We had a lovely speaker return to my women’s group last week. She is an expert on women’s health, and once again she provided us with arcane and useful information that we could have gotten nowhere else. She did it with such gentle grace and humor that we felt soothed and refreshed at the end of an intense hour and a half.
At the end of her talk she announced that this was her last talk. She had resigned from her job in order to have time to smell the roses.
How lovely for her. How lousy for us.
We might wonder: must we wait for the end of our careers in order to have time to enjoy life? Is there no other way to savor life deeply?
Here’s a little experiment to try: Select a beautiful object – how about a rose? – to contemplate fully and completely for all of two minutes. Immerse yourself in the experience; notice color, texture, line, fragrance, whatever is relevant to the object you have chosen.
Feeling distracted and fidgety? Take a deep, slow breath and continue to gaze at this object.
Immerse yourself in its timeless beauty. Savor it.
Don’t do this just once and then forget about it.
You might make a small collection of objects that are suitable for relaxed gazing; a kaleidoscope, with its vast array of changing patterns, has always been one of my favorites. Keep your collection handy when you need to pause and remember how to savor life.
What if we incorporated a little rosebud sniffing into our daily life? I thought of this as I rushed from one appointment to another last week. Yes, I was walking rapidly, but at the same time I noticed, and deeply appreciated, the cherry blossoms and the lacy patterns of their shadows on the sidewalk, the almost-neon green of the new grass, and the flash of red as a cardinal darted in and out of the foliage.
Even as you move through your busy daily routine, you can remind yourself to leave no rose unsniffed.