How many years do we give life before we finally stop to enjoy the life we have? This is a tired idea, yet it remains as relevant now as ever before. We spend our lives pursuing the next goal – the job, the romantic partner, the house, the… whatever. But, when do we ever say, “Hey, I made it, so I’m going to celebrate this!”
Life is not to be experienced in the curves, the turns, and the highs and lows. Life is to be celebrated in the long plateaus – the ones where we find ourselves day in and day out over the course of a year or longer just… in life – before the next big transition or event. Before you find yourself waiting for the transition event (e.g., a birth, a death, a divorce), celebrate where you are right here and right now!
Sure, it can be hard to find ways to celebrate the life you have when it seems mundane compared to what life could be like when _______ happens. But, there’s a trick to it: use your five senses (i.e., touch, taste, smell, sound, sight).
Every day can seem new when we dive into the senses we already have. To enjoy your morning shower, don’t just shower – feel the temperature of the water on your skin. Just the same, when you eat breakfast in the morning, don’t just bite into a bagel, but really taste the differences between the bagel and the cream cheese on top and how they compliment one another; pay attention to it!
“Stop and smell the roses,” is too cliché. But, perhaps, stop and smell the coffee you’re brewing (or waiting in line for).
Don’t just play music passively where you are, but listen to how it was recorded – the layering of different instruments and their location in the recording. And, while you’re at it, draw! Explore the corner of a blank page with your pen and give life to an image or a series of shapes that weren’t there before.
We are where we focus our attention. You’ve never lived the same day twice, so why feel like you have? Throughout your day, as your mind drifts between thoughts and ideas, return to what you can see in the room (name 10 things you see around you right now). Or, close your eyes and listen carefully for five distinct sounds happening around you. Feel with your body, smell what you eat, and enjoy the taste of it too.
Our bodies offer us five senses to experience life and being alive. Yet, we sometimes turn away from them to daydream, to look forward to something that may or may not happen, or to just not be where we are (e.g., stuck in traffic, getting reprimanded). But, the life you have is worth experiencing. So, ask yourself if you can be more present by feeling, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing all that is around you.
If you find it hard or scary to be present in your everyday life, or if you find yourself living your life in waiting, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mental health counselors. It’s time to experience the life you’re living.