Embrace the Art of Savoring

I received so many kind messages through email about last week’s blog post teaching you how to use a gratitude journal that I thought I’d deepen the topic of gratitude a bit and talk about savoring.

When we think of savoring, we naturally think of food and the blissful enjoyment of a delicious dish prepared with love.

To savor is to enjoy deeply and thoroughly. It is an evocative experience involving all the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and even hearing when a sizzle is involved.  Savoring invites reflection and gratitude and makes for a rich and fulfilling life.

To savor your life, try these:

Go on a silent retreat.  Meditate. When communication is not an option, you force yourself to stay present. Allow yourself to be fully present to your senses; smell, taste, hear and touch what’s around you.  Deep appreciation will flow more naturally. Try it for a single day and comment below to share your results!

Stop making upward comparisons. This is especially applicable for Americans since our very culture is embedded in consumerism and competition. When you focus on what’s in front of you and deeply savor the present, comparisons don’t matter. They never did. Savor what you already have.

Surround yourself with pictures of happy times. If for some reason you don’t have family photographs, then surround yourself with artwork or photos of beautiful scenery.   Look at things that make you smile and savor the feeling that results. Happy times remind us of our humanity.

I have a photo of my kids and grandkids in my dining room that makes me laugh every time I see it. We did a formal sitting as a family 7 or 8 years ago. Rather than the traditional lining up of the relatives, they decided instead to rock out.

Brother is in a black Iron Maiden t-shirt and sister’s black t-shirt has a Rush logo. Both grand boys are imitating Dad’s badass rocker stance… hilarious! Each personality shines brightly and I feel my heart swell every time I look at it. We had such a good time together!

Tell and retell family stories often. You have a unique past and I bet no one has relatives like yours! Even though you may have heard the one about Auntie and the snake on the sidewalk a hundred times, retelling allows you to re-experience the moment and appreciate your roots again and again. Share your experiences with your friends and hear their stories as well. Stories make us human.

Talk less, listen more. Some of the most satisfying breakout sessions I do in the workplace teach listening skills and how to frame a question that resonates and evokes a more thoughtful response. (Contact me to bring this 2-hour training to your workplace!)

When you formulate a response in your head while someone is speaking, you diminish the conversation. You’re not present. Next time, allow yourself to fully focus on what the other person is saying. Let your curiosity lead and ask follow up questions. Listen deeply.

It is amazing how your appreciation of the speaker shifts when you truly listen to their thoughts. And when you are fully heard by an open heart, it opens you as well.   Savor each other.

I would love to hear about what you savor and how these ideas resonate with you. Please comment below!

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