I’ve never been particularly good at chopping fruits and veggies. I remember the first time I had to chop in a public setting. I was 17 and it was at the punk soup-kitchen Food Not Bombs; I was put on carrot chopping duty and I had a mild panic attack. What if my pieces are too big? Too small? Not uniform?! Fortunately, none of the punks complained about the carrots, but my chopping anxiety has continued to this day and I will often break into a cold sweat if someone is watching me chop anything. I prefer to do my chopping alone, so my misshapen and differently-sized pieces can exist without judgement.
But getting better at chopping is something I am trying to tackle for a number of reasons. First, knives are sharp. Haphazard chopping can lead not only to non-uniform food, but also bloody fingers. Second, chopping can be a true exercise in mindfulness. Chopping is a multi-step process that requires attention at every turn. To chop, one must first learn how to hold a knife. One must feel on their fingers the soft edge of the blade, and in their palm, the sturdy of the handle. To chop, one starts to hear the musicality of the tip of the knife against the cutting board, the sound of the blade swishing through a potato (or whatever else). To chop, one must have patience. It is, then, an ideal mindfulness practice, don’t you think?
My mission for this week is to chop mindfully, starting with this pineapple I am bringing to a Memorial Day Cookout-slash-Bday Party later this afternoon. I’m not going to lie, chopping a pineapple intimidates the crap out of me. But I think it’ll be an excellent start to this week’s challenge. Go big or go home.
Are you a mindful chopper? xo