Shared Meals Matter Blog

Sep 28th

Breaking Bad

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I know tonight is the series finale for the TV series “Breaking Bad.”  With all the hype about the show, I couldn’t help but think about the topic of creating good habits and breaking bad ones.

Have you found yourself in a rut eating from the drive-thru or heating up a microwave box while you check your email every night?  Are the people you love scattered about your house, each doing their own thing on whatever tech device, and completely skipping the idea of sharing a relaxed meal and some fun conversation?

We’re heading towards the season of holidays. This is typically the time when people start planning Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday events.  It seems we can find a way to be “good” for these events and make commitments to collaborate on the planning and sharing of meals.

Bad habits

 

Why wait for the holidays to arrive to develop good habits about your shared meals?

In reality, there’s nothing “bad” about getting caught up in our busy schedules, trying to do all that we are responsible to do.  But let’s shift our mindset towards being “good” and “bad” to simply trying to find more joy and happiness with those we love.

A great place to start for the type of interpersonal connection you crave (and makes our lives feel meaningful) is through one daily shared meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sep 25th

Don’t Be Afraid of the Space…

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…between dreams and your reality.  I truly love this image.

It’s what I would call “juicy”.  It stirs in me emotions of how I feel when I spend time dreaming about the areas in which I’m developing and growing as a woman and a mother.  For example, I would like to speak Italian fluently, and I imagine having an free-flowing conversation with a friend, enjoying how musical the syllables will feel as I converse.  I enjoy painting and visualize what I’ll create the next time I’m painting a dinner platter or gift for a friend.  Last week, I spent time considering where I would like to travel with my children, the places we will see, the people we will meet, and all the wonderful meals we will share with interesting people along the way.

It’s so very easy to get caught up in the operations of our busy lives.  Sometimes when we stop to daydream we become uncomfortable because we don’t think we can afford the luxury of dreaming.  We’re afraid of how it might upset the flow of our procedural schedule if we stop to dream about something big, or even something little.

Many people I talk with are neglecting to keep their dreams nurtured. They are denying the spiritual part of themselves–that part that is in touch with fulfillment and pleasure–that part that helps them to feel truly alive.

That’s such a tragedy because if we don’t spend time thinking about our dreams, and have the opportunity to share those dreams with people we love, we are without the anchor we need in a sometimes very turbulent ocean of life.

Dreams

 

So, don’t be afraid of that space in which you devise your dreams.  Let yourself get nice and cozy there.

Twirl around some ideas in your mind every day and decide what you will set your focus on next.

It’s where the magic of making a better reality for yourself starts.

 

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Sep 17th

Co-living and Co-working at “Casa Neutral” (Would you consider this?)

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I read this article recently about “Casa Neutral”, a co-living/co-working community in Matera, Italy (the largest major city near Matera is Naples. On a map of Italy, Matera would be near the ‘ankle’ of the boot).  It seems the co-founders are exploring something very interesting.

As you’ll read in the article, they founded “Casa Neutral” as a way to explore the revitalization of rural communities (suggesting that big ideas do not just come from big cities and organizations; rural communities can be quite vital), and look for opportunities for a different kind of collaboration and connection.  By co-living/co-working, they create a culture in which people “slow down and focus on the people” in their environment.  They claim that this type of environment can create a free-flow of ideas, inspiration and comraderie. No doubt, relationships could be nurtured and strengthened.

Click Here for article about Co-living/Co-working

Seems like it would be a tricky but exciting adventure, and certainly the personalities of the various people involved in the co-community would be a factor, but I think these types of “sharing” lifestyles have a lot of merit.  Meals are celebrated together, and other lifestyle events are shared too. This seemed to be an idea that would work much better for single people or couples.

Coliving2

The “slow down and focus on the people” idea obviously caught my attention as this is exactly what I’m a proponent of doing in our homes here in the U.S.

So even if you are someone who would never want to do a co-living/co-working arrangement, consider the merits of slowing down in your homes and in your work, eating meals together, enjoying social time together, and realizing how investing in relationships can inspire your life.

 

 

 

 

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Sep 11th

Calling all app developers!

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We’re all familiar with the question we are asked whenever we download a new app:

“This app would like to send you ‘push notifications’” – “Allow” or “Don’t Allow”.

Every time I have to answer this question, I carefully consider what I’ll do. I usually select “Don’t allow” because I sometimes find it annoying to have experiences interrupted with a random sound effect.  I enjoy social media like many of us do, and have been very pleased to meet some wonderful people online, but the idea that we allow ourselves to be interrupted for pretty inconsequential “events” (such as someone has liked a pin on our “pinterest” board) started me thinking about how fabulous it would be to acknowledge other important life moments.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if an app could be developed to acknowledge…

  • when we decided to make a healthy decision for ourselves, like going to the gym instead of sleeping in…
  • after we witnessed our child joyfully tying his shoe for the first time…
  • after we observe a neighbor politely offering to help an older woman carry her groceries into her home…
  • when we chose not to call that ex-boyfriend after a few glasses of wine to beg to get back together…
  • at the moment we have inhaled the sweet scent of the first rose of the season…
  • when our partner decides to surprise us with a ticket to Paris for our birthday…
  • when we look around at those gathered around the dinner table and realize everyone is there…

girlsmellingroses

These are all real life moments that are important to recognize and not take for granted. Of course, a “push notification” during these important events wouldn’t add to the experience, and it might well detract from the magic of the moment.

But it’s a worthwhile idea to think about what types of sound effects we invite into the soundtrack of our daily lives.

 

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