I have a lot of ways that I connect to my body and the natural world that keep me well and grounded. One thing I like to do that keeps me connected to my roots is this meditation I have developed related to the food that I put into my body. At some point in my day I get quiet and I give thanks for everything I have nourished myself with. I visualize where the food or beverage came from in nature. I picture the plant that the food came from before it came to be whatever form it was in when I ate it. I have looked up different plants on the internet so I can picture the things like the cocoa plant that my square of dark chocolate came from. I picture the water rushing down the streams from the mountains that ends up in the reservoirs that I make my tea from. I picture the tea plantation and the hands that brought the tea to me. I picture the cows that gave milk for my yogurt. I try to think of all of the ingredients in each thing I have eaten. It helps that I eat mostly pure, unprocessed foods. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits and nuts that I can pretty easily trace back to their source in my mind. I struggle a little when I have eaten something that has shady ingredients. I prefer it when I can simply picture the almond tree that my afternoon snack came from instead of some ingredients that are far removed from nature. This meditation helps me in many ways. It keeps me grounded in the world and in the ways that the earth is nourishing my body every day. It keeps me thankful, because when I think about the beautiful food that makes its way into my body I realize the abundance that supports me. It keeps me conscious, because I really don’t like to eat or drink things that cause me or the world harm. I am not perfect with what I consume or what I purchase. It’s not all organic or local or completely gentle to the environment we live in. But by meditating on what I have taken into myself I am a step closer to beauty and gratitude. I have learned to appreciate every peanut, every cup of tea. And I have learned to feel nourished by the larger world. It gives me a feeling of joy to know that my almond butter and my apple both began with a tree. That the seeds on my salad started with a sunflower. I makes me think that somehow I can take in the qualities of that tree, that flower. That I am of the earth, too. It makes me remember to seek out the sunshine and the rain that nourish every living thing. It’s simple really. All of us have it in us to grow towards the sun and the food that we eat supports us in that.