“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.”Nhat Hanh
The sun is setting. I’ve just finished my prenatal yoga practice, I’m steeping my raspberry leaf tea and enjoying the company of my pets. Max licks his paws, Kiley snores and Tony explores.
I am savoring these moments. I am truly noticing my surroundings and letting them fill me up. We sometimes savor food or use the word savor to describe something delicious, but we can savor everyday moments too.
We are always rushing. To work, at work, coming home from work, making dinner, packing lunch, walking the dogs- rush rush rush.
I propose instead we begin to savor moments in our day. To savor is to slow down and to pay close attention. The next time you sit with a cup of tea notice its warmth, its steam, the way it warms your hands and your heart. When walking the dogs listen to the animals alive in the nature around you, look at the clouds and the sky, feel the wind.
We can practice savoring daily rituals and activities each day. Your morning shower, your breakfast, snuggling with a loved one- all chances to slow down and pay close attention to our lives.
What are my favorite times to savor? After I wake up and wipe the sleep from my eyes I make my cereal with fruit and coconut milk, I pour a glass of half juice and half water and I sit in our beautiful little chair by an open window. I breathe, listen to the morning birds, feel the morning air and savor each bite of my breakfast.
We are often unsatisfied and unsettled. As we are doing something we ask, “Am I doing the right something? The best something?” We watch a movie and feel discontent so we reach for our phones. We’re eating a delicious meal but don’t want to “waste time” so we put on a show. We’ve forgotten how to enjoy each moment. How to do a singular task and to be fully present in it.
When you savor, the anxiety of missing out melts away. You begin to notice how content you truly are.
Other cultures do this so naturally. The french treat meal time as sacred. They eat in courses which aids in digestion and allows one to notice the food in front of them. Americans, myself included, make a plate plop on the couch and don’t even taste or look at the food they’ve prepared. This leads to late night snacking and other unhealthy habits because we weren’t even fully present for the meal we just had!
So, how can we savor more and lessen our “something better” anxiety? Here are some ideas-
Take your meals at the table. Play music instead of Netflix. Here is my favorite playlist at the moment. Notice your food. Look at it, smell it, truly taste all of its intricacies. I promise this will become so enjoyable soon you won’t even think to grab your phone or laptop or sit in front of the TV. You will learn to savor.
Notice your movements, be present when you exercise. Whether you run each day, practice yoga or go on walks with your dog you move throughout the day. Begin to notice these times when your body moves. Thank your body for doing all that it does, we often forget how truly amazing our bodies are. I thank my hands daily for the amazing things they do. Fully notice your breathing, your feet touching the ground and your toes wiggling in your shoes- savor savor savor.
“As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise, you will miss most of your life.” Buddha