2006-11-24 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

By Dr. Nancy Gahles

DR. nancy gahles

DR. nancy gahles When you have too much on your plate, pace yourself. We all tend to pile it on. More is better. Bigger is better. Biggest is best!

Abundance has lost its meaning from gifts that are bestowed upon us as a result of our good works to excessive consumption.

This week we will sit down to a table of plenty. Excessive consumption will be the order of the day. Food and drink will be served in massive amounts that we could never fit on our plates all at once. The resultant hang- over, dyspepsia, GERD, and bowel disturbances will all be acceptable consequences of over indulging. Discomfort. A rite of giving thanks.

Giving thanks rightly, in my world, is about pacing yourself throughout the feast so that each portion is savored. When you are able to assimilate and digest that which is present in each offering, the nutrients are better absorbed and the after effects are more like euphoria than acid indigestion.

Pacing ourselves through a meal gives us time to thank each person who contributed their specialty by acknowledging their effort. I always feel that food lovingly prepared has a reminiscent taste that can be savored long after it is eaten.

Family meals are the essence of sharing. When we take the time to gather around the table and eat a delicious meal, leisurely together, we create an atmosphere of joviality that is conducive to sharing our thoughts and feelings and experiences and to have these heard and acknowledged. If we pace ourselves throughout the courses served, we can delight in the diversity that exists around the table and witness this as abundance.

You know that you have too much on your plate if you are unable to listen with kindness to another person's story.

You know you have too much on your plate if you feel compelled to criticize or ridicule others.

You know you have too much on your plate if you eat or drink with abandon and forget to thank your host/hostess.

You know you have too much on your plate if you are so self absorbed that you can only talk about yourself.

Pacing yourself means to be conscious of others and to interact with respect and the dignity due each person. This doesn't mean you have to sit next to Uncle Harry ALL evening but it does mean that you have to greet him with a sincere Hello. Pacing yourself means that you can move on from there and mingle with those people who inspire you or who were role models while growing up or who make you laugh. Laughing is carbonated holiness so please do imbibe!

If you are anticipating the event with anxiety or misgivings on the day before Thanksgiving, you know that your plate is too full of judgment, anger and unforgiveness. Pacing yourself means that you should assess if indeed this is the right environment for you or if it is one that will create or provoke harmfulness.

Pacing yourself means making decisions to feed yourself with wholesome relationships. Pacing yourself means making decisions that will fill your plate with all that you need in body/mind/emotion/spirit. The real turkey with all the trimmings!

So clear your plate of expectations, sit down to the table of plenty and enjoy all the fruits of everyone's labor and love. These are the tastiest morsels. And the ones that will sustain you long after the left- overs are gone.

My thanks to all of you who sustain me daily in the hope and healing of humanity through your sharing and caring ways. And through the laughter. God Bless the laughter. My personal cornucopia.

May The Blessings Be!

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