So if having more time can't happen, (there are still only 24 hours in each day, darn it!) and cutting out responsibilities to make more time for ourselves isn't really doable, what then? I propose that we get better at savoring time.
I've been thinking about the concept of savoring lately. One smart way to manage eating sweets goes something like this 1) choose to eat only the best (which means, yes, occasionally!) 2) eat no more than three bites of whatever it is, and 3) really savor each bite. There is wisdom in this approach -- neither banning sweet treats from your life altogether, nor going to town on whatever, whenever. So can we apply this logic to taking care of ourselves more broadly?
What does savoring really mean?
To me, savoring comes down to noticing with intention. Choosing to pay closer attention to the small delights of each day, and holding onto those small delights a little more closely. Choosing to remember and reflect back more of the good. Just because this seems simple, it doesn't mean it's easy!
How can we apply this principle in our marriages, relationships with our kids, friendships, at work? Savoring the moments. Lingering over them and committing the details to memory. Reviewing and reliving those moments again and again. Telling others about them. Getting really good at noticing how we are surrounded by abundant good things in the form of small gestures of kindness, grace, and compassion. And choosing to reflect more of that back into the world in our own actions and small gestures towards those we come in contact with. As Mother Theresa said, we can "Do small things with great love."
But you know, I think the coolest thing is that this kind of savoring can be done no matter how busy and crowded our schedules get! That's because it's a habit of mind and heart -- not another "to do" on the endless list, not another stubborn behavior to modify, or an annoying task to complete. So I challenge you (and me) to savor more fully. Share how it goes, and what you discover! I'll be listening.
Dr. Beth Schmit
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