Savor
by

Did you savor today? Did you breathe it in, taste it, let it flow through you? Did you run your fingers over it, feel its shape, its contours, its texture? Or did it hurry by unexperienced?

Most days for most people are savorless. We don’t cultivate moments worth savoring. And when such moments do arrive, we’re too distracted by the busyness of life to notice. Rather than lingering on something good we get right to work on the search for something better.

Savoring is mindful enjoyment of the present experience. It’s a great source of happiness, pleasure, and meaning, the foundations of a well-lived life. It grounds you in the present, which fosters equanimity and gratitude. And it encourages awareness and a more vivid experiencing of your world.

Most people think taking pleasure in good things comes naturally, but savoring is a skill. Here’s how to savor, in eight easy steps:

  • Anticipate: Watch for opportunities to savor. Plan to notice when they happen.
  • Generate: Actively create savorous experiences; fill your days with them. Savor special moments of joy, transcendence, serendipity. Lover’s embrace. Child’s smile. Laughter, music, connection, achievement. Also savor the thousand details of everyday, “ordinary” experience. And vicariously savor the pleasurable experiences of people you care about.
  • Attend to: When shining, glowing moments happen, wake up, take a step back and see yourself having the experience. Focus on the present; resist distractions and forget what else you could be doing. Be mindful, but non-judging and unreflective. If you’re with someone, actually be with them.
  • Experience: Fully immerse yourself in the moment. Luxuriate in it. Use your senses for more than just information processing. Don’t just eat: taste. Don’t just hear music: feel it. Have a beginner’s mind, as if experiencing it for the first time.
  • Appreciate: Treasure the moment. Realize how fortunate you are to be having this experience, and give thanks to your creator or the universe for it. Remember that this moment will soon end, and will never happen again, so this is your one chance to fully experience it.
  • Intensify: Outwardly express your positive feelings in the moment, with unrestrained enthusiasm. Live out loud! Share the experience with others, especially people you care about. Take a mental or actual picture to more vividly remember pleasurable aspects of the experience, focusing on feelings more than facts.
  • Extend: Let time slow down. Don’t let the moment get hijacked by negative emotions or distractions. Ride the buzz as long as you can. But don’t cling; let it linger, accepting that the moment will eventually pass but doing nothing to hasten its departure.
  • Remember: Cherish delicious moments past. Let them be renewable sources of happiness. Reminisce with family and friends, not with a sense of wistful longing, but grateful that those experiences have become a part of you.

Today's Activity

  • Take the time to enjoy something that you usually hurry through: having breakfast, taking a shower, walking to the store. Afterwards, write down what you did and how it felt compared to when you rush through it. If you get value from this activity, make it a daily or weekly practice.