“Clean your plate!”

I’m having to retrain myself how to eat. I was taught to “clean my plate” so I often would end up overeating and being miserable. I would also eat fast to make sure I’d eat everything on my lunch break. I’d get the signal that my stomach was full way past the point that I should have stopped.

My trick has been to take whatever it is and cut it in half. I’ll half a frozen dinner after I cooked it and put it in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch. Then I’ll eat slowly, chewing each bite well. I aim for 20 chews for each mouthful. I’ve heard with macrobiotics you should aim for 100, but that seems excessive. 20 chews is still far better than the grab and gulp mentality of the way I and many other people usually eat.

I try to get less at buffets. Just because it is all you can eat doesn’t mean it is all you should eat. Sure, you’ve paid for as much as you can eat. But there is a hidden cost. If you eat 4 plates of food, you are going to gain a lot of weight.

For some people who are trying to be mindful about their weight, buffets are impossible. They are too much temptation. I like going because there is a lot of variety and a lot of vegetables.

I try to eat slowly at buffets, but it is harder because I haven’t halved my food. When I notice that I’m looking at my plate and thinking that there is still a lot of food left that I have to finish, I take note that I’ve gotten too much and try to get less next time. I’ve also noticed that when I push back from my plate, I’m full. I find I do this unconsciously. I’m trying to notice this sign from my body as a clue it is time to quit.

I’ve heard it takes 20 minutes after you are full for your brain to realize that. In twenty minutes you can shovel a lot more in. Then you’ll feel terrible. But by cutting the food in half the and eating slowly you have a good chance of getting the signal in time. Also, it doesn’t matter if you “feel full” yet or not. You know you have just eaten a whole meal, so quit.

This all takes a lot of unlearning to do, because we have been taught badly.

Finished. Are we there yet?

People want wine but they don’t want to harvest the grapes.

People want to be a best-selling author but they don’t want to take the time to write.

People want to be a famous artist but they don’t even want to doodle.

People want to be healthy and slim but they don’t want to go to the gym.

Everything worth having requires work.

Everything worth doing is worth doing well.

Nothing is easy at the beginning. Nothing is beautiful at the start.

Even Mozart wrote some bad songs.
Even Shakespeare wrote some lame plays.

They won’t all be winners.

But keep going. Keep trying.

Every day, work.
Every day, walk
toward your goal.

Have patience in the process.
For it is from humble beginnings
and great effort
That “overnight success” awakens.

Isaac – on the relay race of faith.

Imagine what it must have been like to be Isaac. His father, Abraham, takes a whole different turn from everybody else. He starts hearing the voice of God. He starts following this one God instead of the myriad other gods that people followed those days.

This was a radical departure. This was way out there. This alone would mark your family as weird. This alone could cause Isaac to not carry on his father’s plan.

Then his father tries to kill him. His father continues to hear this strange voice, this unusual voice, and it says to sacrifice his son. This is his son who has been promised to him in his old age. This son who is promised will be the source of all his descendants. He’s told to go kill him, and he obeys. It is only in the last moments that there is a reprieve and Isaac is spared.

Isaac had to be terrified. Here’s his father acting stranger than normal, binding him up and laying him on an altar, holding a knife over him.

If I were Isaac, I think I’d run away from home at the nearest opportunity.

Yet Isaac is responsible for the continuation of the faith. This whole story could have ended with Abraham. Isaac could have shrugged it off as a bad story of a bad childhood and forgotten it all.

But he didn’t.

Abraham is amazing, for being brave enough to go against the norm and following the one God. He trusted God even when God asked him to do some crazy things.

But Isaac kept the message going. Isaac kept the faith and the word that there is one God. And then every generation since then has kept the faith and the message.

It is like a relay race. At any point the baton could have been dropped, and the race would be over. At any point the word of the one true God could have been lost and forgotten.

Every new thing needs people brave enough to take that first step outside of the lines that society has drawn. But it also needs loyal followers to keep it going. Let us remember and praise Isaac, and all of the others who carried this message to us.

One – Moebius strip

If, as Carl Sagan says “The cosmos is also within us, we’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” (Cosmos)

And as we read in Luke 17:20-21 “ One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God begin?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God isn’t ushered in with visible signs. 21 You won’t be able to say, ‘It has begun here in this place or there in that part of the country.’ For the Kingdom of God is within you.”

And Jesus also says “I and the Father are one.” in John 10:30,

…does that mean when we are praying, we are talking to ourselves?