My brother-in-law told me a story yesterday that I keep coming back to, thinking about, and appreciating the gentle reminder it provided. Nearly all of us, myself included, can use a gentle nudge back to the YUM we are missing every day.
While preparing to enter the pool for his regular lap workout, my brother-in-law noticed a young child beginning her private swim lesson nearby. She winced and wiggled, not at all comfortable with this new, wet, anti-gravity environment. The instructor calmed the child with a soft voice and a gentle hand, encouraging her to lean back and relax.
At first, she resisted, not trusting this unfamiliar position in the water, but slowly she relaxed and settled into the instructors supportive hands. Then the smile appeared, broad and bright, silently screaming, “I did it!”
My brother-in-law soaked it in, enjoying the landmark moment, probably also remembering similar times with his own children. He turned around to see the child’s mother, anticipating the joy she must have felt. Unfortunately, she missed it completely, her hands moving rapidly over the keys of her mobile phone, eyes turned down to look at the screen.
I taught a class about tasting and savoring food just a few days ago. The challenge to stay mindful is no different – or any easier – than remembering to enjoy the many simple pleasures of everyday life when constant distractions get in the way. We miss a large amount of eating enjoyment by neglecting to be present as we eat!
The taste of food can be such a pleasure, yet how often do any of us fully appreciate each bite? Just as it is an impossible goal to be totally present in our lives at all moments, we will never taste every bite, yet it certainly helps to remember to try once in a while. This alone can make less feel like enough.