Recently I found myself scanning a Vancouver weekly. It can be a pleasure to read The Georgia Straight: it’s full of cultural tidbits, occasionally has some progressive political commentary, good recipes, tips for restaurants.
But I noticed something less than pleasurable. I was “devouring” the paper. I was not relaxed. I was pushing myself to extract the pertinent bits in as little time as possible. I’m a utilitarian at heart, at least part of me is, and that part wants to make the most, maximize the benefit, reap the most rewards, from any time I spend, any thing I do. Whew! It’s exhausting. And certainly not conducive to relaxation, ease, an open heart, which I’m coming to value ever more highly.
I had a few insights:
• I noticed the “devouring” energy while it was actually happening, and wasn’t unconsciously driven, as I have been much of my life. Yippee!! Victory! Freedom 🙂
• I realized I don’t want to “devour” as much as I used to. Wow! Change can happen, without the feeling of having to “give something up”.
• I felt into how much more pleasurable savouring is than devouring.
• I experienced the energy of devouring, and saw that is it possible to shift quickly from the haste and drivenness of devouring to the leisure and flow of savouring.
All this a few days before I am to take off on an annual bike trip with my daughter. What good timing. I have noticed that the devouring can also happen on my bike. I often cycle pretty hard, sometimes because I’m late, haven’t left enough time for leisure, or just to get to my destination quickly. Sometimes I remember to savour the ride, look around, smile at people, notice the blooming trees, the incredible spring green. But sometimes I only remember this afterwards! Too busy devouring, or hurrying, or being habitual. So this week’s switch from devouring to savouring will stand me in good stead for our upcoming trip.
We’re hoping for good weather, no flats, tail winds, but even adverse conditions can be a chance to savour. On one of Mike’s and my long trips as we were, better, Mike was, changing yet another flat tire, someone stopped and asked if we needed help. We said no, but the fellow did stay and chat, and gave us a good tip. “Flat tires are God’s way of saying slow down, take it easy, and enjoy!” 🙂
Oh, and of course all this applies to food too!
Are you aware of when you savour and when you devour? What are your habits? Are they conscious, and do they serve you? Your comments and questions, forwards, likes and tweets are most welcome!
Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity. BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth. Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume. Your feedback is most welcome.