Those moments when we pause and breathe and take in the beauty of the world around us are becoming too infrequent.
All too often our schedules are full from sunrise to sunset. We are so connected in so many ways and we receive instant notifications in either messaging, emails, news, weather, and any type of update…Whether we live by our calendars and schedules daily and fill our time to the brim.
Every new way to connect brings a fresh set of demands on our limited attention causing overwhelm.
If our lives are so filled we miss the opportunities to be aware of the simple pleasures in life. While we’re going about in our busyness, beautiful life is going on about us.
Simple pleasures are all around us.
I like the simple act of waking before the sunrise. There are birds singing heralding the beginning of the day. This brings me joy!
Then, the faint light of day begins to overtake the blanket of darkness. The changes are subtle. Whether there are clouds in the sky or it’s completely clear, the light breaking across the horizon sends glorious color all around. The world around me wakes up.
If I were not to elect to awaken early, I would miss the spectacular beauty of the dawning of a new day.
The changing seasons gift us with colorful pleasures.
The pattern of our seasons happens all around us. Winter leads to Spring which leads to Summer and then to Fall. From barren trees and silvery skies to bright twinkles of golden light in the form of flowers. Then in the Summer, the world bursts into all the varieties of the colors. Yet, if we allow it, we can miss the gift of this beauty. As Fall traces its fingers across the landscape, soft winds coupled with shades of rust, reds, and yellows paint such a beautiful, breathtaking landscape.
I have come home after a long workday and realize that I have not strolled through my garden. I have missed some of the flowers that come for a short time and are gone. One of my favorite flowers is the Peony. I anticipate year after year this gorgeous multi-petaled flower. Its presence in my garden is a brief 10 days. Ten days out of the whole year! I have missed it a time or two to my regret.
The simple pleasure of a quiet moment.
Have you given yourself the opportunity to simply do nothing? That is to take time to sit and to not make lists in your mind or to think about the next most important thing to do. Just do nothing. I believe we need quiet moments in our day where we can just be still. In these moments we can quietly let our bodies and minds rest. There’s much to be said about the art of meditation. These are the moments where we can let go of the cares of the world and to meet with the One who loves us. God does advise in His word to be still and know…or to be still so that we can hear that still small voice. Disconnect for a few moments each day and determine to rest completely and to listen. Simply be still.
The Simple Pleasure of Companionship
I believe that to give ourselves time with those who matter most is just as important or perhaps more important than our necessary food and drink. Companionship with another feeds our hearts and minds. Sharing with someone causes us to knit our wills together, causes us to look outside of ourselves and to care for another. Time is too fleeting. Those lists, messages, and demands on our time don’t add to our lives, they take from our lives. We need to feed our hearts and minds with being fully present with those who make us smile, who make us laugh. Laughter truly is a wonderful medicinal gift.
The Simple Pleasure of Savoring
I’m not sure who first coined the phrase, ‘grab a bite to eat’. We rush through the daily pleasure of a meal and have forgotten how to savor the textures and flavors of well-prepared food. Or, do we even take the time to prepare food well? In this grab and go society we can quickly get fast food and eat it while driving or wolf it down so we can get back to our busyness. What about the notion of savoring? Recently, I sat down to an amazing breakfast (on my own, by the way). I ordered a dish I knew I would enjoy. While waiting for the meal I enjoyed a lovely cup of coffee and read a little in a good book. I was savoring this quiet moment to myself. When my food came I made conscious effort to slowly enjoy and savor each bite. I was completely aware of the smell, the texture and the taste of the food. It was amazing. In our hurried life, we’ve lost the art of savoring. Not only that, but we’ve tolerated less quality in our lives. Try this simple exercise of savoring. Get yourself a good quality small piece of chocolate. Place it in your mouth and allow it to melt. As it melts think of the fragrance of the chocolate. Think of the flavor and texture, fully savor all the pleasures of that piece of chocolate. I believe that if we take the time to fully savor our food we will more than likely not eat more than we need. We will learn to become satisfied.
I could list more simple pleasures in our lives, but I believe you have the idea. It is simply being aware of the gifts we’re given every day. All those things that vie for our attention will always be there. We will and should have responsibilities every day. This is a healthy part of life. What leads away from these activities actually being healthy is when we allow them to take over the whole of our lives and we forget those things that are important, those things that feed our heart, mind, and soul. Remember to include in your daily life the enjoyment of the simple pleasures in life.