Finding Zen Experiment: Savoring

Update: Week 1

This week, rather than making a list of the things I wanted to savor during this experiment, as I had originally planned to do, I decided to just keep my eye out for an opportunity to savor something each day. This approach worked well, and I was able to savor a wide variety of things this week.

Saturday, February 2

Emma, my preschool-age daughter, was unusually cuddly. I took advantage of the rare occurrence, and blocked out the rest of the world for about 10 minutes while she napped in my lap. Life does not get better than that. It was blissful. Unfortunately, it turned out that Emma was cuddly because she was feeling really sick, and she ended up throwing up a few times that evening. I didn’t have an opportunity to really evaluate how the experience of savoring had affected me that day, since I was busy being a caring, devoted mommy to my poor, sick girl (she was fine by the next morning).

Sunday, February 3

I threw myself into the preparation of chili and some jalapeño-cornbread muffins. Then, just before it was time to eat, I savored a few minutes of designing the photo of a tasty, attractive bowl that I shared here. It was fun to arrange the bowl, a colorful towel, and some chopped green onions on my counter top, and then to spoon the chili into the bowl (no drips!), shred and carefully place the cheese and a few of the green onions on top, and select just the right muffin for the shot. In that moment, I was a professional food blogger, and it felt great! Of course, I used my iPhone’s camera, and not a DSLR or other proper camera, so the illusion was incomplete, but I think the picture turned out nice.

Monday, February 4

I enjoyed some unexpected quiet time at home to truly savor the writing experience. I drafted a few blog post outlines, wrote a new post from scratch, edited some posts I’d already crafted, and created a plan for future post topics. It was a productive and wonderfully creative time. And fun, too! But, how was this any different from just writing for the blog? I tuned out all distractions, paid attention to how ideas came to me, and really opened myself and my mind up to whatever flowed through me. It was really neat, and I will be doing this again!

Yoga Video Tree Pose - VrksasanaTuesday, February 5

I savored doing yoga for the first time in ages. Granted, it was Wii Fit yoga, but I really dialed in on the poses, focused on my breathing, felt the stretches, and paid close attention to how my body responded to the new-again moves. I had great balance at the start, but as my ankles began to fatigue, I was unable to hold the tree pose, and others. The quick fatigue surprised me, since I know I’m stronger than I was the last time I did yoga, but I haven’t been strengthening my core or my ankles, apparently. My mind felt refreshed after the yoga, and my body surprisingly weary.

Wednesday, February 6

I woke up before my alarm for the first time in forever, and I figured it was a sign that I should use that time to really savor the wonderfully warm, soft, safe feeling of being ensconced in my bed under a few layers of covers. The ambient temperature in the room was quite chilly, so my nose, cheeks and ears were noticeably cooler than the rest of me. I wasn’t wearing socks, so I could feel the satiny smoothness of our sheets against my toes. The feeling was positively luscious. When my alarm went off, I got out of bed feeling grateful, and ready to start the day.

Thursday, February 7

Five Guys makes a burger and fries worth savoring, so I did just that on Thursday. I ordered the little bacon cheeseburger with lettuce and barbecue sauce. I always spritz a little malt vinegar on top of their french fries for an extra kick, too. There was an explosion of sensations with every bite of the burger. Tangy (bbq), smooth (meat), crunchy (bacon), crisp (lettuce), soft (bun)… The burger itself was savory and juicy, the lettuce firm and cool, the bacon salty and cooked just right, and the bun was fresh and slightly sweet. The fries were hot, as usual, with a lovely crunch on the outside, yet chewy and airy on the inside. Topped with a sprinkle of salt and a hint of vinegar, they were a delightfully tart accompaniment to the burger.

Friday, February 8

On Friday, I savored the ritual of getting ready for bed. I usually rush through the steps as quickly as I can, to ensure maximum time in bed. Instead, I went about the steps a little earlier than normal, while my family was still enjoying a movie, and I had a little time to myself. I took pleasure in taking care of myself. I changed into some clean pajamas (flannel pants and a matching soft cotton top), flossed and brushed my teeth, and then I washed my face. I took a moment to clean the sink and the faucet, as well as the counter space around it, and I wiped down the mirror, as well. It felt fantastic to really pay attention to myself, and to remember that even when I take my time with it, the whole process is only about 10 minutes long. I should make time for it more often!

What did you savor this week?

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