When was the last time you enjoyed a meal with all your senses? How long has it been since you spent a whole day in bed without a guilty conscience? Probably, too long!
Hustle, obligations and time pressure. We always have to work. Here is a To Do list of things to be done today. You cannot go to the cinema because you have to go to a dancing class. You avoid lasagna because you are on a low-carb diet right now.
And while you’re trying to function in the best way possible, to work efficiently and to make results in every situation, one very important thing remains unnoticed. Namely, what is it that makes life?
We have so many possibilities. There is so much to admire: breathtaking nature, beautiful sounds, the ability to love, friendship, hearty laughter, good food and and....much more.
Millions of impressions and we are equipped with all the senses to enjoy them.
Theoretically we could do that. But, in practice this ability seems to have been lost.
"All beings except humans know that the main purpose of life is to enjoy it." (Samuel Butler)
With all the delusion programmed into our minds, perfect education, the perfectly modeled CVs, the nutritional recommendations in every corner and the pressure to always work efficiently, we no longer know what it means to let go.
The art of letting go
Who wants to enjoy, must be able to let go. That's like making love. If you constantly think about how your own “problem areas” now look and if the hips feel too greasy, you will not enjoy it.
The same applies to all other areas of life. To enjoy, we have to live in the moment and savor it with all the senses.
This also means that we must not think and rethink, for example, how much of the daily schedule could be accomplished.
But most people do not know how come out of their control mania.
"Eating is a need, enjoying is an art." (Francois de La Rochefoucauld)
The principle "First the work, then the pleasure" has become so widely accepted and instilled in our minds that we consider pleasure without any effort unjustified.
Learning to enjoy
What can you do to experience more enjoyment in life?
There are special trainings that teach step by step how to stay with full mindfulness in the moment to truly enjoy. Basically, we can also teach that ourselves.
Remember: small things make life beautiful but we have forgotten this simple and precious rule.
All we need is a little bit of time and, for example, and a piece of chocolate.
Now ask yourself the following questions and keep experimenting till you reach the answers:
How does the piece of chocolate feel? How does it smell? How does it look like? Does the piece already melt in your fingers? If so, how does that feel? Explore the chocolate with all your senses. Now bite off a bit, but do not swallow it right away. Feel the taste on your tongue. How does it feel when the taste spreads in the mouth? What is the texture of the chocolate? Crisp? Creamy? Does the taste change over time?
These questions help you to consciously perceive the moment.
Of course you can do the same in any other situations. For example, when going for a walk, just pause for a moment and feel the wind blowing gently through your hair. How does the air smell? After rain? Can you already feel the warmth of the sun on your skin? Which colors do you see? Are the birds chirping? What else can you hear?
Feelings become more intense when we take more time to indulge in pleasure.
Enjoy your life
We have to learn to allow ourselves more pleasure again. Enjoying something with all your senses immediately provides relaxation and positive feelings. Who knows how to enjoy knows how to find inner balance and live right now.
Not only is this an important resource for us, it also makes life so much more beautiful and liveable.
So try to give yourself an enjoyment at least once a week. You can indulge in music, taste food with all your senses, enjoy the movement of your body, a beautiful view and so on.
What you do is not important. It is important that you do it and that you enjoy the enjoyment, even if you haven’t finished all your obligations for the day.