Eat a stick of butter

That got your attention didn’t it? A dear friend of mine used that phrase when I was feeling grumpy one day. The first piece of advice was to get my ass in the kitchen and bake some cookies. I did and it helped. The follow up was “bake a loaf of bread, eat a stick of butter, and scrub the floors by hand. That last bit will be undertaken on Friday morning; Saber bought me some Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrub I will!

There’s two important points to the advice, even if they weren’t intended in this way. First, the absurdity of eating a stick of butter tends to grab your attention. I mean really, it’s just weird isn’t it? Nobody does that. Totally left field. This is an example of the Turn the Mind skill from DBT, although the imagery turns it for you. The second reveals another skill, that of Participate, or Enter into the Experience. DO so One-Mindfully or with full attention. Eat an apple (much more appealing than a stick of butter!) It is a full sensory experience. There is the feel of the apple in your hand and the sensation of biting it. The smell and taste are bound together and there is often a satisfying crunch. And you see where you have eaten it and move it around as you go. All the senses are engaged!

We call this an Eating Mindfulness; we can turn our full attention to what is at hand, namely an apple (or a stick of butter if you’re so inclined.) I often do this in my classes with cookies. They too engage all our senses and are especially yummy. I mean I like apples but a chocolate chip cookie… 🙂

So take my friend’s advice as I did and get busy paying attention! It’ll make your mouth happy and offer you a brief and very pleasant experience that may just make your day a wee bit better. And say thanks to Rebecca for her wisdom.

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