About fifteen years ago while enjoying a rare girls' night out, my friend offered me a piece of delectable Mexican dark chocolate purchased on her recent trip to Tijuana. My brain screamed, “Chocolate!!!”
I put the whole piece in my mouth and began fervently chewing. “Whoa,” my friend said. “This is expensive stuff. Slow down. Savor the richness. You are not getting another piece, so enjoy it.”
Realizing how unrefined I appeared, I immediately stopped chewing. I instantly became aware of how rich and wonderful the chocolate was as I rolled it around my mouth. It was both sweet and bitter. Time stopped. That moment of joy immediately returns to calm my mind when I think of savoring that small piece of Mexican dark chocolate.
As I have aged, I have found the following four things help me to slow down and savor the moment.
Feel your Breath: Turn your thoughts inward and listen to the movement of your breath. With a hand on your chest notice the air moving into your lungs. Feel the falling of your chest as you breath out. Don't think about changing your breath, just listen to it.
- Release your Neck and Shoulders: Our neck and shoulder muscles carry the tension of our lives. Feel the tightness in those muscles. In your mind, focus on letting that tension drain away and releasing those muscles. Pull that tightness down your spine, your legs, and out our toes, leaving your neck and shoulders soft and relaxed.
- Focus your Senses Outward: What do you smell? Ripe fruit, wood smoke, a child warmed by outside play? What is touching your skin? Warm or cool air, the hard cover of a book, soft fabric? What do you hear? Birds chirping, a fan humming, a car rolling past? To savor the moment, we must listen to our senses.
- Give yourself Permission to Enjoy This Moment: Too often we find ourselves dwelling on what happened in the past or what is in the future, robbing us of the present. The past is past and our to do list will only get longer. The list will always be there, but this moment in time will not. Giving ourselves permission to enjoy this moment puts us in the present and can bring immediate calmness.
I am grateful for a friend who taught me to savor the moment by giving me only one small piece of Mexican dark chocolate. Because of her I have found myself more relaxed and enjoying the most mundane things, but more importantly, I have learned to savor the things closest to my heart. Today, instead of hiding and gulping chocolate to help me get through another day, I am much more likely to savor it with those I love most.
Article by Miss Jae