I admit it. I’ve done it more than once. Frankly, probably more than hundreds of times, I have taken a single bite of something delicious and immediately think, “I can’t wait to have another one!” To which my mind than hurries me through the cookie, the piece of cake, the whatever so I can get to the NEXT one as quickly as possible.
It reminds me of something I once read from a woman whose friend would comment in the middle of a vacation, “I can’t wait to come back here.”
What about the NOW?! What about THIS one?!? I want to learn to savor what I have instead of hurrying to the thing in the future.
In our Abundant Life group at Manna Church this week, we did a couple of exercises to help us learn to live more in the now. I encourage you to try them, too.
CHALLENGE 1: Get 3 bites of anything you love … peanuts, Hershey kisses, chips, raisins. You know what you like. Eat the first one as you normally would, briefly record in your journal anything you notice about the bite.
For Bite 2: Pause first. Consider the bite with all your senses. What does it look like (from all sides)? What does it feel like? Smell like? Maybe even sound like, if you have a crunch or wrapper, etc. Record these observations before taking a bite. Then eat … SLOWLY … even nibble it, perhaps. Consider the texture. Where does the flavor hit your tongue? Can you distinguish different tastes, textures, ingredients, etc. Think about how your body reacts to what you are eating. Pleasure? Warmth? Relaxed? Record these thoughts and observations.
For Bite 3: As you again savor it and eat it slowly, consider this time the hands that prepared your treat. All the ingredients. Who grew them? Gathered? Processed? Shipped to the store? Cared for them at the store? How did they make it? Give thanks for all the things involved in bringing this bite to your table. Record these thoughts and observations as well.
Now consider this… how does this exercise help you appreciate something you already loved even more?
CHALLENGE 2: Grab a flower, leaf, branch, pine cone — any living thing and lay it in front of you.
Now draw it. Yes, that’s right. I said, draw it. Pencil, crayons, pen, chalk, finger paints — whatever. But I want you to draw it as close to the original as possible.
When you are done, reflect on this… what did you notice in your object that you never would have except for the task of recreating it? How did you see this thing, in some way, for the first time? What detail of it have you missed before — maybe even for your entire life?
What if you got more deliberate and slow and aware of other things in your life. The ones that seem so ordinary. Just how much magic can you find in a single moment?