Sunday, February 28, 2010

Exercising My Service Muscles Feels Good

For many decades, I have been a devoted gym goer. Doing my daily cardio is good for my spirit as well as my heart. And all the long-term health benefits of caring for my body are something I treasure as the years pass on. Same with the oxytocin exercise generates.

However, another set of muscles that feel really good to exercise are my service muscles. Doing acts of genuine kindness feels just as good as my workout routine, and giving from a place of love nourishes the emotional heart of both the giver and receiver.

One of the ways I love to nurture is through cooking wonderful, healthy food. Food is just so basic to our existence. And good, healthy food is so fundamental to our health and well-being.

Two members of my greater community have been going through hard times. One friend is recovering from breast cancer and complications of an infection post-surgery. She and her husband were exhausted from the medical parts of life, and since none of us can do everything all the time, I had an inkling that healthy food was a way I could offer support. My friend is diabetic and she and her husband are choosing to eat a modified vegan diet, so healthy food, in this case, is VERY healthy and pure.

I found myself having a wonderful time the afternoon I was preparing all of the features of their menu, from the bean vegetable stew, to the Israeli couscous with baby chickpeas and quinoa, to collard greens sauteed with portabello mushrooms to mixed berry fruit salad, and a mixed vegetable salad to top it off. Pouring love and artistry into what will nourish people I care about is pure joy!

Today was another day I got to exercise my service muscles. A family in my church community who lost their 25 year old son, was welcoming dinner deliveries. And once again, learning that my friend loved beans, with no wheat or sugar in any menu item, I had fun being creative with their menu. A lentil stew with chicken sausage, brown rice, millet and chickpeas with black sesame seeds, roast potatoes with sea salt, pepper, and olive oil, a beautiful mixed salad, bananas and strawberries, and a special bonus tub of 3 bean turkey chili became their custom menu.

I'll be delivering their dinner very shortly, but am basking in the feeling of sharing from the heart.

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