Savoring is one of the secrets to living the Renewable Life. We go through our days consuming quickly and acting on autopilot, but savoring grounds us into our core values. It slows us down, we become present, and enjoy all aspects of what we are consuming and experiencing. It's a choice that helps us feel better and make smarter and more sustainable decisions.
When we rush from activity to activity, it gets pretty easy to start missing out on the small stuff. Sure, we may be checking items off of our to-do lists, but are we really making progress on what is most meaningful? Instead, let’s take the time to savor each activity fully: leave more time than you think you will need to get somewhere, include time to properly prepare for what you are about to do and to properly reflect on and wrap up what you just finished. More often than not, we will end up doing a better job, noticing new insights, and feeling more accomplished and less chaotic. Exercise is a great example of this. Normally, we want to make sure we get our movement in, so we end up cramming it into our schedule and rushing through it, barely noticing what is going on around us. If we leave enough time to fully engage in our workout, we can avoid injury, focus on our movements, and savor the good energy that we are building.
Sometimes we go beyond packing our schedule to overpacking, forcing us to do many things all at once. Yes, we may be capable of checking emails and drinking a protein shake while unicycling to work, but are we really getting everything we need out of each of these activities? Instead, let’s focus on one action at a time: consider how you will know when it is complete, take steps towards that goal, and then reflect on how it went and if anything is missing. If you get stuck, take a moment to breathe and consider what is holding you back. You will end up feeling much more engaged in the task at hand and more in control of how you interact with and move through the world. A good place to practice this one is breaking the habit of eating while we working. Instead, deliberately take a break to eat. Focus on that and savor the food. You'll be surprised at how quickly it changes what you eat and how you feel about it. Your body and mind will both get nourished.
When we rush, we tend to miss things. It’s okay not to notice every small detail, but if we make a habit out of it, the consequences can add up: important details slip by, opportunities are missed, and experiences are less enriching. Instead, try deliberately looking for little things to enjoy - a ray of light, a sound, the smell of your morning coffee. Try something new or doing your usual thing in a new way. Take note of what your senses are trying to tell you, and maybe put them down in a journal. If you are deliberate in looking for the joy in every activity, you will find new joys in what you already do. Commuting offers an interesting look at this. Whether we walk, take public transportation, or drive, we can all get stuck going the same ways and thinking the same thoughts. A more deliberate commute might involve playing a game to spot something different each day or simply noticing a new restaurant or store opening. By using what we already have to focus on, we can improve our safety, find new uses for well-used paths (try the new restaurant!), and find delight in something that started out boring and mundane.
Savoring helps us renew the joy of the every day. What can you savor today?