Last summer, I took a meditation course at a local university. In one of the sessions, the instructor handed each of us a grape. We were asked to savor the grape, to concentrate on the texture and taste of the grape, to bite into it once, feel the juice in our mouths, and allow the grape to disintegrate on our tongues rather than chew it. It took me nine minutes to eat a single grape. Nine whole minutes. Now before you go off thinking that I’ve absolutely lost my mind, think about it for a minute, when was the last time you took a moment to savor the moment?
I know so many people who rush from one moment to the next, one dream to the next without truly savoring the moment. We all know someone who was planning for their first child just days after getting married, planning for their second child rather than savoring time with the first one, planning the next vacation on the flight home from this one, or planning for their next car before paying off the one they currently drive.
The day after my meditation class I tried to live mindfully. On the hour and half commute to work I rolled down the windows, turned up the radio, and when traffic moved, in my otherwise bumper to bumper commute, I sang at the top of my lungs. But by the ride home, I was frustrated by a long day on the job, the traffic, and physically in pain, from ongoing medical issues. How could I live a mindful life?
It’s difficult to savor the moment, and I’m certain it takes a lifetime to master, but every day I try a little bit harder. In doing so I’ve found happiness in the things I have, and have stopped thinking about the things I don’t. It hadn’t dawned on me just how much my mindset had changed, until I caught myself telling someone that I didn’t care if I received a raise at work. It seems the more I live for today, the more content I become with my life. Now don’t get me wrong I have a very, very, very nice life, but the more I count my blessings the less I feel the need to raise my salary to enjoy my life.