Today, I choose awareness. I choose to be aware of the beauty of life and living. I choose to be aware of the simple pleasures in life. I choose awareness of joy, awareness of peace, and awareness of love.
-Iyanla Vanzant

In these challenging times we are experiencing together or apart, many of us have come to an awakening about what is really important. No matter what is happening ‘out there’ one thing we slowly begin to realize it’s the little things in life that give us the most joy.

Most of us go through the day on automatic pilot. As an example, we can be ‘out to lunch’ while eating lunch! The first step is the awareness that we’re not being present in the moment.

It’s Important to Savor Simple Pleasures

How can we get more present? The key is tuning in by using any one of our senses. Feel the sun on your face, taste the sweet fresh fig, smell the fragrant flower, see the subtle patterns of light as it moves across a room, and hear the sounds of birds that, up until now, have been chirping unnoticed.

Now that the gyms are closed, I have been doing some wonderful walks around the city and have been noticing luminous discoveries on my path that share glimpses of hope and small wonders. I have experienced some wonderful moments of bliss that have been uplifting and inspiring.

Now that we have had to slow down a bit, we may learn how truly to enjoy the simple things that we may have once taken for granted or brushed by without really ‘breathing in’ their beauty.

AFFIRMATION: True Beauty

The Pleasures of the Outdoors

Recognizing that we may be feeling a bit down, getting out in nature is the key. Even if you are living in a big city, seeking out subtle signs of hope can become a game to play with oneself or others. Finding synchronicities and gifts along the way, which are all around us, even in the darkest moments. By embracing the small things that bring us joy, we can lean more towards feeling content and happy. These days the word “Gratitude” can play an important role.

The key is to recognize these moments as they are happening and consciously to take them in. These simple pleasures may be sensuously therapeutic, because they are so “simple.”

Lately, for me, it is getting a deep and good night’s sleep. And we all can benefit from a pure and uncontrollable laugh with a close friend or family member. By embracing the small things that bring us joy, we can shift more towards being content and happy.

RELATED: The Beauty of Nature’s Positive Effects on Your Mind, Body & Soul

The Beauty of Water

Sometimes

the greatest gift

is free time and

empty space.

My favorite spots are anything near, around, or in water. So a beach walk, getting your bare feet grounded in the sand and even diving in the surf is healing and invigorating.

On a recent “soul-journ” to Laguna Beach, I was so uplifted to watch the waves break on the rocks.

Water delights us in so many ways. From the excitement of a waterfall to the subtle sound of a fountain. Walking around a pond or lake and seeing wildlife in their natural habitat is also visually and delightfully pleasing. From jumping in puddles as a child, to diving over and over again in the pool as an adolescent, feeling the waves splashing, or the bubbling water in a Jacuzzi can be be so rejuvenating. My favorite is swimming laps in a pool at sunset as the moon rises.

Make a list of your simple pleasures.

Take the time out to notice and enjoy more of your moments.

Watching the Sunset

This never ceases to amaze! Every day there is a new chance to enjoy this wonder of nature! We are reminded of the presence of the Divine in each and every unique rising and setting.

Hearing Your Old Favorite Song at the Right Moment

Even while driving in traffic, you can be transported back in time and be instantly uplifted. When that right song shows up, the entire meaning of life can become more crystal clear.

Quenching Your Thirst

It is a record-breaking heat and you just finished mowing the lawn or taking a long jog. Your mouth is parched and dry, the only thing on your mind is an iced-cold glass of water.  When you are really, really thirsty, that first sip of plain water is sheer bliss.

Celebrating the small wins in the moment

Don’t wait for the big ones to acknowledge yourself. You achieved a small goal, like getting up real early for that Zoom yoga class and completing it!

Stopping and smelling the roses-(Or any fragrant flower along your path)

When was the last time you actually noticed a vibrant and radiant flower that seemed to be beckoning your nose to just stop, sniff and savor it? Deeply appreciating and taking in its unique perfume can be so inspiring.

Getting/Giving a hug (From a friend, loved one and even pets)

How many hugs do we need? Family therapist Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

While that may sound like a lot of hugs, many hugs are better than not enough. According to Mindbodygreen.com, hugging therapy is definitely a powerful way of healing. Research shows that hugging (along with laughter) is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and stress.

“Simple pleasures are the last healthy refuge in a complex world.”
– Oscar Wilde

Here’s Some More!

 

  • That first cup of coffee, espresso, tea—savoring the taste, smell and richness!
  • Watching fun videos of babies laughing or animals doing funny things.
  • Warm, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.
  • Cuddling.
  • Spending the day at a health spa.
  • Sleeping in fresh sheets.
  • Making someone else smile.
  • Seeing a funny meme.
  • Reading a motivational quote.
  • Practicing meditation.
  • Achieving a goal.
  • Preparing and eating your favorite meal.
  • Making a bucket list of things to do.
  • Writing down things you are grateful for. In fact, just writing this story has reminded me how much I enjoy thinking about and sharing simple pleasures!

“I have lived large parts of my life in wonderful circumstances that I utterly failed to appreciate. Reasons to be happy were everywhere, but somehow I didn’t connect with them. It was as though I was eating but couldn’t taste the food.

Finally, I’ve learned to celebrate the good while it’s happening. I feel gratitude and praise today for what are sometimes such simple pleasures.

I have learned that happiness is not determined by circumstances. Happiness is not what happens when everything goes the way you think it should go; happiness is what happens when you decide to be happy.”

-Marianne Williamson.

Marjorie Hope Rothstein insidewink author

Marjorie Hope Rothstein

Marjorie Hope Rothstein is a LifeStylist who has synthesized her professional training in fine art and interior design into a unique niche, The Fine Art of Living Well. As a spa trends specialist and columnist, including Huffingtonpost, ThriveGlobal, Medium, Longevity, Malibu Magazine and others for over 25 years, she has explored, researched, discovered, and refined her quest for the ultimate wellness lifestyle. Marjorie loves visiting healing retreats and spas (and especially being pampered), while sharing with others the secrets of experiencing simple, sensuous pleasures, through the 5 senses and beyond.

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