“As you pee, don’t just think of it as something you’ve done thousands of times, to be taken for granted. Feel the sensation like it’s the first time. Be a child who has never noticed what the bubbles of pee look like in a toilet before. It’s a thing of wonder, a thing to behold with the same weight as we behold all of life, and sex, and death.” *
Of late (last few months) I have been spending a lot of time thinking about this: being present.
Quick question: Do you know the taste of the coffee or tea or juice you drank this morning? Do you remember the sensations on your tongue as you sipped? Do you recall the feeling of the fluid flowing down your gut? Do you remember the aroma? Or did you gulp it down so fast you nearly forgot to swallow it before you flew out the door because you were late to go somewhere? If you did this, fear not, you are in plenty of company! Unfortunately, most of us live our lives that way. Nothing really matters. We don’t really enjoy or experience what we do, we just do. We eat to get full. We drink to quench thirst. We drive to only arrive at our destination. Like zombies! Failing to notice the billion things happening all around us. New buildings coming up, the beautiful sky, the nice chilly air, our tummies rumbling, the sound of footsteps, the sound of rubber on tarmac, the feel of the morning on on your face.
I dare you to stand still in the shower the next time you’re there and just do nothing, except breathe; let the water flow down your back. Feel the water hit your shoulders. Feel the temperature of the water. Just breathe. Do this for 30 seconds. I promise you, you have never felt that before. A scaringly vast majority of humanity does not have the freakishly immense opportunity to do that- to stand under heated running water. The next time you eat a fruit: eat it one single bite at a time. Swallow before you take another bite. Feel the fruit in your mouth. Observe yourself salivate. And begin to truly enjoy the fruit.
Do this more often:
Look at whoever you’re speaking to; look around you when you walk; turn off the music and take off the headphones as you commute, listen to the sounds and take in the scents. Not everyone can hear. Not everyone can afford to pay for a matatu or has somewhere to actually go to (work, home, meet with friends etc.).
When we truly experience (what we see, what we hear, what we eat, who we speak to, who we love, everything!!!!), everything becomes a big deal. Life makes a bit more sense and the “little,” “ordinary” and “normal” things we do become more. We become more alive. And (I think) we become more joyful.
Try it this week and let me know what you think. Maybe i’m just being weird :-)
If you think i’m just being a strange person, check out this article (it is really short by the way ;-) ) and join me; let’s be more strange joyful people :-D
* Borrowed from zenhabits, an uber cool blog by Leo Babuta: http://zenhabits.net/inhabit/