Meditating through an Ice Cream Cone

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(This is a recycled pic but I got this exact same cone yesterday, so just roll with me here…)

So yesterday I had an interesting experience with this ice cream cone that I’d like to share.

It was a warm day in the city (finally!) and I was coming back from meeting up with a friend in Union Square at around noon when suddenly the thought of having a vanilla ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles sounded like the absolute best idea.

As soon as I got off the subway, I went ahead and got it. No questions asked.

And let me tell you… this ice cream cone was amazing.

Once I got it, I slowed down my pace, walked really slowly over the three blocks to my apartment, and just basked in the sun and the pure enjoyment of the ice cream. I felt like a little kid again, licking all the sprinkles off first and catching the ice cream as it dripped off and melted.

I was so immersed in the experience. I didn’t notice anything around me, and for the first time in weeks, I realized that I wasn’t thinking about work, or where I needed to be, or my to-do list. My mind was completely present and I was extracting every ounce of pleasure from the experience.

The next thing I knew, I was on the wrong block. I started laughing to myself, because I was literally so involved in the ice cream cone joy that I forgot where I lived and started walking down a different block.

Now if that’s not true “presence”, then I don’t know what is.

When I got back to my apartment and finished the last bite of my ice cream cone, I felt on top of the world. I was beaming. I was so happy. That ice cream cone, although it only lasted a few minutes, gave me so much satisfaction. And I enjoyed, literally, every single second of it.

I’m joking when I say that I meditated through the ice cream cone, but my point is that being totally present and immersed in our food can bring us so much joy, satisfaction and pleasure.

And when we realize how much enjoyment we can get from our food, we don’t need to eat as much of it. Alternatively, if I had walked back to my apartment thinking about a million different things, the cone would have been gone before I knew it, and I would not have even noticed the amount of pleasure I could have gotten from it. Then, I would have been left feeling unsatisfied and wanting more.

So my challenge for you is… the next time you eat something today, try to be FULLY present and extract as much enjoyment as you possibly can from it. Whether you are sipping on a cup of coffee or eating a sandwich off the side of the street, spend at least a few extra seconds focusing on the food. The taste, the feel, the texture, the smell. And see how much more satisfied you feel afterward. Maybe you even find yourself eating less, but that’s not even the point. I just want you to walk away feeling happy and saying to yourself “damn, that was good”.

Have you had an experience like my ice cream cone experience lately? And if you give this a shot today, tell me how it goes!