Perusing through social media, I came across a post that didn’t catch my attention. Wow. Big surprise.
The gist of it was something we’ve heard a million times and therefore my brain categorized it as familiar and moved right along. What was it, you ask? Umm...something like
smell the roses,
take a moment,
You know. You’ve heard it.
To my surprise, something about the post stuck with me later in the day. I wish I would have saved it so I could properly give credit to the author and muse of this newsletter.
I’m now realizing that the reason it stuck with me was because the terminology used was different. The way it prompted and described the fleeting moments of everyday joy had new words attached to it. Since I can’t remember exactly what it was, I’ve decided I need to give this lingering thought some attention because it’s just not letting me go.
I’ve named the concept of enjoying a brief and minor moment in life with a heart wide open to its gifts, a “micro delight”.
At our complimentary waterfront HIIT event, I was discussing this with some friends, and about an hour later I was tagged in a post with this picture by my friend, Melissa, with the hashtag #microdelight. She was able to capture this exact moment (below!) in her back yard just after we had this discussion...
Yes, I thought! That’s it! It’s the fleeting moment of pure delight that if we don’t pay attention will breeze right by us. If we do catch it, however, this small moment feels like a torrent of joyful flow that washes over our whole being. Time seems to slow down, colors sharpen, smells become more acute. After it has passed, your breath gets deeper, the sides of your eyes melt into your cheeks, and you sit more comfortably in your beautiful body. These, my friends, are the after effects of experiencing a micro delight.
This theme has grabbed hold of me and I keep seeing this concept emerge in multiple settings. My spiritual director (ok, so he doesn’t really know that he’s my spiritual director) Richard Rohr told me (ummm, told “us”, anyone who reads his books, meditations, or listens to his podcast) that a great first step into a more contemplative life is to “soften your gaze”.
I’m convinced that experiencing micro delights in the moment require this “soft gaze”. NOT the hard, focused one I exhibit when I’m rushing, stressed, and basically running around like a chicken with my head cut off. (Which happens, often, by the way.)
So, yes. Micro delights. To prepare for them, just soften.
With much gratitude for the anonymous social media author who got me thinking about this and for Richard Rohr telling me how to open myself up to these moments more frequently, I wish you many micro delights this August. While these moments of pure flow and joy are oh so lovely to experience, there really is much more to it. Don't get me wrong. Experiencing joy makes its own case. It doesn't need another reason to validate its importance besides the experience itself. Interestingly, though, I find that things worth experiencing tend to have additional positive ramifications, a continuation of the flow, if you will, and why I find this topic relevant for a fitness and wellness blog.
As Resmaa Manakem says “A calm, settled body is the foundation for health, for healing, for helping others, and for changing the world.”
So there you have it. Go experience some micro delights and change the world, will ya?