savouring unexpected gifts
From newsletter June 6:
Last week, I made waffles. Not just any waffles. Homemade waffles where you have to separate the eggs and beat the yolks and fold all of the ingredients together into a fluffy batter before standing in front of a waffle iron patiently waiting for each individual waffle to cook.
I love waffles. More often than not, when my family has brunch, I make us waffles to eat piled high with syrup, whipped cream and fresh berries.
Before last Monday, I had never made waffles just for myself before. It seems like such a messy and time-consuming task for a weekday breakfast. But last Monday, I really couldn’t commit to sitting at my computer and doing my administrative work. I felt a physical and mental exhaustion creeping in after a few emotional weeks.
Within those past few hard weeks, something exciting did happen! My neighbour gifted me their old, slightly damaged (but still functioning) Kitchenaid Mixer. They had purchased a new one and posted the mixer on my local Buy Nothing group. Here’s where I will brag. Someone just gave me their old Kitchenaid mixer!!! A coveted kitchen appliance!!! This is so exciting!!
I was truly so excited to receive this gift. Waffles seemed like the perfect way to introduce it to my kitchen. In the process of making the waffles, I realized that the canister in my cupboard that I thought was full of flour was actually full of icing sugar. Then I remembered that my friend had gifted me some flour when she stopped eating gluten. I made the batter in my new Kitchenaid mixer, and then pulled the waffle iron out of the cupboard. Someone from my Buy Nothing group had passed along this waffle iron to me 2 years ago.
These waffles were a gift. A gift from my community and from myself. Nourishing myself and eating a favourite breakfast for no reason other than I wanted to.
And I felt so grateful.
It reminds me of a mindful gratitude practice called savouring. You might be familiar with a gratitude practice where you look back on your day or week and list all of the things you were grateful for.
Savouring is a little different in that you intentionally create moments of gratitude. This can also be called orienting to goodness, or searching for glimmers. Intentionally turning your attention towards something that you know will bring you joy.
In a savouring practice, you pause within everyday moments to really stay with and experience those moments. This looks like putting your phone down, sinking into the moment and noticing what you feel in your body during these glimmering moments.
I often practice savouring while sitting outside, eating my favourite foods or listening to music and dancing. Mindfulness is always easier when there is some sensory input, whether from food or nature or music. Gratitude just hits different when you create these moments for yourself.
Truthfully, I’m still feeling a little rundown. Burnout recovery takes a long time y’all. But I know that taking that time for myself last week and finding those pockets of joy will help usher me into this week with renewed vigor.