Do you want more chocolate?
Let’s talk about guilt. When do you feel it?
Taking time for yourself?
A glass (or two) of wine?
Spending money on yourself?
So long as these things are in moderation there’s no harm and yetÂ 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’reÂ 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!
Why? Â 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 noticesÂ 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 savourÂ 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 squeezingÂ every last bit of juice from it.
Now, what are you going to enjoy next?