It may be early for New Year’s resolutions, I but think I may have just chosen one for myself: to savour more.
This morning, in the midst of communion at church, I felt an inner nudge to take a moment to notice and savour what I was participating in. I looked at all the people around me, who joined me in remembering the life and love of Jesus and who took nourishment together in that memory. As sometimes happens when actually remembering to savour the moment, I felt such a deep love and gratitude for everyone and an awareness of the beauty of the practice and the people.
And I also sensed an awareness that this kind of experience was quite likely available a lot if I made a point of choosing to savour. And this awareness came particularly associated with this word – savour – which I have then been pondering the rest of the day because this felt like an invitation to which I was meant to respond. (And I take the path of this word to my mind to be a mix of the Spirit and a memory of Rachael Barham’s former blog – Learning to Savour – which I gather was meant to allude lightly to food while exploring a very similar invitation.)
I decided that I would define savour this way: to engage deeply with any given moment and the opportunity for beauty that is present within it – intentionally, gratefully and deliberately letting go of any resistance. Reminding myself of this meaning until it is all deeply wrapped up in the word, I can keep this rich invitation before me as I enter the coming new year, simply by reciting this one word to myself: Savour.
The resistance mentioned in the definition is a messy mix of all kinds of dark things: a sense of entitlement, habits of judgement, personal frustration, temptations to cynicism, self-consciousness, etc. – all nearly useless baggage which I try to acknowledge without self-condemnation, the “nearly” referring to the one value of making humility a little more natural once I do acknowledge them. So letting go of these things in any given moment seems quite important to a proper savouring. Most likely part of the joy of the savouring is in the very lightness of having dumped, at least temporarily, the dead weight of those bad habits.
Finally, in case you have not discovered this trick for yourself, it’s always good to tack the word “more” onto New Year’s resolutions (or “less” as the case may be). Resolutions are notorious for lasting less than a week, but if the goal is simply more or less of some intent, we can at least hope that we’re on the right trajectory and not turn a good resolution into one more reason to beat ourselves up.