For those who were expecting me to say that this week’s blog was inspired by my addiction to Chopped, I have to partially disappoint you. It was not my original source of inspiration. It was actually inspired by the reflection and meditation I have been doing the last few weeks about being present. Last week, I talked about being present while cooking, not just being present with the process, but with the ingredients and taking the time to let them speak to me through all my senses.
Last night, as I was finishing my blog on The Gift of Presence for my Inspiritual Reflection I realized this was why gathering around the kitchen table to share a meal is so important. It is not just a time to eat together. It is a time to be present with each other. Often I hear people talk about how many meals they have missed with their family members because they have to work extremely long hours (I do hear this often from the chefs on Chopped). Working from home, it is, and at times has been, easy for me to not be present. There are times it has been easy to multi-task and eat while I worked and listened to my wife. I had to come to the place of realizing that I could not multitask and be present for any of the things I was trying to do. I was not doing my best writing, I was not fully appreciating or enjoying what I was eating, and I was not really listening to my wife.
In a world focused on multi-tasking, it is easy to lose focus on what it means to be present. Being present with those we love, our meals, and ourselves is a gift we all with whom and with which we interact. It is a gift we give each other and ourselves. So as we gather for each meal, may we be intentional about disconnecting from the technology and maintain an intentional connection with ourselves, the meal before us, and those we are gathered with at the table. The kitchen table is more than just a table; it is a place to experience the grace of the Ultimate Consciousness, to experience the beauty in all that is before us and those who are with us. It has the potential to be transformed into a holy space where we gather in the presence of the Divine and offer the gift of our presence to those we love.