Zenspiration-The Benefits of Living Without a Microwave by Bill Reneau
Happy new year. In the previous Plant Medicine feature, I shared with you some of the benefits of welcoming plants into your living space for the winter and year-round. This month, we will share how life could be without a microwave oven.
I gave up using a microwave over 15 years ago as I barely used it to begin with, but more importantly, it represented a way of being that was unnatural to me. I do appreciate the technology and understand how it heats foods and the convenience that it brings to millions of people worldwide. My issue is the price we are paying long term with our mind and body in exchange for convenience. If you were to do a search on “how healthy is a microwave oven”, you would find arguments that supports both for and against its use. Although one can argue on the safety of the microwave oven itself in relationship to our health, I want to focus more on how it affects our daily life.
Imagine waking up in the morning and the first experience you have is seeing the smile of your significant other, or your feline friend, canine buddy or plants that you share your home with. If you’re like me, I wake up practicing gratitude and slowly make my way to the kitchen to put on a kettle of water for tea. In a way, it’s my morning meditation. I take my time, choose my favorite tea and while the water is heating up in the kettle, I enjoy the view of nature outside my kitchen window. While my tea is steeps, I sit and write in my journal of what I’m grateful for or being challenged by in that moment, this is my daily ritual. This practice has taken years to develop as there’s no rush and nothing to do quickly, just sit and enjoy the moment.
Could I have had the same experience using a microwave instead of using a kettle? Perhaps. The point is that convenience creeps into our lives incrementally and before we know it, we are talking to our home instead of other people. A microwave oven to me represents the idea of opening a door to convenience and living life quickly and much of my life is about slowing things down and enjoying and experiencing life. Once we open the door to convenience, it’s difficult to close it. Those of us who are older remember a time when we had the opportunity to be bored, daydream and we filled our time with simple pleasures. Today, technology does not allow us to wait or get bored, every waking moment is filled with distractions, news, noise and entertainment, that’s how the system is designed, to hook our attention and market to us. Think of the last time we unplugged from it all.
I wanted to write this article to share a different way of being in this highly fast-paced world. I realize that most of us will not be able to or may even want to give up or creature comforts. However, opening the door just a little to a slower pace in some areas of your life could have far reaching benefits to get to a healthier you. That said, I would like to offer a challenge our readers to give up their microwave ovens for just a few days this holiday season. I know what you’ll probably say, that’s when I need it the most. Even so, imagine using your stove to cook or re-heat something where you would normally use the microwave and how that would be for you. If you’d like to do this, feel free to share your experience with via email and let me know if you had any new insights during those moments.
For more information on the benefits of living without a microwave oven, visit EarthShack.org/herbiary. EarthShack is located in the Amish Market and at Crescent Moon Coffee & Tea, both in Mullica Hill; at the Woodstock Trading Company in Cherry Hill; and Jersey Fitness in Pennsville. For more information, call 856-210-7662, email [email protected]or visit EarthShack.org.