Digestible Lessons


A few days ago while eating breakfast my mind was all over the place. I was thinking about how digestion works. Cutting food into bite size pieces, chewing slowly, swallowing, absorbing and digesting what I just put in my mouth. Curious that from a young age we learn how to eat correctly. The task is to consume what is on our plate and not hurt ourselves by choking or biting the inside of our mouth or tongue. Yet sometimes we do while we are learning to eat.

This led me to wonder how the natural process of digesting food might translate into the way we digest events, situations and experiences that show up each day in our lives. As we navigate these bumpy times, over and over, we learn to go slowly. And yes, sometimes we hurt ourselves...or others while we are absorbing and digesting the experiences. I decided “digestible lessons” was an appropriate definition for this process.

Inspired by what I thought was a genius pairing of two words I decided to check with Mrs. Google to see what she had to say about the definition. I never expected to find any reference because I thought I had coined a new unique term. To my great surprise there was information to be found!

A digestible lesson is something that is easy to take in, absorb or grasp. This made sense to me because isn't that what is supposed to happen with digestion? Reading on I saw that it helps to make something digestible if it is broken down into small chunks, just like when we eat, so we can absorb the food or in life...the lesson.

Reflecting on some of my life experiences I see times when I am better at breaking situations/events down into bite size pieces. I don't always do this as gracefully or quickly as I would like....I'm still learning. I imagine everyone has experienced a “digestible lesson.” We've all had times when we were overwhelmed with life, when it was too much to take in as a whole. For example, the death of a loved one, getting fired or going through a divorce.

What I do know is when I remember to take a few conscious breaths, pause and step back there is a better chance for me not to hurt myself or others while I am digesting the situation. This allows me to grasp the reality of what is happening and choose the next step. Eventually the “digestible lesson” will reveal itself. These lessons vary depending on the situation. Sometimes it is simply...or not so simply let go. Other times it is to stop taking personally what someone said or did. There are also times when the lesson is to listen to my body and rest.

In the future, whether we are digesting a meal or life...let's remember to keep the pieces bite sized so we don't hurt ourselves or others and miss out on the lesson.



Excellent piece and one from which we can learn a great deal!!! Thank you for posting it.

Present Valley

Ahhh thank you. It makes my heart happy to read your post.


You've hit the nail on the head with this analogy. It's easy to grasp and put into practice.

Next time I'm digesting an unwelcome situation, I'll remember this post and break things into manageable bite-size pieces. Thank you for posting this insight!

Present Valley

Thank you for taking the time to post a comment.
It makes my heart happy that you found this useful!


I find that using this technique as I go through my day helps me focus and not get overwhelmed by all that I feel should be done. Getting it down to "bite-sized" items makes it much more digestible.

Present Valley

Thank you for posting your comment.
Finding ways to more easily digest what shows up in life makes our day go better doesn't it?

Well Street

Great post.

As you say, we're sometimes served a meal (life experience) that is super-sized and challenging to break down and consume by ourselves.

Leaning on those who love and support us helps with this process, metaphorically sharing the meal with them so we can more easily digest it.

Present Valley

Thank you for posting a comment.
I smiled reading "super sized." Life certainly feels that way sometimes.