Slow flow and savor

 Slow down, you move too fast, you've got to make the morning last...
This song embodies all that it means to slow down and savor. When you are fully present, you seemingly stop time. You take the time to stop and smell the roses. You enjoy what's happening right in front of you. You get off of the Hedonic treadmill by appreciating the here and now. 

This is a photo of me painting in the South of France. My mom was visiting me during my time abroad. I was a lousy painter, but I can still remember vividly the joys of plein air painting. I remember standing barefoot in the French cracked soil, listening to my favorite mix tape on my Walk Man, giggling with my best friend, Trintje. I remember mixing the paints with lin seed oil. I remember buying the rattan bagt at the market to carry my paint supplies. I remember my little cardboard canvases and the astonishing view of Mt. St. Victoire. I remember buying the necklace I'm wearing in Greece. I remember how much I loved the Greek pattern etched in silver around my neck. I remember the baggy t-shirt and the green sweat pants I had gotten at tennis camp, so many years before. I remember the rip in them. When I look at this picture, I practice reminiscent savoring of the past. Remembering a time when my life was so much simpler, where the sun was warm, the music was good and I was fully present. Where the pace of life was luxuriously slow and where the culture in which I was immersed, savoring was just what you did. 

This photo was taken of me on a retreat with friends. We were walking a labyrinth in silence. I remember deliberately slowing way down to savor this experience. The first time I walked a labyrinth I was confused and rushed. I kept thinking I was near the exit only to be sent on a detour around the circle. This time I relished in the object of the exercise, to slow down, be mindful, enjoy being present. I took a much longer time than the rest of the group. I ended up being there by myself for an hour after everyone had left. I savored that quiet time, the smells, the sounds, the clarity I was feeling after so fully immersing myself in the practice. 

Want more time in your life? • Focusing on the present moment elongates time perception.

savoring is a muscle … the more you practice, the more you’ll get out of it.

How to get more out of less.

One of 12 research based approaches to increasing happiness and wellbeing. It’s a simple skill, when we practice it more and more it unlocks the key to personal mastery. You take your life experiences and get more juice out of them. You don’t necessarily need more. You can get off of the hedonic treadmill.

3 different orientations. Savor the past (reminiscing about positive times in your life) feel the positive emotion that goes with it. This is not rumination or regret. Allowing the positive emotion to wash over you.

Future savoring …
positive anticipation - planning a vacation, getting excited about a future event. The key here is that you detach from the outcome. Savor the positive emotion but drop attachment to outcome.

savoring the present. Savoring in the moment.

Use your senses to train your mindfulness moment, be here in this moment, be fully present and fully in the now to savor. 

Dani Shapiro’s line

I was longing for the moment I was in, even as I was in it. I was mourning it too, as if we were already a yellowed photograph in an album. 

What is Savoring?

Paying close attention, taking delight, replaying life’s momentary pleasures and wonders, through thinking, writing, drawing or sharing with another.

4 approaches to savoring
learn how to get your positive emotion juices flowing. How to get off of the hedonic treadmill and enjoying what you have

luxuriating - sense of site, taste, smell, sense of touch, luxuriate -
marveling - being in a state of awe. Notice how amazing life is. Letting the emotion of awe come over you.
Basking in pride of your accomplishments
Gratitude - an attitude of gratitude - be thankful for what you’ve got and what you’re enjoying

The Life Lens

1) Create a savoring album
Put pictures of your favorite people, favorite places, favorite things, favorite accomplishments. Anything that triggers positive feelings that you can savor. Look at it often, but not too often. Remember the Hedonic adaptation means that you'll be desensitized to that which you look at often. So keep it fresh in your heart and mind by not dipping in too often. But enjoy the positive emotions fully when you do.

2) Savor with your camera
Use your camera as a tool to help you notice and enjance your ongoing experiences. By looking at objects through the lens of the camera and noticing the beauty and meaning in objects often overlooked, you're able to savor them in an appreciative way. Take the time to actually print, frame and enjoy your work.

3) Photos for your Soul

Be open to beauty and excellence. It is everywhere. Feel reverence and awe for beautiful objects and moving performances. People who open themselves to the beauty and excellence around them are more likely to find joy, meaning and profound connections in their lives . Don't go through life wearing blinders to everything that is touching, beautiful, virtuous and magnificent- Sonja Lyubomirsky

4) Pick two activities in your day that you will deliberately slow way down and savor. Engage all of your senses, be mindful, yet also appreciative. 

Be careful that using the camera doesn't detract from being present. I realized that I sometimes used my camera to detach from a situation several years ago when my husband's grandmother was dying. In a frenzied flight situation, I had accidentally left my camera in the airport on the way to visit her. It was never found. I went through the weekend without my usual way of interacting with extended family. I had no camera. It was actually quite liberating to just be fully present. Not taking any pictures, not trying to make photographic memories. The time still is etched in my heart. No camera needed.