Hearing President Obama’s State of the Union address made me think about taking care of our values and priorities in our homes.
It also made me wonder about how we are doing with the ‘State of the Union’ around our dining tables.
The final part of the President’s speech focused on values – what we want American culture to represent. We’ll have to leave the work of getting America’s priorities in order to Mr. Obama and the 535 members of Congress, but we can work on our own ‘State of the Union” – how we are joining with others to fulfill our personal values, priorities…and enjoy unity with each other.
What’s the current ‘State of the Union’ at your dining table?
A. I’m so focused on getting things done, I don’t have the luxury to think about having a meal with other people. Many times I feel disconnected from my own life.
B. There’s always something else to do, but I don’t let that get in my way. I plan a time once a day (any meal, it doesn’t matter) to be sure I’m connecting with people I care about.
If your answer is A., don’t worry.
You’re like many of us who have struggled to find time to share meals with others. But, when you don’t share meals together, you are missing out on one of the most joyful and life-balancing activities you could do! And research shows that shared-meals offer benefits in many areas including social, psychological, physical, academic, cultural-ethnic, spiritual, and creative. So don’t miss out! (Read more about these benefits in my book!)
The very good news is that once you start identifying what your values and priorities are in terms of meal sharing, you can improve your dining table ‘State of the Union’. It’s all about aligning your values with your actions.
Here are a few steps to get you started:
1) Determine how many times you are gathering for a shared meal. [See my website for a free 2-week Frequency Survey you can print and use.]
2) Gather your family members (or spouse, or friends) and outline the kind of shared-meal plan you would like to create with those in your shared-meal circle [See pages 103-107 in my book “The Shared-Meal Revolution” to help guide you in your discussion, and for a choice of 2 shared-meal planning templates.]
3) Support your new shared-meal plan by using available resources (such as the free ones on my website) to reinforce your daily ritual.
I’d love to hear about how your dining table ‘State of the Union’ is developing Feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me how it’s going! I’m happy to answer any questions or give you advice as well. It’s my mission to help families and people everywhere connect one time a day over a shared meal.