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Enjoying the Banquet of Life. How Your Thoughts Can Be Friendly Guests at Your Table.

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

By Heather Indu Arena

banquet table

It’s that time of year! When we gather together with family and friends to celebrate life and all we are grateful for while feasting on delicious food and drink. In the U.S., we celebrate Thanksgiving, and all across the globe, there are many upcoming religious holidays.

To support your continued intention to live a life of balance and authenticity, I thought a Thanksgiving/holiday gathering analogy may be fun and helpful when exploring the many thought patterns that you notice throughout the day.

Perhaps you have noticed that some of your daily thoughts are helpful while others are downright annoying. Just like the guests that show up at your holiday dinner.

You have the loving thoughts/people who tell you how beautiful and wonderful you are. You have the shy ones who barely speak but sit down and eat your food. You have the children who run around, some laughing, some screaming, and some fighting. You have the judgmental guests who tell you to stop eating because it will mess with your figure and others who tell you the meal just wasn’t good enough.

Imagine all the thoughts throughout your day are guests at your table. The table we call life!

Every moment of every day is a banquet that places different options on the table in front of you. Some you like, some you do not, and some not only feed your stomach but also feed your soul. Life is constantly providing you with experiences. How you digest those experiences is a matter of how much you can chew at any given moment.

Now add to the gifts of life a thinking mind that is constantly providing play-by-play information about how you should receive the moment-by-moment banquet that is being offered to you.

You are offered choices.

You can sit down at the metaphorical table called life and fully participate, or you can sit off in the corner and just wait for it, that is, this moment of your life, to pass by. Or you can go on complete autopilot and let your psychological and biological habits take the lead. The mental thinking patterns are going to be there, but it is all a matter of how you receive them at your table.

Decision time.

Do you sit at the head of the table in disgust as they all speak louder and louder to be heard while you try to ignore them, or do you get so caught up in their words that you cannot enjoy the meal? Or are you willing to welcome these guests in to partake in the feast with you?

In all honesty, they are going to keep showing up until you stop resisting them. I am sure you have noticed through the course of your life that when you try to stop thinking, eventually, thoughts return. Sometimes you like the thoughts, and sometimes they downright annoy you, just like some of those holiday guests.

The process of finding peace is not to close the door on them when they come knocking.

Peace can be found when you choose to let them sit down with you at your table and have their say. You don’t have to indulge them. That will simply feed their words. But you can acknowledge them and then accept their presence at your celebration. From that acknowledgment and acceptance comes the ability to stop feeding on their words and instead enjoy the feast of life in front of you without the constant background noise. It also allows your table to be filled and your guests to arrive while you rest comfortably at the head of the table, peacefully enjoying the meal.

The silence and peace behind all those noisy voices can become louder than the noise itself!

That is when you begin listening from a different place. You no longer receive your guests and the many different dishes from the lens of your past but from a present-moment experience rooted in steadiness. The same goes for the emotions. You simply allow them all to come to the table without becoming disturbed.

It takes practice, and that practice is to allow for all the guests: the thoughts, the emotions, and the sensations, to be there without trying to shove them out the door. If you shove them out, they are going to keep knocking until you let them back in. Let them sit down at your table and partake in the meal of life without feeding them with your energy.

As you learn to remain steady in your seat at the head of the table, eventually, the thoughts will become steady. The more you practice observing them instead of engaging them, the less they will knock at your door, and the shorter they will stay around.

Eventually, it’s just you at the table enjoying the banquet of life as it comes to you. Thoughtful guests may come and go, but it is at your invitation, not at your expense.

Your life becomes more still, more peaceful, and much more fulfilling because you can enjoy the meal.

Happy All the Days! (or happy holidays, whichever works for you ;)

Heather Indu Arena

What thoughts serve you, and which ones push you around?

Thank you for reading! You are what inspires me to write. Please like this post and members, and leave a comment to support my mission of getting inspirational and educational materials out to the world.

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