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Enjoyment in Every Moment
I have a practice that I want to share with you today. And, by practice, what I really mean is that this is something I have tried many times over the years and have never really “stuck to it” for long periods of time — but when I do use this practice and stay present to it, the results are phenomenal. The practice is simple and incredibly effective, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. It’s the simple practice of finding enjoyment in every moment. Since we all have very busy lives we’re leading and there probably aren’t many people reading this that are about to embark on a retreat of solitude for the next week or month where the focus can actually be only on enjoyment in every moment, I think starting small is the way to go here. I’ll start by explaining the end state, so you’ll know where you’re headed and then can mindfully decide how you want to start. Once you have mastered this practice it will become second nature for you to find enjoyment in any and every moment. It’s what your brain will do naturally because you’ve trained it to do so. (We could probably have a psychological and/or philosophical argument as to whether or not that is actually possible, but let’s not get stuck there.) ;-) End state, the practice is to find enjoyment in any moment and to flow through your day naturally doing so. Before we get to the practice, I want to note one thing about enjoyment. Enjoyment (being in joy) does not need to be big and loud and seen by others. In fact, I think enjoyment is more likely to be found in the subtle, the quiet, and perhaps only known in the moment by you. There are an endless number of ways that you can adapt this practice for yourself, so I’m going to give a couple of examples and hope you will use them or find one for yourself that feels good.
1. Start by making a mindful decision about what points in your day you would like to have a “moment of enjoyment.” Have set times for this so it can become habitual and natural for you.
For instance, you may choose to have your enjoyable moments before each meal. Every time you sit down to eat before you put food in your mouth, you will take a breath and ask yourself: “What can I enjoy in this moment?”
It may be that you notice and enjoy the beautiful face of the loved one sitting across from you. Or, it may be that you notice and enjoy the scent of the apples that have been cooking. Or, it may be that you notice and enjoy the deep breath of fresh air that you take.
2. Start by choosing a totem/object of some sort that you can have on or with you at all times during the day. A simple bracelet or stone are great totems if you’re not sure where to start. Set the intention that every time you become aware of your totem that you stop in that moment to find enjoyment.
It may be that your sunstone sits next to your keyboard at work throughout the day, and each time you notice your beautiful orange stone, it signals a moment of enjoyment for you.
Perhaps you notice your stone, stop, take a deep breath, and find enjoyment in the sound of the fountain in the background. Or, perhaps you notice your stone, stop, take a deep breath, and find enjoyment in the fact that your fingers are so dexterous. Or, it may be that you notice your stone, stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy the sweet face of your dog, whose photo you have next to your desk.
Notice what happens in your body when you take your moment of enjoyment. Actually, let’s practice it now: take a deep breath, ask yourself, “What can I enjoy in this moment?” and deeply notice something that brings you enjoyment. Stay with this. Do you notice any shifts? Do you feel a tingle? Do you feel an easing of tension? Do you feel the slightest upturning of your lips? Do you feel a lightness? Just notice. And, it’s OK if at first you don’t notice a shift. Stick with it. It will happen. Many of us don’t always notice when tiny, subtle shifts start to occur. There is an attunement to our own energy that takes time to fully appreciate. We start to notice over time, though. This is a simple practice, but if you stick with it, it really can turn those subtle shifts into larger, more holistic shifts in enjoyment throughout your life. I hope you find moments of enjoyment today and will allow yourself the chance to implement this practice in a way that is supportive for you. P.S. I was actually reminded of this practice as I was listening to my favorite artist’s (Michael Franti and Spearhead) station the other day when this song, Enjoy Every Second, came on. Enjoy!