Sunday, November 24, 2013

Satisfaction in the Simple

We often seek satisfaction from the biggest and the best in life. We imagine that the bigger and better the experience, milestone, and reward, the more value it will add to our days. Then we look at a cat, happily preening herself in a sunny spot on the carpet, and we wonder how that small action can provide her such satisfaction. Is the cat weird, or are we sometimes out of touch with the satisfaction inherent in the simple?

Simple avenues of enjoyment are all around us, yet we often ignore them while chasing after the big stuff. Why? Sometimes we don't even know because bigger and better seems written into the trends of culture. But if you pay attention, you can feel the body and mind tugging at you to reward yourself with more simple moments like the cat does.

Instead of seeing it as a bummer when you don't have plans on a weekend, it's a perfect opportunity to relish in simple activities. If you enjoy cooking, pull out that unique recipe you've had stored away for months in a kitchen cupboard. Let the process of cooking and eating your food deliver as much reward as you imagine a "big" experience would.

If you want to try your own form of preening, soak your hands in warm water for 15-20 minutes, then massage lotion into them while watching T.V. or listening to music. You could do the same for your feet. Practice a new hair do for no reason at all, that no one will see but you. Re-arrange your closet and notice how your taste has changed over time. Write a short story, even if you've never done it before. Play piano or learn how to play. Make up a new song.

Daily activities like making coffee, washing the dishes, or walking the dog are all simple moments that offer not only satisfaction, but also an anchor during strange or stressful times. Just because you don't get a blue ribbon or trophy for creatively stacking the dishwasher doesn't mean it's an unimportant or useless part of your day. How you approach the simplest moments can influence how you approach other experiences in life, large or small.

This week, let yourself find satisfaction in the simple.

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