If we were to find ourselves living the last day of our lives, how would we spend it? Mulling over trivial matters, regretting past actions, fearing the end? Or would we spend it with loved ones, in nature, in the moment?
I know what I would do.
I would spend it the same way I wish to be spending my time when I’m working, when time is limited, when I appreciate all the things I take for granted.
I have a list of things that make me happy – simple, mindful ways to bring joy to me instantly, and today I am going to share this list with you.
“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” ― Walt Whitman
My Favourite ways to embrace the moment
- Reading – books open me up to a world far bigger, and adventurous than my own, but they give me much more than escape. They give me perspective, hope, and are reminders of moments spent in the garden, at coffee shops, bookstores, with a certain character by my side.
- Drinking tea – Earl Grey, Chai, Lapsang Souchong, herbal tea from my own garden, rich and smoky, sweet and spicy, fresh and uplifting – flavours that transport me to another time and place, or anchor me in the moment as I sip from my vintage teacup, taking note of the weather, and all my surroundings.
- Writing letters to friends, and reading theirs – there is something to be said for the way a letter through your door can brighten your day in an instant. The postage stamp from a distant land, the handwriting, the innermost thoughts of an old friend encapsulated inside. The same way it feels to put your thoughts on paper, as if gathering all the elements as you describe your current writing position, date, and location. Perhaps it’s the knowing how far your words will travel, that makes them all the more precious to be shared.
- Using my senses – those who know me well, would say I incorporate my senses in everything I do. Smell is often a sense we overlook, but it has the ability to transcend and carry nostalgia – from the perfume that reminds you of someone special, to that childhood scent you can’t place – whenever you smell it, it transports you back to secret dens, sleepovers, and park swings. The same can be said for touch, taste, sight, and hearing – the best way to embrace the moment, is to become aware of all your senses.
- Standing in a rain shower – some people get wet, others get rejuvenated.
- Sitting under the night sky – gazing at the stars, talking to the Moon, contemplating our very existence – and the best part is, the night sky is completely free to view.
- Drawing, painting, creating – you know how time seems to stop when you’re doing what you love? Creating, in any way that you enjoy, means tapping into an unlimited abundance of energy – the flow zone.
- Reading by candlelight – of course, to get the full experience of reading a vintage book, or really any book (especially a spooky one), reading by candlelight anchors the moment with every page, and creates a magic all its own.
- Taking a bubble bath – with essential oils, and candles.
- Listening to ‘smooth’ radio in the evening – Gold, Mellow Magic, and BBC Radio Solent, play smooth, mellow music that I find very relaxing as I’m winding down for bed.
- Baking and Cooking – not only do you get to savour the delicious things you have been making, but you get the whole experience – from the creating, to the smell of the kitchen, the adventure of trying a new recipe, and sharing the moment with loved ones.
- Listening to birds singing
- Walking – whether it’s in nature, or a bustling city, we always take our senses with us – that means we have a whole world of adventure to discover, even walking down the street.
- Writing – personal, poetry, prose, or any form of writing, to me is an opportunity to translate my current experience into a piece of written art. Making a gratitude list is also my number one way for instantly tapping into the moment, and lifting my mood.
- The feel of soft material on my skin – silk, satin, organic and bamboo cotton – the kind of materials I would love to be wrapped up in all day.
- Yoga and meditation – no matter what I am facing, yoga and mediation help me set aside my mind, and fully embrace the moment. There’s a reason why we say, “What happens on the mat, stays on the mat” – my yoga mat is a boat adrift a turbulent tide. It’s a place to cry, laugh, inhale, exhale, be present, take care of myself, and let everything else go.
- Listening to the rain outside – whether it’s dark and I’m drifting off to sleep, or I’m in my studio with the window open, hearing the rain soothes my soul.
- Sunshine on my skin – and of course, feeling the sun on my skin on a Spring morning, or summer evening, is an experience I would like to bottle and wear.
What’s on your list? let me know in the comments.
Click here to visit my YouTube channel for mindful living videos, and visually see how I embrace the moment.
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But for now, I am off to do some things on my list!
Until next time,
Related, mindful content:
- Hawa Ridhwani @sustainableexshopaholic