What did your last meal taste like? No, no, I’m not asking what you had for lunch or dinner, I’m asking you to think back and remember what the experience of eating that meal was like? What adjectives would you use to describe the flavors of the different foods you ate? Sweet? Tangy? Bland? Tart? Savory? What was the texture like? Was it more creamy or crunchy? Or maybe gooey? It’s not that easy of a task now is it? Really tasting our food is not something we normally do. Unfortunately it’s become more and more of a habit to scarf down our food so we can move on with our busy day. Often we even distract ourselves with something else while eating: we watch TV, we play on our phones and check social media, or, something I have witnessed so often during my time in the corporate world, we eat at our desks while continuing to work during our lunch breaks (yes, I am guilty of this as well).
Is This Blog Post Really About Tasting My Food?
Now, I’m not writing this to lecture you on your eating habits and it’s not even really about the food. This illustration is exemplary for how we walk through our lives on a daily basis: constantly on the run and in a hurry to get places, to do things, to work off that to-do list, or to stay on schedule. And while doing so we forget to pay attention to the little things that truly make our lives enjoyable and so much sweeter. When was the last time you noticed and genuinely acknowledged some seemingly unimportant feature in your surroundings? Like the chirping of birds nearby? Or the pretty flowers on the side of the road? Or the friendly smile of a passerby on the street? Are you even discerning these things? Most people are so self-absorbed and preoccupied with “the next thing on the list” that these little gems just go unnoticed. Now is this really so bad, you might wonder? Do I really care about the birds and the flowers and the creepy strangers smiling at me on the street? Well, the answer is up to you. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. One thing I know for sure, however, is that slowing down your life and expanding your senses to your greater surroundings will open up a whole new perspective and lifestyle for you. Still not convinced? All I’m asking from you is to give it a try, experiment with it, and see what happens.
The Practical Stuff
Here’s what you can do:
- Next time you walk outside, look around! Be curious as to what you can detect that you’ve never noticed before. Listen carefully! Even if it’s just the sound of cars driving by. Take it all in and acknowledge what you’re hearing. Maybe you even want to close your eyes for this. Take a deep breath! What are you smelling? Engage all your senses and see what that does to you and your body. Even just doing this for 10 seconds will already change your perception and feeling.
- Next time you listen to music, really listen! To the words, the voices, the instruments, the melody, the rhythm. How does this make you feel? What impact does this have on you?
- Next time you eat a meal, really savor it! Don’t let yourself be distracted by noises, other people, the TV. Just sit there, take a mouthful of whatever you’re eating, close your eyes and just enjoy that food and come up with words to describe it.
- And just observe what impact all of this has on you, your body, your perspective, your day.
- Keep in mind that the more often you do any of this, the more automatic it becomes and the more open and receptive your senses become to the little things around you.
All of these actions will ultimately help us to live in the here and now, to be fully present in the current moment. In this moment where our pain of the past and our fear of the future do not exist, because in this very moment everything is just fine.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
– Lao Tzu
Which of the above steps did you try out today and what was the experience like?
About the author:
Frauke is a professional Work Frustration Coach, Life Crafter, and has a Masters in Positive Organizational Psychology. She supports women who are frustrated with their work situation and want to regain control of their lives. As a life crafter, she shows people that they have a choice in creating their future and uses a unique approach incorporating hypnosis and positive psychology tools into traditional coaching techniques. If you’re interested in finding out more and want to sign up for a free Clarity Session, contact her here:Schedule FREE Clarity Session