Do you want more chocolate?

 

Let’s talk about guilt. When do you feel it?

Eating chocolate?

Taking time for yourself?

Chips?

Crisps?

Sleeping late?

A glass (or two) of wine?

Spending money on yourself?

 

So long as these things are in moderation there’s no harm and yet you’d think we were committing a crime!

The problem is we’re so busy feeling guilty, we don’t take time to savour the enjoyment…

 

Hiding the evidence!

Do you ever have chocolate or some cake and the whole time you’re thinking how naughty it is? Do you find you gobble it down so quick you hardly notice eating it let alone savouring it?

 

Savour the moment

One of the ways in which our unhealthy habits run riot is when we become ‘unconscious’ of what we are doing. Like when you spend too much money on a complete indulgence while you’re in town and don’t really ‘wake-up’ til you get home. At which point you start beating yourself up for being so reckless. You didn’t get to savour the buying process and you get to feel punished into the bargain.

 

Do it or don’t do it – For goodness sake enjoy it!

What if we stayed awake? Noticing what you’re deciding to do and enjoying every moment? The first time I tried this with chocolate, a really weird thing happened…I ate less! Unbelievable!

Voluntarily.

Leaving.

Chocolate.

Uneaten!

Why?  Because I was mindfully savouring every mouthful, eating it as slowly as I possibly could, like it was the last piece of chocolate ever and fully experiencing it, so much that I soon felt satisfied. In fact when I really concentrated on it, it even tasted a bit sickly. So different from the shovelling-it-down-quick-before-anyone-sees-you-even-yourself style I was used to. It’s as if we think if no-one notices we’re eating it, including ourselves, it doesn’t count! And the added risk is that we crave more because we didn’t notice the first one.

Eating and drinking mindfully can really help you to make better decisions and feel more satisfied so that you consume a healthy amount of the right things. But that’s not my message today, that’s just a bonus…

You can apply the same principle of enjoying, savouring and noticing something joyful, to anything; trips out, food, drink, time spent with other people, nature, intimacy, even simple and ordinary things like walking. The key thing is you’re staying awake, noticing the experience, savouring the moment.

If time was a melting ice cream, running down the side of your hand, it’s like you ate the whole thing, licked your fingers and sucked the serviette too; every possible joy soaked up!

 

Notice every bite

I’m not just talking about ice cream, or chocolate of course. It’s about noticing – and savouring – every bite of life. Each moment is gone in a blink and each one will not come again. Even the unpleasant or difficult times, they’re an opportunity to notice what’s going on and know that this too, will pass.

I wish you multiple moments of joy for the coming week (month, year, decade…) and who knows, if you savour each morsel, it might actually feel like you’ve having more chocolate, enjoying more fruit, more time, more hugs, more whatever you’re wishing for. At the very least, you’ll be noticing what you have and squeezing every last bit of juice from it.

Now, what are you going to enjoy next?

 

 

4 responses to “Do you want more chocolate?”

  1. Lisa O'Neill says:

    Thanks for this little nugget! I guess things are moving at such a fast pace we forget to savour the little moments, yet it’s the little moments that can make the biggest difference…X

  2. Karen says:

    I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to you for saving my life. Dramatic? Yes. True? Absolutely.
    I’ve been receiving your emails for a few months now and at first I used to read them quickly because I was reading the one that came to my work email (rather than my personal email) so I felt guilty about not actually working for those 5 minutes it took to read. Now I read each one slowly, sometimes 2 or 3 times. what I’ve noticed is that I am more productive having taken that time to really absorb the message. I used to work until I was exhausted, I’d hit the office and work like a dog for 8 or 9 hours often without a lunch break and then at the end of the day never being truly happy with the amount of work I had produced. Your messages have made me rethink my attitude to work. I now know that I can only do what I can do in a single day. It is better that I can accept that and move on. I cannot do brilliantly 100% of the time and the only person expecting me to do that was me. My manager has said on a number of occasions that I’m doing brilliantly yet I was still striving to do better. So how have you saved my life? In recent weeks I have been experiencing chest pain as a result of the stress that I had put myself under. I would be driving home from work and have to pull over to take deep breaths. I wasn’t eating well – often too tired to cook properly so would pick up takeaways on the way home, I wasn’t exercising, my relationship was starting to be affected, it was all going wrong. Then one morning I read your message and something made me tell myself to stop. Stop worrying about being good enough at work. Stop worrying about making mistakes. Stop thinking about work when I’m not there. Just stop.
    What made me write this today. Well it occurred to me that this morning was the first morning in I don’t know how long that I’ve driven to work without chest pain. I had already improved my diet, started going for a brisk walk at lunchtime, joined the local health spa and made other small changes and today it seems like it has all finally come together. I know I will have to work hard to maintain this but that is going to be easier than living how I was. Thank you. Now I’m going to savour a piece of chocolate 🙂

    • Pam Burrows says:

      Wow, I’m so chuffed to read your message this morning of all mornings Karen. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and I’m even more pleased you’ve made the changes. I’m being tested right now on those principles of not doing too much of looking after yourself. We all need to keep noticing, and stay kind to yourself.
      Much love, big hugs,
      PB x

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