“If we can experience the ways that delight travels the same pathways as despair,
we see the trove of enriched awareness that waits in our vulnerability.”
~ Kristi Nelson, Wake Up Grateful
Welcome to this day of opening to joy, of cultivating our capacity to let the light in even in dark times. Amidst the pandemic, some of the familiar sources of joy and pleasure in many people’s lives may feel as if they’re disappearing. The inability to gather with loved ones, to attend services at a place of worship, to go to a concert or ballgame, to visit a beloved elder in the nursing home — all can be sources of heartache. In the midst of this very real loss, how do we intentionally allow space for pleasure? How might this be a way of expressing our deep gratitude for life in all its complexity? Consider the possibility that the uncertainty of this time is actually an invitation for us to take notice of the small pleasures awaiting our attention.
- Begin with what is now, hopefully, becoming your daily habit of pausing and getting present in this moment, this day of your life.
- We invite you to turn your attention to the moments of joy and small pleasures offering themselves to you right now. What we’re each missing or longing for is real, but so is the morning light through a window, a favorite song on the radio, the coffee or tea brewing, a relationship we can count on. From exactly where you are, open your senses to the small pleasures within range. What do you see, smell, hear, feel that offers itself freely for your grateful pleasure? How do you feel when you more fully notice these things? Take a few moments to write down your reflections. If you’re able, walk around your home or your neighborhood and make a mental list of those things that offer pleasure simply by their being.
- Another way of opening ourselves to the pleasures of daily life is through the simple perspective exercise of reframing our responsibilities as privileges. This small shift in perspective can turn a routine task or chore into a pleasurable experience if we allow ourselves to release the sense of obligation that often accompanies these activities. Explore the Obligation to Opportunity practice as one way to discover the possibility of pleasure directly in the midst of the great fullness of your life.
We also invite you to share your reflections below.