(Click HERE for writing relating to savouring.)

Exploring objects through the senses; through stillness and the slower pleasures of life. In the age of the 30-second attention span and the clamour for instant (often virtual) gratification it’s a challenge to allow sufficient time to savour an object, and be fully aware of it’s particular pleasures. There’s a need to deliberately focus attention on it by carving out the space to relish the object thoroughly and mindfully.

And, then allow time to re-visit and remember that pleasure too.

Four strategies in support of Savouring the Moment:

1. Make a Quiet List:

If I’m overloaded, stressed and anxious I struggle to think straight and often ignore the voice inside; at such times the subtlety or abstract qualities of an object are missed. That’s where a Quiet List comes in handy. It’s simply a list of positive actions I know help relax me. They’re instant actions that calm me down and provide focus. The only constraint I have in adding to the list is that it has to be possible now, ie. that is it must be accessible and realistic, so no foreign trips or expensive purchases…

Here’s a few of the ideas I’ve come up with so far:

Open the window
Take a lingering look at the sky…
Walk and take time to look around…
Tend a plant…
Pick up a pencil and draw…
Read a chapter…
Enjoy thinking about the ‘tower’ of new books waiting in the wings…
Have a poem on the go…
Tidy my (psychological or actual) desk…
Go to a quiet place and close my eyes…
Get a coffee…
Savour trees in all Seasons…
Learn more about native flowers…
Look at maps…
Take any walk by water…
Write up a Journal…
Drink a glass of (very) cold milk…
Turn on the radio…
Stop…
Grab a stick and play… (Our Joe’s approach to life)

2.    Be present:

Our minds aren’t simply linear processors, they naturally wander and bear little resemblance to a single line going for a walk.

taking a line for a walk 1 cropped

Rather our minds are lazy, crowded and chaotic. They’re multi-stranded, with each strand fraying at the end into countless other threads.

luke-ramsey-02

 When we’re busy the threads snarl up and knot together;

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and we fail to see the woods for the trees and struggle to see the big picture for the surrounding mass of details.

bosque-de-oma-2008

Distraction is a challenge of savouring. Instead of enjoying being in the moment, what’s happening now, our minds wander off. Unfortunately we quite often wander off to our worries. So savouring an object is about gently closing off the noise of the world and re-focusing on pleasure

3.    Freeze Frame

I find acknowledging the positive when it happens surprising difficult. If something good or enjoyable happens I too easily accept the fact with a shrug and move on. I pass over it. I focus on what went wrong and ignore the fact that many positives happen too.

It’s one of the reasons why I take masses of photographs. Photography for me are critical Thin Objects because they act as an antidote to damp squib mindset. Photographs freeze frame moments to be savoured later.

A photograph has the ability to begin a totally other story.

4.  Time travel (or a little delayed gratification can go a long, long way…)

I’ve often thought that one of the secrets of improving the quality of life is to try and have something to look forward to – or something positive to look back upon. Increasingly I’m realising that no matter how small that ‘something’ is, the positive effect’s the same.

(Click HERE for writing relating to savouring.)

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