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  • Writer's pictureLaura Roeven

The table you set determines the food you eat

Such a small sentence can carry an entire story. I ran across this quote from my teacher years ago. It is vivid, clear, and spacious all at once. How do I want to adorn the table of my life? What or who do I want to be inviting in? This image wills me to choose wholesome, of the Earth, fruits, vegetables, and nourishing bounty. Instantly, I am in community. There can be more than one way of looking at things. There are multiple possibilities. Everything has a purpose. I am setting the table. Sharing a meal. Much like being present for the moment, I can breathe in “Set my table.” Breathe out, “Determine what I eat.”

Setting my Table: Choices

I want my table to be free of clutter and filled with meaningful vibrancy. I choose friendship, appreciation of the moment, and invitation. Generosity is abundant and reseeds itself. What gets in the way of living more freely? When the in-breath draws, is there a catch? A resistance to full opening? Or does a steady stream of laughter break up the held tension in the body? What images come up for you of how to set YOUR table?

New Moment, New Table

Thank goodness every moment I can begin again. Mindfulness is deciding how to set the table and this is renewed with each breath. Coaching makes it easier to reset the table. Habit thoughts can recycle undesirable leftovers onto our table. How I forget that I can clear and set a new table. Fresh thoughts, nourishing relationships, a new way to see the day. Cut a fresh bouquet and place it in the center of the table. What beginning can this represent? A focus on joy? Love? Valuing myself?

Determining the Food I Eat

What if in my potluck of life, I look around and see mud pies and poop sandwiches? “I don’t deserve to be treated this way.” “This hardship was not my choosing.” “Life has changed and circumstances out of my control wound me up here.” Life’s table holds bitter and sweet. Unctuous and bland. I still get to choose how I am consuming at the table. I can eat from my table with mindfulness and learning. I can also choose avoidance. This is turning away from my life with a ladle full of unwanted that I thoughtlessly consume. I get to choose how I fill myself at my table. I can be careful with toxins and replenish with what brings me joy and health. Focus more time with replenishing dishes. In this season of bounty, what do I want to embrace this week?

My narrative is setting my table and the food I eat is my choice. Need to correct your course? Book a session today. Adorn your table once again for joyous feasting.

The table you set determines the food you eat

My table is long and narrow

On a field freshly mowed

Dragon flies zooming in and

Out to see what the feast is.

Benches creak when you sit down

And the lemonade so tart it makes you

Cry a little bit

In openhearted splendor.

The table cloth and wind keep playing

Flipping and tossing up corners and edges

Reminding us to look carefully in the margins.

It’s not elegant but we’ve got lots of

butter, salt, and corn on the cob.

Dad says floss is for dessert.

Bowls of heaping steamy unconditional

Questions, attention, and laughter

Spill over leaving remembrances where they land.

Now there is blue sky dotted with white clouds

Turkey vultures high overhead

A windbreak holding the edge of the horizon.

Deeply drinking in, the dinner lasts long into the night.

Laura Roeven

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