One day, about fifteen years ago, I mentioned to my wife that I had a lemon muffin at work.  I said I was really looking forward to it, but it wasn’t very good.

“It was hard and dry,” I said.  “It was all I could do to finish it. I really had to choke it down.”

As it turns out, she was about to school me in a powerful lesson on mindful choices.  When she spoke, it was in the quiet voice of a Zen Master, “You realize that you didn’t have to eat the whole muffin, don’t you?”

I just stared at her.

I grew up hearing that I needed to eat my peas because children were starving in other countries, and so I always figured I should eat everything put in front of me.  Plus, (it must be said), I love food.  So I usually WANTED to snarf up every last morsel.  So OF COURSE I had to eat the entire muffin. . .didn’t I?

As it turns out?  I didn’t.  

I had choices: I could have bought something smaller, shared what I had left, or thrown some of it away.

Many of us, I think, speed through our lives, racing from moment to moment, and rarely stop to consider individual choices based on the immediate stimulus.  Or perhaps it’s just me and day-old baked goods.  

Ultimately, it became a family in-joke.  When one of us seemed to be stampeding through a set of circumstances we weren’t fully present in, the other would say, “Remember: You don’t have to eat the whole muffin.”    

So what’s the take away?

Eat the whole muffin. 

If you want to.  

If it’s moist and sweet and tasty.

But you don’t HAVE to.  

The choice is yours. TZT