Didn’t you love the sunset yesterday? After a dreary day of chilly rain, it was a special gift. I’m so glad I took a few minutes to savor that glory. (Although this picture doesn’t do it justice and I really wish I could crop it, you can still get an idea of the glory!)
Remember, back on Week 21, we talked about savoring your food? It’s still a good Self-Care Tool. And with Thanksgiving coming up, it’s something we might all be wise to re-visit. *wink*
Today, though, I want to talk about Savoring Life in General.
After all, if you’re like me, you reach the end of the day (or week or month) and wonder where it all went. All that time you thought you had now feels as if it’s evaporated.
Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? Where did the year go?
Yes, we are busy. Yes, we need to do the everyday things that keep body and soul together (as my aunt used to say). We need to work and rest and pick up the kids and play and eat and do laundry and pay bills and pursue a dream and accomplish a goal and help a friend and… And the list goes on.
But that’s just the thing. While we DO need to do all these things, sometimes all these things start to overwhelm us and all these things become “just one more thing to do”. If I can learn to savor the ordinary-ness of life and enjoy moments as they come, I can consider my life a good one. Everyday ordinary IS a good life. Those moments when we glance out the window and catch the glint of a dew drop on the grass or the hot pink cloud of a sunset. Those are the moments that fill our soul and heart and give our over-tired brain a breath of fresh inspiration. If you can savor the smile of a teenager, who doesn’t often grace you with one, that is a treasure not to be missed.
This seems strange to me, even now. When my mother passed away, 9 years ago, it was a gorgeous, clear, crispy November day- my favorite kind of day- but my heart was broken. I clearly remember, though, the one bright yellow leaf hanging brilliant against the intense blue sky outside the hospital window. In spite of the enormous loss, it somehow gave me hope. Almost as if it was a parting gift from her. And when I think of that day, in that ICU, I remember that glorious leaf and the gift it gave me. It caught me off guard, I wasn’t looking for it. But to this day, I savor that split second in time. It softens the loss I will always feel.
Moments are gifts.
Yes, there are definitely times to put the pedal to the metal and flat out GIVE yourself to a project or person. And those times are important. However, it’s especially important to be sure to balance those “all out” times with times of quiet and contemplation. In other words, balance the “all out” with “savoring”. What was enjoyable about the “all out”? What needs to be changed? What did I learn from my “all out” time?
I’ve never launched a book or opened a store, but I have done a project or two that took a lot of effort to prepare and present. I try to include a quiet day or two after the event, to enjoy and savor the fruit of my labors. It’s good to take stock of your big efforts and enjoy them. It’s good to give yourself a pat on the back and an “atta girl!” or “atta boy!”. Good to allow yourself to enjoy the glow of a job well done (or figure out how to do make it good next time!),
Savoring is probably a good synonym for the modern buzz word, “mindfulness”. Savoring/mindfulness keeps us grounded. It can feel like a safe place in the storms of life. It gives your brain a tiny rest, which in turn, gives your body the same tiny rest. It’s like a deep breath, and indeed, is best accompanied by one. It can put us in touch with gratefulness, another Self-Care Tool that is good for body and soul. It enables us to see the ordinary as good, even grand. I venture to say everyday ordinary moments can even be magical- if we are paying attention.
Savoring needs to be engaged in deliberately, too. And, while catching the “moments” is good, it’s best done in silence or solitude. Because silence and solitude is also good for us. Take all the savoring, mindfulness, solitude, deep breathing and silence, put them together and you find peace and rest for your soul in the presence of God. The promise from Matthew 11.
When we savor moments, we can lessen the feeling of overwhelm and the feeling that somehow life is slipping away from us. Yes, the day/week/month will still be zooming along with us hanging on trying hard to control it. But. If we take the time to look back on the day/week/month, and see those moments when we noticed a small gift, we can feel more peaceful and less like things are taking us for a ride. There’s touch of control in our lives.
When we deliberately set aside time to savor, in times of quiet and solitude, we find peace which gives us hope and courage to continue savoring life, whatever it dishes out.
Do you take time to savor the ordinary gifts of life?
Thank you for taking a piece of your precious time- and time is definitely precious- to read this today. I would love to hear your thoughts on Savoring Life in General.
Many blessings… Much love.