One of the things I try to do is to celebrate every aspect of life.
I think life is this huge, incredible smorgasbord of delights and I want to savor every bite.
I do it by "inhaling the moment." I try to pause during the small moments of life that make up daily life to really feel with all my senses.
First thing every morning, I smell the freshly brewed pot of coffee and celebrate the goodness of that first sip.
Most mornings I amber outside on the lanai to begin my daily celebration of life by tuning in to the splendid display of nature that is all around me. For the past few months I'm greeted each morning by delighting in the riot of color in my flower garden. I note every bud, every flower that makes up the colorful canvas outside my door.
A soaring bird gets my attention as I appreciate that small aviation wonder, watching the bird soar higher and higher.
I tune in the sounds that play in the early morning silence. A woodpecker sends its staccato message while mourning doves coo to each other. The gentle breeze blesses my face while I watch the sky streak with color.
I inhale all those little details as a way of being truly present in the moment a way to feel each second of the day.
I just went to a seminar that discussed savoring life by being attuned to all the small moments of a day. I was thinking, yes, I already do that until one participant talked about mindful eating.
She mentioned how she learned to do mindful eating savoring each bite she eats ever so slowly instead of shoveling down food without thought.
"It's a good technique for weight control as well as for celebrating the goodness of each meal," she said.
After listening to her I realized that when I have to eat alone I am guilty of reading while I eat. I'm not mindful of what or how much I am eating. I just mechanically lift my fork, concentrating on my reading material and not on the food.
After that seminar, I'm trying to do more mindful eating. I can't say I'm totally successful at concentrating on each bite of my food. But I have learned I can celebrate life with each bite when I put my mind to it.
The older I get, the more I want to celebrate every bit of life. I've learned that even at my age, I can appreciate every aspect of life more when I alter my attitude.
The other day my friend Jeanne mentioned how happy she is that summer is waning and fall is officially here. "It's wonderful to feel the changes in the air' she said.
I don't think so, I told her. If I had my way, summer would last forever.
See what I'm doing? By not fully enjoying each and every season, I'm limiting my appreciation of life.
So now, instead of grumbling about summer disappearing, I'm trying to glory in the new crispness in the air. I'm opening my doors and windows and enjoying the way I can enjoy fresh air instead of only air-conditioned air.
Believe it or not, I'm even trying to extend my appreciation to things I hate. Like snakes, for instance. I cringe at the sight of any snake. My neighbors tell me not to worry about the black snakes because they are "good snakes," harmless and beneficial to the environment.
Truthfully, I believe the only good snake is a dead snake.
The other day when we were biking, we passed a multicolored snake that had been run over. I looked at it with revulsion. But then I tried to appreciate how intricately it was designed. I could afford to do that only because it was dead. The thing about nature is the closer you look, the more you see. The more you see, the more you can appreciate how wondrous our world is.
Someone coined the phrase life is good.
For those who take time to savor every aspect of life, it's more than good.
I hope you, too, enjoy every bite.