This Week’s Tiny Action for Big Transformation:
Be a Hungry Caterpillar (Who Knows What She’s Hungry For)
Do you know “The Very Hungry Caterpillar?” If you have a child, know a child or know deep down you still are one; you may remember reading this classic by Eric Carle about a week in the life of a very hungry caterpillar with a great big appetite. It goes like this:
One Sunday morning, the warm sun came up and POP! – out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.
He started to look for some food.
On Monday he ate through one apple, But he was still hungry.
On Tuesday, he ate through two pears, But he was still hungry.
On Wednesday, he ate through three plums, But he was still hungry …
On Saturday he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami,… one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon.
That night he had a stomachache! . . .”
Poor caterpillar. I’ve been there. It is astonishing to me looking back, at how once upon a time I ate like this Caterpillar and strangely i was so much hungrier then than i am today. Unlike the Caterpillar, however, I skipped the fruit and went straight to his Saturday menu. I ate junk and I felt like junk.
But this blog isn’t about a diet (a word we don’t even use in our house) or even about accuracy. Of course a real caterpillar doesn’t chow down on ice cream but a caterpillar does bulk up for three weeks straight. But Carle didn’t write, “he went on a binge.” Or “do I look fat in this cocoon?” Hunger is simply the instinct given for our hero to grow and grow.
So this week my tiny action for big transformation is to be a hungry caterpillar, enjoy my food and pay extra attention to what I really hunger for. For there are many appetites to be fed in this glorious life and I want to grow. There are instincts and then instincts gone awry.
So I’ll start this story from Monday: If my stomach is fed, what may my heart still feel hungry for?
BEAUTY: Is my table pretty? For decades, I ate all my meals in a car or an airplane or standing up! I owned a couple of mismatched plates, glasses and utensils. Today I’ll check my appetite for what I’m sitting down to - a table with either flowers, candles or both. If it’s not pretty, I’m not full.
Tuesday: A Hunger for Inner Peace: Is my stomach rumbling or is that my soul calling, “pick up a prayer before I pick up a fork?”
Wednesday: Affection: Am I really craving to ask for a gentle touch? A hug?
Thursday: Hunger for Rest: Am I confusing my need for a good night’s sleep with needing noodles?
Friday: Am I hungry for a dream? Am I willing to create a new one? Can I let go now of an old one?
Saturday: Hungry for the deliciousness: Do I let myself savor each flavor of my food and my life?
Sunday: Am I hungry to stay in the moment? Do I need to know the end of the story? Ahh…in the book it goes like this…the little caterpillar grows big and bigger and then one day turns into a butterfly with a spirit and wings that take flight…
And together, so do we!
With grace and gratitude,