I’m taking a break today from the extraordinary stresses we’ve all been undergoing since the pandemic’s outbreak. Though those challenges continue, I choose to soothe the anxiety and worry they provoke, elevating my spirit by focusing some of the things I’m savoring right now. Doing this calls forth positive emotions that can be elusive nowadays, leaving me feeling stronger and more able to cope.
Six Things To Make Us Smile
Writing about six of the things I’m savoring now deepens my enjoyment of them. In fact, that’s one more thing to savor! Focusing my attention on those things by writing really makes a difference. See if that’s true for you, too. Write about one or more of the things you’re presently savoring. It doesn’t have to be publication-ready. Just let yourself express your truest thoughts and feelings, letting the writing flow without worrying about spelling, grammar or formatting, and see what emerges.
So here they are – 6 of the things I’m savoring right now.
1. Uplifting music. Karajan Conducts Vivaldi and Bach is playing in my office as I write. My spirit soars along with the notes.
2. The election’s outcome. It feels like the doors of hope and possibility have opened up. We’re poised to move forward and become a stronger, kinder, better, and more compassionate nation than we have been.
3. My family’s and friends’ love, compassion, and humor. The past 7-8 months have brought turmoil and struggle, and the future remains uncertain. Yet, I’m still here! I’ve gotten this far, and will make through to whatever’s on the other side of our current situation. Much of the credit for that has to do the way my family and friends been there for me and each other, pulling together, bringing comfort, help, caring and laughter.
4. Enjoying the signs of fall. We’ve been treated to glorious fall colors this year, quite a few sunny, beautiful days to break up autumn’s chillier, rainy spells. The squirrels are busy foraging the remains of our gardens, finding supplies that will help see them through the winter. For Halloween our neighborhood spontaneously hosted a socially distanced, masked, and still exuberant celebration.
5. The enticing aroma of soup simmering on the stove. I’ve been enjoying the satisfaction of creating something nourishing and delicious to enjoy, and anticipating its warming comfort.
6. Letting my granddaughter show me how to do it. This ever busy 2- year old presently spends 2-3 days a week with us. She arrives in the early afternoon and stays through dinner and bath time. She’s shown me options for handling uncertainty. Sophia finds her safety and consistency in her important caregiving relationships. She has a pretty predictable daytime routine, but like all two-year olds, she never really knows what she’ll encounter next. Much of what she experiences, including her own continually burgeoning skills, is brand-new and surprising. For her, there’s excitement and discovery in not-knowing. What if I could face life’s uncertainty with some of that sense of curiosity and even (at times) excitement?
These are six of the things I’m intentionally savoring right now. After accepting, comforting and soothing difficult emotions as best as I can, I set an intention to find uplift and joy. This further calms the anxiety and worry that naturally arises in response to the our current circumstances, reminding me of the joy and wonder that life continues to hold.
What are you savoring these days?
Some More Things We Can Savor
Note From Yamuna: This newsletter brings ways to bring more ease to your life through taking care of your body. I discovered her approach about 14 years ago, as I was seeking ways to heal from a prolonged episode of back pain. It’s been a key part of my wellness routine ever since. The current issue offers simple exercises for taking care of hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders.
Kindness Initiative: George Mason University in Fairfax VA is launching the Mason Chooses Kindness well-being initiative. Their definition of kindness: “Intentionally engage in positive action that is friendly, caring and compassionate toward self and others.” I’m curious to see the direction this initiative takes.
Laughter, an Unexpected Part of the Cancer Experience: While I’m no advocate of toxic positivity – the kind that forbids admission of distress or difficulty – I’m a big on coping with difficulty by summoning resilience and strength. Debbie Legault’s post made me laugh. It shares the power of laughter to lift us up, even in the midst of challenging times.