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Appreciating the Simple Pleasures in Life

How to enjoy the present moment

For any of you dab hands in the kitchen, you will likely be familiar with less is more. This is something I have learnt with experience. 

There will be meals that are complex that you slaved over for hours which seem anticlimactic when you finally sit down to eat, the process you hoped to calm you stresses you, especially when you look over to the mountain of washing up.

Sometimes the simple pleasures and taste combinations of classics cannot be beaten… tomato and basil, cheese on toast, ham and pineapple on pizza (just kidding)… you get my drift.

I can’t say for sure why these timeless classics are so powerful, perhaps they connect us to the genius that first created them or they bring us back to our childhood or maybe we are able to focus on just a few simple elements that complement each other and our taste buds and senses aren’t overwhelmed.

We can appreciate what we have. 

We aren’t pulled from one sensation to another.

When we have less of something, if the balance is right, we end up savouring what we have instead of focusing on what we lack. ‘You can always add more salt, but you can’t take it away’ Wise words from my father there, essentially don’t overdo it, try what you have and stop when it’s just right.

I am writing this sitting in the middle of a field watching the sunset with no other distractions, for the first time in weeks my mind feels clear and I feel it resetting as I focus on the wispiness of the clouds.

I too am often guilty of allowing my focus to shift away from the present moment, it can be all too easy to be pulled from pillar to post while trying to smash through your to-do list. I mention my current state of sunset bliss not to gloat but to emphasise what prompted me to write this blog.

It really is the simple things that matter.

Instead of trying to overcomplicate things and comparing yourself to others or your future self, it is so very powerful to focus on what you have, that way you gain what you lack. 

If you focus on what you lack you lose what you have. 

You may not be where you want to be in the future right now but don’t let that take away from how beautiful right now is. 

If you magically had everything you wanted in the future now it would take the fun away, like playing a video game with all the cheats on, it would rob you of your process. 

Once you got there you would soon normalise and look for the next thing, £100k per year after a few months would soon start to feel shitty comparing yourself next to £250k per year and so on.  

“Life exists only at this very moment, and in this moment it is infinite and eternal, for the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet it exists forever….” ~ Alan Watts

Now that isn’t to say you shouldn’t have ambition, I am the first one to admit I build for the future and set myself big stretchy goals, but it is to say the present moment is so very important.

‘Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus in your life’ Eckhart Tolle

Take time out to appreciate the simple pleasures in life. Something that has helped me is regularly practising last time meditation.

The premise here is when you’re doing something to reflect on the possibility that this could be the last time you do it.

This isn’t to make you go down some morbid rabbit hole where you picture yourself taking your last breaths on your death bed wondering if anyone would care enough to turn up to your funeral. It is to bring you into the present so you can truly appreciate the current moment as if it was your last. If it was the last time you did this how would you enjoy it and what beauty would you find in it.

What if this was the last time you shared a cuppa with your mate or the last time you posted a letter… you can apply it to anything.

Life can be hectic, especially when you are hard on yourself, and you are trying to constantly better yourself.

Take time to enjoy the simple things.

I realised I wasn’t doing too bad in this department when I spent a good 5 minutes watching a plastic bag dance in the wind, without a thought in my mind but spine-tingling throughout.

Enjoy your beans on toast!

What are your simple pleasures? 

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