5 Restaurants, multiple layers of consciousness

Tribe at Marconi There is often a lot going on at a meal where the Redwood tribe sits down to eat.

Tribe at Marconi
There is often a lot going on at a meal where the Redwood tribe sits down to eat.

I gotta say I am proud of myself around consciousness and conversation on Wednesday night when Karen and I went out to dinner after our Tribe meeting. We split an appetizer, an entree and a desert and left some of everything on the plate (well except the butterscotch pudding). It was delicious and the conversation was rich. However every bite I took had an independent conscious moment where the conversation wasn’t lost. I had at the most half of everything on the plate, so there is still some restraint and moderation to head for, and I beat back a couple of habits that were powerfully strong to notice. One of them had to do with the delicious steak that we were splitting. There was this amazing moment of feeling a powerful sense of being a puppet caught in a habit that was literally controlling the way I felt. I was completely satisfied with the amount of steak I had eaten and was preparing my self, with great difficulty to leave the remainder on the plate. I was staying in the conversation with Karen and noticing her picking at some of the pieces of steak on her plate and I offered her the remaining piece off my plate which she took. I can’t tell you the relief it felt to no longer feel responsible for that piece of steak that was going to remain uneaten on my plate. The combination of feelings of guilt and compulsion were overwhelming to finish that very expensive and very tasty piece of meat that I truly didn’t need or want any longer. The relief when I handed it over to Karen, who also didn’t finish it by the way, was like being freed from prison. Now there is clearly something to look at here. Some compelling behavior, belief, attitude or habit that is moving me from eating what I want and need to automatically completing my meal. It is also interesting to note that I am more inclined to feel compelled to finish the more expensive things like the meat or deserts then the side dishes or salads. It is like this compulsion has a status lock on it that wants to get it’s moneys worth or something.

On Thursday Night Karen and I went to a Japanese restaurant and shared two entrees, Sukyaki and Tempura, We realized that it would have been fine to just share the Sukyaki and that we both ordered the Tempura for some sort of emotional comfort food eating. I was aware of stopping eating however when I felt complete. Interestingly I didn’t feel any of the compulsion of the previous night to leave pieces of tempura or sukyaki on a shared plate. I was conscious of eating a few bites past my needs. I am aware of adding a new word to my theory of MODERATION and that word is RESTRAINT. In order to practice moderation I must learn restraint. I believe restraint is not about depriving, stopping or editing out any thing. Instead it feels like a valve on a hose that has the same amount of water coming to the valve and I have the ability to adjust what comes out the other end of the hose more fluidly and completely.

Friday night was a large celebratory dinner with the whole tribe and a few others at a nice restaurant. The conversation was flying around and it was interesting, funny and jumping from neighbor to neighbor. I had a delicious lamb dinner with three pieces of lamb, some au gratin potatoes and some greens. I had a couple moments of consciousness early on in the meal, where I tasted the food and I even had a moment when I think my observer self saw that I was satisfied and I could have chosen to stop eating or drinking wine. However on this particular evening the observer self was completely drown out by all the other conversation and the habits took over and before long I was looking down at a clean plate with no memory of eating the last half of the dinner.

Saturday night the five of us that were on the design team were joined by Sabrina at Boca Steaks again for a “cluck down” dinner. I actually felt back on the moderation program with Karen and split an entree and felt quite satisfied with it and had a couple bites of desert and felt satisfied with that as well and managed to hold a lively conversation while staying conscious around the food. I notice it definitely is a helpful structure to split an entree even when eating with a bunch of folks.

Last night Karen and I went out for sushi with Rick Tamlyn and we ordered 4 rolls for the 3 of us and I did the ordering from my past experience with ordering sushi for folks. Rick is an excellent example of moderation in his eating and I did notice that I had more pieces of sushi then either Karen or Rick. I didn’t need it and I felt some of the same feelings from the first night with Karen. I felt a kind of responsibility for the poor uneaten sushi on the plate and that someone had better pop that delicious morsel in their mouth and since no one else was that someone should be me. What a load of utter crapola.

So the big learnings and take aways for me here are that my observer knows and I need to keep empowering him to see and make the call. I need to also be aware of restraint as a practice in addition to moderation. That restraint actually serves moderation. I also learned that I can indeed stay conscious of what I am eating and drinking while I am in animated conversation and that there are additional challenges to face.

5 responses to “5 Restaurants, multiple layers of consciousness

  1. Karen

    Hello love:

    Thank you for letting me read what you have written. I love being able to track the process with you because. ..well. ..because I love you and also because it brings my OWN process to the front of my awareness as well.

    Thank you!

    Monday, January 12, 2009 – 01:29 PM

  2. 匿名

    Hi Henry,

    I felt like I was invited to the warm living room where I witness and experience lots of love, openness, generosity, deep learning, and truth-telling. I am inspired by your process and your sharing which make my heart open. Thank you. Sending my love from Japan.


    Monday, January 12, 2009 – 05:02 PM

  3. Paul

    This is fantastic. I will look forward to watching you dwindle before my eyes. Marjoleine has an old pair of leather pants she has not worn in years (much to my disappointment) that you can borrow when you’re done.

    GO, GO, GO

    Monday, January 12, 2009 – 08:30 PM

  4. Jennet


    Keep doing what you’re doing. At times it is a tough journey, but one well worth the effort and investment.

    YAY, go all the way!

    Thursday, January 15, 2009 – 10:52 PM

  5. Art
    Hey Chief,

    This food thing is somethin’, huh? After I’m successful with it I put my feet up and then realize it is not a one-time effort….

    We are on the road…. let me know how I can support you, and I will lean in to you, too.



    Monday, February 2, 2009 – 01:41 PM

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