This week has felt heavy. You can just feel the weight and the shift in energy in the air. What is happening in our country, it takes your breath away. How many more of these major scenarios, not to mention all the smaller ones, do we have to endure? We are destroying ourselves in so many ways. We can’t keep going the way we are.
I propose a solution. I realize this may sound simple. Ridiculous even, but I believe in simple. I believe in the power of returning to the basics. I believe in the power of food. More importantly, I believe in how food brings us together. My solution is two pronged:
1) Return to the kitchen and cook.
We all have to eat and we all have to eat every day. To make change, to find healing, we can start right in our own homes. Every one of us. Let’s get ourselves back in the kitchen making amazing food with fresh, real ingredients. In order to ultimately be able to make rational decisions, truly problem-solve with compassion, we have to provide ourselves with the building blocks to create healthy brain chemistry and a healthy body. When we are not healthy, then our entire outlook on life is dark and angry and we can barely see beyond ourselves. When we start to nourish ourselves, then the clouds lift, our outlook brightens and we have the space to have compassion for others.
2) Share that nourishing food with others.
We all celebrated a wonderful holiday last week where we gathered around a table of incredible food with our friends and family and celebrated the simple act of cooking an amazing meal and sharing it with our loved ones. There was joy and happiness in our hearts and we laughed and hugged and enjoyed each other’s company.
Now fast forward to this week. How many meals have you shared with your family? Friends? If you did share a meal, did you talk? Laugh? Did you make that meal or just drive-thru somewhere? Yes, it matters. It matters on so many levels.
We have removed ourselves from the kitchen and from the table, and therefore our family and friends, all in an effort to ‘save time’ and ‘money’. In the process we have stopped nourishing our bodies, we have stopped nourishing our souls and we have stopped nourishing our relationships. Is it any wonder there is so much anger in our society? We thrive on feeling connection and being nourished. When we lose that, there are dire consequences. In our efforts to save time and money, what have we lost?
This month’s National Geographic has its feature piece titled “The Joy of Food”. The article showcases photos of cultures from around the world sharing meals. Yes! This is how we have solved our problems for millennia. This is how we solve our problems now. This is how we have to connect with one another again. This is how we stop the violence.
I know it sounds simplistic, but I believe the answer is in food and how we interact with it. It doesn’t have to be complicated it just needs to be a priority. We need to return to a time where making our food from scratch and sitting around a table and talking with one another without electronics is the norm. If we can’t start in our own kitchen and dining table celebrating our own family and our own lives on a regular basis, then what are we here for?
Let’s take back this country, one meal at a time. Surrounding a table filled with nourishing food is where we have built our communities and families for generations, and it is how we rebuild the one we are in right now.