Savor the Flavor

Savor the Flavor

It’s too easy to get lost in the future. You plan for retirement, focus on an income goal, and look forward to the weekend or next vacation. All this planning. All of this hoping for a better future. But does it ever come?

You believe that it will come some day, or you wouldn’t consider the future. But that’s the trap: someday and somewhere out there, over the horizon, is your better life. Therefore, each moment is a means to get somewhere other than right here, right now.

So what’s the problem with that?

Have you ever had dinner with a friend and he wasn’t engaged in the conversation? He was off in la la land with his mind on something else. How enjoyable is the dinner? Not very enjoyable, huh?

Surprisingly, if you look closely, we are that “somebody” off in la la land continually focused on what’s next – the next email, the next meeting, the next paycheck, the next show, and on and on. Now life is like hopping around on one foot: you don’t move anywhere, except up and down in the same place.

What you need to do is stand firmly in the thick of things with both feet on the ground. You need to calm down and savor the flavor.

Ice Cream?

Imagine that you’re eating an ice cream cone. It’s your favorite flavor and the cone is homemade from Kilwins in Portsmouth, NH. Do you hurry up to get through the ice cream cone? Absolutely not! In fact, you probably don’t want the experience to end, at least I don’t want the experience to end (that’s why I work next door to Kilwins). What you do is savor each lick; you become intimate and appreciative for each flavor, texture, and the sugar rush that’s happening. (Oh man, I so want moose tracks ice cream right now.)

Treat your life like it’s the last lick of your favorite ice cream cone: appreciate and enjoy the moment, and give your full attention to what’s happening right now.

How to Savor the Flavor

You don’t have to slow down your life and do less, what you need to do is calm down. Calm your aggressive thinking mind and insatiable desire; make space for savoring this moment. Often times, your cup is overflowing with ambitions. Empty your cup to half full and allow space in your heart and mind for this moment. In other words, tone down your ambitions; you’ll enjoy life more and get more high quality things done that make a difference.

  • Appreciation. The doorway to a fulfilling life is appreciation. Most of us forget to sincerely appreciate the goodness in our lives and the simple things that bring us joy. When you calm down, and take a breath, you make room for appreciation.

    Here’s your practice: cultivate appreciation each morning. When you wake from your sleep, find two or three things that you appreciate in your life. It’s not the big things or huge accomplishments that you’re looking for, appreciation can simply be for the life you have.

    For example, this morning as I was laying in bed, I noticed how great my life really is. I appreciated being in love to my fiance, I appreciated the shelter and heat, and I appreciated the great job I have that helps makes a difference in the world and supports my needs.

    All I do is notice what is in my life, say a silent “thank you,” and pay attention to this moment.

    What appreciation does is cultivates a positive attitude. You look at the glass half full and attract prosperous opportunities and people that help get what you want in life. Appreciation stops the spiral of doom and gloom. It will transform your life because each moment is savored.

  • Listen. We get lost in what we do. We’re out with friends anxious about the next drink or party, we’re lost in our opinions and judgments, we’re thinking about the weekend while at work, and we scarf down our meals without paying attention to hunger.

    Savor the flavor by stopping for a moment, take a breath, and clear your mind. Try this: when you’re engaged in a conversation with a friend, drop your opinions and judgments, and truly listen. Place your attention on your breath. Follow the breath in, then out. Take in fully what your friend is saying. When it’s your time to speak, you’ll know the appropriate response.

Recap…

A fulfilling and enjoyable life rises from savoring the flavor. You don’t have to slow down life, but you need to calm down. This means taking periodic breaks from your busy lifestyle and pay attention to what’s happening right now. Appreciate the goodness in your life. Cultivate gratitude for the simple things: shelter, air, the sun, and the breath that enables you to live.

When you’re out with friends, truly listen. Put the opinionated and judgmental mind to rest and be the space for that person. Watch your breath and listen to your friend’s words. When you feel lost and overwhelmed in the day-to-day activities, remember this mantra: “Savor the Flavor.”

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