For many people, acknowledging their enjoyment of something is as simple as saying, “I like this.” If you were, for example, eating a delicious, perfectly ripe pomegranate, you may say to yourself or another person, “This is delicious,” and then move on to thinking about other things. But a lot can happen if you allow more space in that moment for your enjoyment.
There are so many ways to enjoy ourselves each day, in every place and scenario. From beautiful blossoming buds to a much-need hug, the sense of enjoyment can be kindled by any our senses. So often, though, we zip past those moments to move on to the next task. We become preoccupied by some problem that needs solving, or some conversation we wish had gone differently, or some email that needs to be written. When we do that, we miss the opportunity to have an embodied experience of our enjoyment – to form a lasting experience that we can carry with us.
During the next few days, I invite you to pause for a moment when you notice yourself enjoying something in the world. What does the fruit actually taste like? What do the blossoming flowers smell like? What’s the texture of your loved one’s clothing as you embrace them? Can you feel their heart beating against your chest, their breathing on your neck? Pause for a moment to notice a detail or two about what it is that you’re enjoying – to take in the sensual experience of experience itself.
Then take an additional moment to notice how your body feels in that moment. Are there places in your body that feel open, warm, flowing, happy, or good in some undefinable sense? As you take a second to sense how your body feels, remember to breathe. If you are aware of any tension being held in your body, breathe deeply into those parts of yourself and let them relax.
Lastly, even once the moment is over, allow yourself a second or two to linger in the moment, recalling what details you noticed and how your body feels. Perhaps you can count to five to give yourself a real moment to truly experience what you are enjoying.
Once you try this, you’ll see that all of this takes a mere few seconds. It’s an incredibly quick exercise that can be entirely internal if you want it to be. By allowing yourself the space and awareness to more fully experience your own enjoyment, you’ll likewise be better able to access those feelings and memories as resources in the future when you need them. It may, for example, be easier the next time that you’re having a difficult day to remember the last time you hugged a loved one … how it felt, how it made you feel. While this memory can’t override any difficult feelings, it can support and strengthen you in the current moment.