By Dr. Graham
We are sensory beings, designed to feel sensations. Not all sensations are pleasant and indeed some people do live with chronic and terrible pain, physical or emotional. But joy and bliss are also part of the array of feelings we are designed to feel. When we get a hint of happiness or pleasantness do we pay scant regard to it or do we stop for a moment, breathe deeply, smile and let bliss wash over?
Remember the phrase “Stop and smell the roses? I don’t know who coined it but I checked Wiktionary and it explained, “To relax. To take time out of one’s busy schedule to enjoy or appreciate the beauty of life”. Thank you Wikipedia. Interesting that also in that column of related terms was “gather rosebuds” and “seize the day”.
The other day I was walking-trotting along one of our amazing beaches; the dog was smiling, sun shining and for the first time in a while I did not have any niggles or stiffness in any of my joints (usually there is a bit of something somewhere). I thought “Wow. How good IS THIS?!” A thought from somewhere told me I should really celebrate this, just drop thoughts of doing stuff and allow myself to be in this moment. So I did. With my super-busy life, usually I don’t remember so vividly these events over a week later. I’m sure it’s so clear because I actually disciplined myself to be more present.
But is it really necessary we have all our ducks in a row to say, “Right-o it’s ok to be happy now”? I don’t know if it’s meant to be perfect before we stop and appreciate things. I think there are a couple of layers to this; one being to have the presence of mind to make time for dropping in to feel happiness and appreciation – another is to take that next step of letting stress layers fall to one side to allow oneness with what we are experiencing. For example when you go to an amazing waterfall, are you the person who melts into the beauty or do you run around with a selfie stick?
Joy and bliss are true and valid feelings we as humans are designed to feel, if only we would allow ourselves to get out of the way. Sure, there is a lot of heavy stuff in the world right now. I don’t mean to make light of that at all. If we want to help we could find something in our power to do so – it could be praying or meditating or it could be making a donation. Some recent events have proven the power of positive people when aligned as one.
Recently I was invited to join a men’s group, we work in similar fields. We have done a trip on a wild river and we talk and share online. It has been amazing to see the opening of these mens’ hearts – we – us, a bunch of guys in business with a lot of busy-ness!! Our early conversations were more about how to be successful in business whereas now we are talking about how we feel, what stresses us out, etc. We are taking some time out to stop and appreciate what we care deeply for. And guess what? We are feeling more connected than ever before. We are sharing our successes, fears and unkowns. I think we needed the group focus to give us the permission to do that, because the common presumption in 21st century life seems to be “do a lot of stuff and have a lot of stuff”.
Hugging is a great way to enliven our sensory world. Dr Darren Weisman, creator of The LifeLine Technique says the best way to hug is do it heart to heart. “Of course” I thought. But how often do we do what I call a “Hollywood” hug ie hurried and awkward when really we get more value if we put our heart on our beloved’s heart and smooch in for a proper greeting, that’s when we feel a connection with our beloved and with ourselves, because we actually stop a moment and FEEL 🙂 . I guess that goes for kisses, too. Out with those “air” kisses and in with the lips on cheeks people!
What about the way we hold a presence with someone? Have you heard the saying, “Yeah, what – I’m listenin’ at ya”. So do we listen to them in order to formulate a reply or do we listen so we understand their position? I read that somewhere the other day and realized there is actually a big difference.
My direction here is to encourage us to chill a bit, listen to our inner self, listen to our loved ones and even try to appreciate another’s view. Also to suggest a reminder of the importance of connecting with love and gratitude for all that is and all we have.
When I look back on my half hour on the beach the other day I realize at that special moment in time with just me, Jasper the dog, the sea and sky – I felt like the wealthiest man alive. There will be more of these balmy days before Winter sets in so let’s open our hearts for some warming.