Consider the Chocolate

Last night, I returned home after a long evening’s work on my new novel. My primary thought, as I trudged home in the snow, was, boy I deserve some chocolate. I know that’s the wrong attitude, but there it was.

A few days ago, I had tried to mindfully eat a piece of chocolate after watching Dr. Albers’ video on the topic, but I learned an important lesson: you cannot mindfully do anything when you are listening for your children’s footsteps. At least until I get better at this, I must find a time when I won’t be disturbed, like late at night, when everyone’s asleep.

Late last night was the perfect time. I selected a square of dark chocolate with hazelnuts. I let it sit in my hand. It was heavy, more than an ounce, surely, but who’s counting? I noticed the little eagle logo imprinted on the square, and if I squinted, I could even make out some tiny print above the Ghirardelli: San Francisco, Founded in 1852. I’d no idea the company was around that long, so you see, mindful eating can be educational, too!

At that point, I was really having trouble not just popping it into my mouth. The chocolate was very bumpy, just completely loaded with nuts. I took a sniff, and noticed something. Whatever those pleasure receptacles are in my brain that go on full, light-up pinball machine when I eat chocolate actually started spazzing out, just from smelling it.

And then, I ate, forcing myself to take several bites instead of one. Did I enjoy the chocolate more by eating it this way? Yes, fine, I’ll admit it, skeptic that I was, I did enjoy it more. The moments spent anticipating it only heightened the pleasure of eating it. Eating it slowly, not too surprisingly, prolonged that ecstatic experience.

I believe Dr. Albers may be on to something here…

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