Food as nourishment for the spirit
Food is a vital component of spiritual performance.

By: Spirit - Spiritual Care - 11/15/2018

Life with SOCOM can be hectic for Operators, Enablers, and their families.  Too often this means eating on the go.  Lunch becomes a protein bar between meetings or dinner an MRE hectically consumed in the field.  From a physical standpoint, consuming calories is important, and even eating on the go can help meet this need.  However, food is more than just physically nourishing. Food is a vital component of spiritual performance.

In fact, food as a source of spiritual performance is found in various cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions around the globe.  One of the more prominent ways food is held as symbolic nourishment is through the celebration of feast days.

In some traditions, these are referred to as holy days, festivals, or holidays.  For Christians, Christmas and Easter are two important holidays centered around food and rituals with family and friends.  In Islam, breaking the fast of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr focuses not just on breaking the fast with food but on enjoying the company of others during the meal.  For Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains, celebrating Diwali through food and the company of others also is important.  While each religion has its own variations on the rituals of these feast days, central to all of them is the enjoyment of food, family, friends, and the recognition of what is good in life.

However, food is important spiritually in ways outside of religious or cultural practice.  You can find food as nourishment for your spirit in other ways.  Enjoying your morning coffee and a few minutes by yourself before start of a mission is food acting as spiritual nourishment.  Joining a group of friends to try different restaurants once or twice a month can be a much-needed form of spiritual nourishment—even support for the family of deployed Operators or Enablers.  Finding a way to sit down and eat a meal with others is crucial for performing your best spiritually, whether at work or home.

Food is an essential part of maintaining physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle.  Having the right fuel is important, whether to power your body through a workout or mentally to perform at work and at home.  However, food is also important fuel for spiritual fitness.  Your spiritual self needs nourishment, and meals are one way to nourish both spirit and body.  To be spiritually strong, make the enjoyment of meals with others part of your life, as a way to recover from a hectic and demanding lifestyle.

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