January 4, 2012

Living in the Moment

Each moment that passes is gone in an instant. The millions of moments in our lives blur together to form every activity we do and every thought we have. We need to learn to appreciate and live for each moment, and to treasure the life that we live.

It is so easy to rush through our day with busyness and never pause long enough to value the moment right where we are. Surely, there are times when we wish the moments would speed on by, like when we are laying in the dentist chair, for instance, or waiting for the doctor while wearing a fashionable yet freezing paper gown.

But so many miniscule moments in each day pass by without their worth being enjoyed. Life is made up of moments, so we should savor those simple times.  This is a goal for me in this new year. To slow down just a bit, and to savor the life I am living.

I sat down to a steaming bowl of soup that I made for my lunch. I simmered it on the stovetop instead of zapping it in the microwave, and the flavors came through so much more. While it simmered I had time to make a double batch of brownies and get them in the oven, and yes, I savored the taste-testing of the batter as I prepared it. I could smell the soup cooking and anticipated the flavors through the aroma.

The moments of enjoying the hot soup, with vegetables and rice, might have gone differently in days past. Oftentimes I would sit down to eat and grab the nearest newspaper or magazine to read while I ate my lunch. Before I knew it, my food was gone and I hadn’t really experienced the pleasure of eating.

I am vegetarian and take time to prepare my own food. What a shame to eat it blindly without savoring the experience. Part of eating a healthy diet is the appreciation of the foods we eat and their benefits for our bodies. We should be cognizant of what we are eating and how quickly we are eating it. Our health depends on good food choices and healthy eating. It’s worth taking the time.

There are so many moments like this to savor. That first sip of coffee in the morning is such a treat for me. I open the back door and breathe a breath of fresh, cold, winter air and it makes me feel alive! I bundle up and take a winter walk through the woods, enjoying the sunlight blaring on pure white snow, and look for fresh animals tracks along the trails, enjoying the antics of the squirrels.

As the sun sinks into the evening sky, the colors are breathtaking and a good reason to pause and appreciate the peacefulness. The other day I saw a sun pillar as the sun set in the west. It was glorious! I wondered how many people noticed, or even saw it at all. Moments like these don’t last, and the unique beauty of nature is never repeated in exactly the same way. 

Apparently there were meteor showers to watch in the dark sky last night. Some friends ventured out at 3 a.m., away from city lights, to capture the brief moments of the meteors' entry into our atmosphere. Have you ever seen meteor showers? The flash of light happens so quickly that before you can say, “Look! There!” they are gone. How wonderful that these friends made a date with nature to appreciate the moments of beauty as they streaked by. 

Altogether we have 86,400 seconds to breathe each day, and this includes honoring our need for rest. Cherish the time your body must sleep. Allow ample time to relax and rejuvenate so that you can begin again tomorrow in your quest to savor the moments. These moments create your life, so delight in each moment as they come together to form the life you live.  

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