Can good manners cure dis-ease? Manners may seem a funny topic for a holistic practitioner to write about but bare with me, it has relevance to relieving pain and stress.
Practicing good manners helps us to slow life down, to savor living, to let you live in the moment, to make life more pleasant and more agreeable (for everyone).
Let me give you an example…
My mother, Ernestine, is 91 years old now. She still lives here with my kids and I, and is very active in the spring garden. Growing up, even though she was an independent parent, (single mum with no family in the country, nor any financial support), and worked 2 full time jobs, all meals were prepared at home and eaten sitting at the dining room table, with serviettes and nicely laid settings.
Seriously, our table was covered in a crisp ironed linen table cloth with crocheted place mats on top, and after dinner these were packed away so I could do my homework, and then before bed, laid out again for the breakfast setting. We ate together, discussed our day, and never was the Television on during meals – it was considered an unwelcome guest, an intrusion. We also never ate alone in our rooms; we always had breakfast and dinner together (super early or super late).
From the moment I could hold a knife and fork, I was taught how to hold the utensils to show my culture and heritage. I knew which side the napkin was on, how to place the serviette on my lap, to never place my elbows on the table, to chew with my mouth closed, to fold my utensils over the center of the plate to indicate meal completion, and other basic table manners. Every Sunday after church we had a small crystal glass of wine (brought over on the boat from her wedding set) and yes my brother and I asko had our 7up or wine diluted with water, to celebrate our little threesome of a family.
I had forgotten this ritual until today.
Nowadays our meals are often not even cooked at home, they are delivered by restaurants, or come from the supermarket frozen to be heated in the microwave. We’ve lost a lot in our race to do things quickly and easily. Instant gratification seems to be accepted in all areas of our life – from the evening meal to the hobby or job we chuck because it isn’t the walk in the park we expected…
Reminiscing, there were other rules of etiquette drummed into my brother and I too.
Simple things like:
– stand when a guest enters the room
– not sitting ‘till all women were seated
– opening doors for others and letting them walk through it
-helping people with heavy parcels
– giving up your seat to elderly, or pregnant people on a bus or subway
– saying please when you ask for something, and thank you when you receive it
– waiting to take your turn
– standing up and shaking hands when meeting or leaving someone
– cleaning up after yourself and leaving spaces as you found them
– taking time to listen and show real interest in what people are saying, not being impatient or interrupting so you can speak too
– being punctual, and if you are early waiting until the appointed time before letting your arrival be known
– today I add that we do not take texts or scroll our phones during meetings, conversations, or at dinner.
Life is too short to ignore those we are here to spend face time with. Facebook is not that urgent. Trust me if it was they would phone you.
Those Good Manners actually slowed life down and helped us savor living, it made us live in the moment, made life more pleasant, and more agreeable for everyone.
Today was a Civic holiday, most stores are closed, I was looking forward to a homemade meal with my mum and two kids ~ Schnitzel with potato & cucumber salad ~ and maybe catching up with their lives; however since my son is a store manager in an area considered a tourist region he must be away, retail hours 24/7 often make quality ‘family time’ a thing of the past.
I chose to sleep in and catch up on paper work since it’s a rainy lazy kind of day… but hey! I just realized, mum and my daughter are still here, no need to be locked in our separate rooms doing our stuff. Time to pull out the crocheted table mats, fine dishes and have a Girl’s Day In… with some wine while breading schnitzel, peeling potatoes, and spending time together dreaming, chatting and laughing in the kitchen. I can even pull out our old fashioned heirloom aprons made when I was learning to sew 50 years ago. What else am I saving them for?
I’m sure my paperwork can wait. My customers wont mind…
Perhaps it is good to remember: It’s not what you do that is important, it’s the fact that you bothered to do it. Good manners are about more than how you hold your knife and fork, they are about an attitude to other people and a philosophy of life that is humane and respectful.
So just for today, for this moment in time, allow your good manners to slow life down, to help you savor living, to let you live in the moment, make life more pleasant and more agreeable (for everyone).
Today take some time to STOP RUSHING, and RELISH EVERY MOMENT. That is the true healing method to dissolve dis-ease and pain.
Can’t stop rushing? Call Jess to reduce your stress!