We are all aware of the benefits of a grateful heart. In our gratitude journal, we note what we’re grateful for on a regular basis. We know how this one habit powerfully aligns us with our higher vibrations.
But what if we ramped up our gratefulness and began to savor as well?
This is gratitude on steroids!
To savor is to enjoy, deeply and thoroughly. Savoring is an evocative experience involving all the senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Savoring invites appreciation of the present moment. It opens us to deeper reflection and a richer gratitude experience.
So, how can we savor our life more? Here are a few ways:
Sniff. Smell stimulates memory and increases enjoyment. The perfume of flowers brings enjoyment, just as the colors delight our vision. When we partake of a delicious meal, aroma is part of the enjoyment.
- Try this: When you prepare your next meal or are about to begin eating, inhale the food smells all the way to your belly button. Notice the flavors and how your mouth waters when the aroma hits the back of your nose. Observe the colors of your food and delight in the textures. Be grateful to the earth for providing for your nourishment.
Get lost in music. Like the sense of smell, music touches a part of the brain that nothing else can. Music’s power to stir memories and establish connections to those around us has been studied but is still not well understood. We instinctively know it, though. We gather in concert halls, music festivals, blues bars and even grandma’s back yard to experience music together. Music is a bond.
- Try this: Put on your dancing shoes! Find music that resonates in your body and move accordingly. It could be a smooth ballet experience that flows from room to room or a country line dance that has you kicking your heels. Experiment with music you may have avoided before. Extra points if you dance with a partner. Fully, deeply savor the movement.
Display pictures of happy times. We relish memories through our visual surroundings. If for some reason there are no happy photos of family or close friends, then photos of beautiful scenery can also bring joy. Visual reminders of happy times could also be objects like feathers, stones, or a gift from a loved one.
- Try this: Gather at least 3 photos that bring you joy and place them where you can see them often. Savor the feeling of connection that results. Happy or peaceful times remind us of how we are connected to our humanity and each other.
Tell and retell stories of family and friends. We each have our individual past and set of unique relatives or close friends. Even though we may have heard the story of “Auntie Clarise and the Snake on the Sidewalk” a hundred times, retelling allows us to re-experience the moment and appreciate our roots again and again.
- Try this: Remember a time or family story that still makes you LOL. Share those happy or funny experiences with your friends and savor their stories as well. This is how we stay connected, and savoring those connections is what makes us human.
Talk less, listen more. When we’re in our head formulating a response while someone else is talking, it diminishes the conversation. We are simply not present.
- Try this: Next time you’re on the phone with a loved one, close your eyes and listen deeply. Savor the full humanity of the other person. Allow yourself to focus thoroughly on what the other person is saying. Let curiosity lead and ask follow-up questions.
Focusing our attention on the delicious details of a moment is a gift we give ourselves. Savoring takes us outside our narrow focus and fills our heart with gratitude. When our hearts are full, it spills out to others and echoes back to us.
We can all share the love.