Noticing. Key to being, and living a pleasure-filled life.
Much of my life has been focused on getting things done. And I’ve often measured the success of my life by my accomplishments, at the expense of how I felt during the day, or if I was really present. And oh, I've spent hours living in the future, for example planning things or rehearsing conversations and activities that I’m not able to actually do in the moment. Having an imaginary conversation with someone who isn't there ....... hmmmmmmmmm .... now that's really a bit crazy, eh? Is it just me? Do you ever do that?
On the plus side, I also savor and enjoy sweet memories.
And those sweet memories are usually of times when I was really present. Being with a dear friend, showing up for someone I love. Exploring outdoors and nature. Singing, dancing, playing music. Unhurried expanses of time, of sensual and sexual play. Being an adventurer - swimming with whale sharks, hang gliding, climbing a volcano. Being silly and laughing like crazy!
I have never regretted spending time and money on travel, or experiences that I really wanted to do.
What are your favorite memories?
How wonderful it would be if more of life were spent in sweet, present moments. I am learning that the key to this is noticing! Noticing what I feel in my body, paying attention to my five senses, and my emotions, thoughts, and desires. Noticing what I’m feeling and honestly expressing that can feel really vulnerable sometimes, and it enriches my life and relationships.
Right now, I’m sitting on my porch, and there is a gentle breeze caressing my legs. The air temperature is perfect! I feel the support of the chair, the pull of gravity on my sitz bones and my back. I hear the rhythmic whirring of cicadas, the intermittent chirp of birds, and the lush rustle of wind in the leaves of the trees outside my apartment. I taste the english breakfast tea in my mouth. I just paused and took a deeper breath and felt it filling my lungs and my lower abdomen. I am aware of a mosquito bite on my right shin that itches!!
What are you noticing in your body right now?
Another way that I practice noticing is paying attention to how things that I do make me feel. Sometimes I do this at the end of the day, reviewing my day with an eye toward what pleased me. This expands my view of what constitutes success for me, from just getting stuff done, to really noticing and enjoying what I do ... and choosing more mindfully what I do, based on that. Allowing a shift in perspective from productivity to pleasure.
I've shared it before, but here again is the process I use for this daily review, in case you’d like to try it. Since it also directly elevates my self esteem, I call it the self esteem building process.
I’d love to hear your experience with noticing, and wish you a pleasurable day filled with moments of deep presence and joy.