Awareness. We take it for granted, the things that our bodies sense and do for us seemingly automatically. The earth shifts under your feet as the grade changes beneath you and instantly your body reacts. You lean a certain way or adjust your gait to correct for the differences in the terrain. You don’t need to see the terrain change; your body senses it. You’re aware of it without the visual input and your body works to compensate for you. It’s as if your body tells you, “Don’t worry your pretty little head over that – I’ve got it covered.”
Think of the other things your body does automatically based on the sensory input that it receives. When you put a piece of food in your mouth, you don’t have to think about chewing – it just happens. You also don’t have to think about swallowing; that just happens, too. Your body senses that food, understands the way that it needs to be chewed, and sensing that food is at the proper chewed consistency, nerves relay that message to your brain which – in turn – triggers a swallow.
Really, if you think about it, if your brain didn’t run it’s autopilot “eating program” for you, you’d be unable to do just about anything but focus on the movement of your chewing. You’d have to think of when to swallow. You surely wouldn’t be able to carry on a conversation with your family or watch a TV show. You might even have difficulty sitting upright, as your focus remained on the food and your meal. It’s this very reason why so many us have a tendency to “eat mindlessly”, because we literally don’t have to think about what we’re doing when we eat.
For my little boy, the process of eating is a whole other story. …continue reading