"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." Rumi
A recent article by the Greater Good Science Center (UC Berkeley) speaks to "Savoring Moments of Joy," and reports that studies tell us that taking time to notice and appreciate positive experiences leads to greater happiness. When we savor positive emotions like joy, contentment, or enthusiasm during the day, we experience less stress and burnout, and greater self-efficacy and emotional resilience.
Savoring is mindful awareness. When we savor, the report says, we aren't only feeling pleasure, but actively noticing and acknowleding that pleasure which actually extends our enjoyment of the moment. This is the perfect season to slow down and relish in simple moments of joy. Sparkling lights, the warmth of a hot mug in our hands, the smell of cookies baking, the satisfaction of finding the perfect gift for a loved one - or sharing our blessings with those less fortunate...
And if you need some help in slowing down, getting grounded, or finding time to notice and savor - the article offers a short mindfulness meditation that can help us to envision a sense of deep well-being, extend loving-kindness to ourselves, and imagine how we might "show up" in the world -- with greater compassion and openness.
So give yourself this gift today (and whenever you can use a reminder). Find a quiet place where you can sit, stand, or lay down, whichever is the most comfortable. Close your eyes (or keep them open), whichever you prefer. And play the following audio recording:
And if you don't have 10 minutes right now to pause for this meditation - take one minute to affirm:
May I be well, happy and safe.
May I be free from suffering and at ease with pain.
May I experience and manifest loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.