Since I’ve had this screwed up mouth and throat, one thing I’ve been forced to do is to take smaller bites, of food. The tongue and swallowing mechanism just won’t handle what it could before, when I could wolf down food with the best of them. Kind of like normal people do. Now, I take longer to eat than whomever I’m with. At home, GV, not a fast eater, is finished before I’m halfway through our meal. The result – I get tired of the process, quit before I’m done, and end up eating less.
That’s not necessarily a good thing. But the process of taking smaller bites, and taking longer, has resulted in a feeling of satisfaction while consuming less quantity. So while I may quit eating because I’m tired of chewing and swallowing, I’ve noticed that I’m satiated. That doesn’t mean that I’m always eating the right thing. (pancakes?)
There are people who take smaller bites of lots of what they do in life. That does’t mean that they accomplish less, only that they savor the process of what they are doing. Not saying that slow and steady wins the race, only that there is something to be said for slowing down and appreciating the details.
A good friend in college, Bob, was slow and deliberate. He had a black belt in karate, so he wasn’t that slow. I remember once we were on top of a wooded hill, thick with brush. I wanted to race him down, so I ran. He took his own pace. When he caught up to me, (I was waiting), he asked me if I saw the snake wrapped around the tree I zoomed by. Of course I hadn’t. He lead me back to show me. I don’t know what kind of snake it was. I didn’t want to get that close. Point is, he saw it by consuming smaller bites at a slower pace.
After college, while riding his road bike, Bob was hit by a car which about tore off one of his legs. The resulting operation was an experiment where they (tried) grafted muscle from the good leg into the injured leg. He ended up with two screwed up legs and a hell of a limp. Still, that didn’t stop him from getting his second degree black belt and riding his bicycle from coast to coast across the country. He did it all with the help of lots of meditation and focusing on the details.
I’m guessing that’s a big part of what meditation is all about – slowing down the breath, the mind, focusing on the details, taking smaller bites. Its just so damn hard to slow down that thinking stuff. But the smaller bites of food does have me thinking of applying that to other aspect of motoring throughout the day.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that when taking the stairs, I’ll take them one at a time vs two a time (although GV promotes 1×1). P.S. You know when a person needs to take smaller bites when you see someone pressing an elevator button that is already lit. Or those that press the button multiple times thinking the elevator will arrive sooner.
I’ve gotta admit, whenever I go somewhere, walking, riding or driving, my mind is on getting from a-to-b in the shortest time possible. If I had to stop and think about it, the reason is insignificant. Rather than blasting through intersections when I’ve got the red signal (on the bike most do), I’ve started to stop, enjoy the sights, notice more of the details, consume the trip in smaller bites.
But being more aware, more observant is all relative. One of my brothers can ride a bicycle faster than I and he is still keener at noticing the details and more observant of surroundings than I am.
I sure don’t know whether taking smaller bites is good or bad, better or worse. In the case of food consumption, there is probably a benefit to slowing down, although I’d sure love the option of wolfing down dinner. As far as chomping through the rest of life, I am certain that there is more than the devil in the details of those smaller bites.