I've always loved to read books. There's something so exciting about a new book and what it might say to me. Recently, I ordered a new book, What I Know For Sure
by Oprah Winfrey. It's a compilation from her monthly column "What I Know For Sure" from O Magazine. I was excited to read it, because I assumed from the premise of the book that it would be chock-full of wisdom from someone who has led an incredible life. I was right. This post is about one of her essays that gave me a new perspective on life
One of the first entries in the book sparked this post, where Oprah describes her belief of living in the moment and choosing to enjoy life. As a yoga teacher, this resonated with me on a deep level. So much of yoga teaches us to do both of those things: live mindfully in the present moment and have joy and gratitude for life. Both of those mindsets require practice, which is why many people say they are practicing mindfulness
and practicing gratitude
.In this particular entry, Oprah describes moments of awareness, pleasure, and joy by calling them five-star experiences. Things like laughing with a friend, walking her dogs, and simply being healthy are all five-star experiences to her. A good cup of coffee in the morning: four stars. Reading the Sunday paper in her yard: four stars. Visiting with friends: five stars. Doing acts of kindness for others: five stars. You get the idea.
I LOVE this way of living. It's her way of pausing to enjoy amazing moments in life that otherwise might not be savored. It's her way of consciously noticing and even creating delights along the way. Life is short, and tomorrow isn't guaranteed for any of us. Any perspective shift that helps me SAVOR my time is something to embrace and celebrate.
I'm so excited to start doing this in my own life. Some of my five star moments are so-called "common" occurrences. Like Oprah, I really, really love my morning cup of coffee. My dogs greeting me first thing in the morning: five stars. Smelling wisteria in my yard in the spring: four stars. Hearing the wind chimes on my balcony: four stars. A clean house (which is rare these days): five stars. A glass of wine on my deck at sunset: five stars. Trying a new recipe and loving it: four stars. Teaching yoga: five stars. A clear night where I can see the moon and stars from my yard: five stars. Catching up (real, quality time) with a friend: five. A friend who really knows you: priceless. Seeing a rainbow: five. Hugs from my husband: five stars. Planning my next adventure: four stars. A good hike: five stars.
That's what the above photo is from. A five star experience from a hike last summer where I made it to the summit of a pretty technical hike. Pure joy (and if I'm being honest, relief; I was terrified). But five star experiences aren't just the mountain top ones. Most of them are everyday, common occurrences. And... I think, that's the whole point: Don't let the everyday five star moments slip by unnoticed.
Don't let the everyday five star moments slip by unnoticed.
What if we all took this wisdom to heart and applied it to our lives? It's easy to say "enjoy the present moment" but in reality it's quite challenging. I like this new perspective. It gives me a little more structure and guidance on the journey of slowing down and savoring the sweet moments in life. I bet if you tried it, you, too, would recognize at least a few four and five star moments in your day.Life really is short. Slow down. Stress less. Savor more.
Love & Light.
PS: Interested in this approach of savoring life? Read my post on Starting a Gratitude Journal to give you a little more guidance.