Having rescued and adopted a kitten 6 weeks ago, I’ve been reminded of the bare necessities of life: food, shelter, warmth and companionship. I was so focused on ensuring this little life form had what it needed – not just to survive, but to thrive – that I became more aware of how well/poorly I was looking after myself.
Back when we dwelled in caves, attaining these bare necessities took up the majority of our attention, time and energy. Community was invaluable and our connection with what we ate was intimate.
Over the years, with all the advancements in technology, it became easier to attain these bare necessities. Some people specialised in growing, harvesting and hunting food. Others specialised in creating shelter and warmth. And this meant that the rest of us were free to explore science and religion, art and culture, business and politics, and the expanse of the whole wide world. Life became more rich, but also more complicated, and people gradually became more intellectual and less connected with nature and the physical world.
The advent of TV and the Internet has brought a wealth of knowledge and entertainment right into our homes and hands – on our mobile devices – and it is such a gift! However, this appetite for intellectual nutrition can distract us from the call of our body. This soft animal of your body has the same needs as the kitten I recently rescued: nutritious food, adequate shelter, warmth and companionship. I feel that I, for one, have become so distracted by the intellectual landscape of our current world, that I don’t pay proper attention to my physical needs.
Your stomach can only tell whether it’s full or not, but fast food that fills your stomach with sugar and fat is not nutritious enough to help your body reach its full potential and to really thrive. I really realise this now, and I’m putting a lot more effort into prioritising these bare necessities before indulging in the distractions of the mind.
Have a look at your own diet and lifestyle. Do you eat nutritious food, mindfully, or do you reach for some fast food while channel/web surfing? Do you live in a clean, warm home? Do you spend time in fresh air, sunshine and nature everyday? Do you often meet with friends in person, and hug them when you’re saying hello/goodbye, or are most of your interaction online?
What steps can you take to more fully honour the soft animal of your body and the bare necessities of life?