woman savoring a cup of coffeeWhen we reach mid-life I believe our relationship with clock and calendar begins to shift if we allow it to shift. Otherwise we remain slave to the restrictions of schedules and to-do lists. I make it a personal rule to remind myself whenever I become concerned about what time it is to slow down and savor life even if only for a moment.

After my labor day weekend trip to a beautiful, serene mountain lake with my family where we were forcefully unplugged from electronic devices due to no cell phone coverage and scant wifi, I had a lot of time and space for reflection on what really matters in life. I concluded that in order to simplify my life I had to commit to a steady ritual of slowing down and savoring minute to minute.

Rather than ignoring the clock and calendar and losing track of time I decided to make it my friend in a pursuit of awakening to each moment as an opportunity to fully taste all the flavors of this human life experience.

For example, right now as I write this little article I am seeing my clock tell me it is 7:43 am. I am aware that I have a yoga class that will start at 9:30 am and that I will need to take my morning walk, shower, and prepare the studio for the students’ arrival before then but I am also aware of the comfort of the oversized arm chair I am sitting in that cradles me as it did my young sons when they were toddlers. I feel the cushion under me and behind me. I hear the sound of the keys on the keyboard clicking as I type and the faint rush of cars passing down on the road below. I feel my lungs voluntarily take in a deeper, fuller breath and release with ease. I see the morning sun streaming in on the floor from the dining room window. I note the scent of coffee wafting from the kitchen. I savor all of this sensory input. I am aware of a worry here and there that gnaws at me and I breathe in and out reassuringly. All is well just as it is. The clock will continue to move and I will savor every moment no matter what is happening in that moment.

Try a sensory break at the top of every hour. As if in slow motion, notice what you feel, taste, smell, see and hear. Feel your breath.

This is what it is to slow down and savor. This is what it is to fully embody each and every moment.