Finding the Present
When are you in the present? Do you find yourself living in the past or perpetually planning for the future?
Spring prompts this question for me. I love the season and relish the arrival of ramps, morels, spring peas, asparagus and red buds. I find myself anticipating them and then fret about their passing.
I caught myself doing this the other day. I was not enjoying the season, or the produce for that matter. I was stuck in my mind, racing between the past and the future all the while missing the present.
I was listening to a podcast the other day and the host referenced an interview he did with a shaman. The shaman explained that each of us has three brains: one in our head, one in our heart and one in our gut. The shaman explained that the one in our head, or mind, is for solving puzzles and is not the place to reside. Life should be mostly lived in the heart and in the gut.
This succinctly explained how and why I was missing enjoyment of Spring. I was living it in my mind, rather than truly experiencing it.
That podcast helped me reframe my perspective. I readily admit that intellectually the idea of going with my gut and following my heart is not as respectable as using my mind. Yet, I realize that when I am at my best, I am not in my head. I intuit. I react instinctively. The heart and gut seem to take the reins and the mind goes quiet. There is an absence of worry, regret and judgement and instead I experience more joy and fulfillment.
So, how does one get out of their head?
One way it turns out is on regular display in the restaurant. Pull up a chair at the counter overlooking the kitchen and observe. Watch the coordination of the kitchen, the dance. Remark on how seamless it appears.
Come to brunch and note the cook behind the stove, whirling and whizzing, producing dish after dish with calm efficiency all the while smiling. That is Alex. When he cooks he is in a flow state. He is not stuck in his mind, rather he is cooking from the heart and the result looks effortless.
I love the restaurant for this reason. Here is an arena where the the gut and the heart are often more relevant as they are better at being in the present. There is cerebral stimulus here for sure, but in a world that offers so much to think about, it is nice to take a break from thought and go with the flow.
Dining is a wonderful way to engage the present. Dining employs multiple senses, nourishing and satisfying the gut. Dining also involves community and connection which satisfies the heart.
As I watch my team be in the moment, I try to do the same for myself. If you could use a moment, join us. Let Field & Main be a refuge from the past and the future. Allow your mind to rest and your heart and gut to thrive.