intended to practice it more.

With another bite, I found solace and joy, uncluttered by thought or urgency. A deep peace came over me. I was able to witness my life unfolding one sweet bite at a time, feeling so grateful, and enjoying that fleeting, unique moment in time and space, and in my pregnancy, which will never exist again.

photo-8