Drinking Life and Tasting Life – The Affirmation Spot for Monday November 3, 2008

I enjoyed lunch with a friend today and he was telling me about a beer tasting he recently attended.

The person conducting the tasting informed the group that, “Today we are not going to drink beer we are going to taste it. You can go out to the grocery store and get x brand lite beer, if you just want to drink beer. With these hand-crafted brews, it’s all about tasting.”

As I listened to my friend describe the beer tasting, I began to see a life metaphor. You can “drink” your way through life or “taste” your way through life. Each has its inherent advantages and drawbacks.

“Drinking” your way through life is about having fun and a carefree attitude. It’s the experience of “living for the moment.” Without these moments, life would be dull and lack a certain thrill factor.

There are times when you have to cut loose and really “drink” life in. There is no consciousness of anything between the lips and the stomach. The experience is marked by a satisfied unawareness.

Always “drinking” and never “tasting” causes you to lose perspective and meaning and can lead to excess. This approach creates a situation where you tend to consume ideas and experiences without the careful attention and evaluation they deserve. It can lead to a life completely unexamined and you might wake up one morning and wonder how you got where you are.

Meanwhile, “tasting” your way through life is about “being in the moment”.  These are the moments when you have a heightened sense that there is something more to life than its surface appearances. Without these moments, life would lack meaning and purpose.

This is the approach that causes you to “stop and smell the roses” and appreciate the meaning and significance of people, events, and experiences. It is the approach that causes you to stop and savor the “bubbles” of life as they tickle your tongue on their way to the stomach.

“Tasting”, really “tasting”, involves conscious awareness of what you are consuming and how it affects you.

The “tasting” approach has its drawbacks too. If we experience everything as having ultimate significance, then all experiences actually cease having significance. You lose your sense of fun when everything is meticulously evaluated. You can become too tentative and cautious and lose your sense of adventure.

Finding the right mix of awareness and fun in your life, it seems, is about achieving a premium mix of “drinking” and “tasting” as you consume the great brew of life.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Stress Strategies Part 1

Today’s Affirmation:

“I become aware of the little things that are stressing me out and develop strategies to deal with them effectively.”

Overworked business man.We often attribute the stress in our daily lives to what is happening on the outside. “My schedule is so busy” or “Work is a bear right now” are common reasons we give others and ourselves to explain the stress we feel.

No doubt, these things contribute to our stress. However, some of the extra “weight” we carry around is mental. It’s all the little unresolved problems and distractions flittering, as they do, at the edges of our awareness that create stress in our lives disproportionate to their actual importance.

Collectively, these little stressors create murky, undefined sense of dis-ease that can permeate our days and lessen our enjoyment of life.

Awareness

How do we deal with these minor hindrances? Well, the first we have to do is to become aware of them. Can we identify them and name them? It’s almost impossible to address them unless we know what they are.

One effective way for surfacing these issues is to spend a little quiet time alone at some point in the day. Just allow your thoughts to flow freely without evaluation and take note of the concerns, worries, or issues that arise.

These small issues are like children clamoring for attention. They will usually make themselves known when you listen.

Action

Once you identify an issue, you can:

  • Estimate its importance.
  • Take steps to resolve it.
  • Recognize its relative insignificance and let it go.

Perspective 

These pesky stressors are the puff fish in our lives. You may be familiar with this kind of fish. It has the ability to blow itself up to appear much larger than its actual size to intimidate would-be predators.

Especially when we have an emotional investment, these little issues can cast a longer shadow in our lives than is warranted by their actual importance.

The key to breaking their hold is perspective. Here are three strategies for getting that perspective.

  1. Deja-Vu – we have probably faced situations similar to the one we are stressing about now and it probably came out OK. Most of the things we stress ourselves about never happen or are not as bad as we imagined them to be. Think of two or three examples of times when similar things worked out fine and your worrying did not alter the outcome. Then let go.
  2. The 30-Day Test – ask yourself whether this issue will still have the significance you are giving it now in 30 days? In six months? A year? If not, it probably is not really as important as it seems right now. Do what you can about it and then let it go.
  3. The Quasar Comparison – this is the “big scheme of things” approach to releasing the issue. Our problems, as big as they seem to us sometimes, are mostly insignificant in the big picture. Quasars are very powerful and distant objects at the edge of the visible universe. They are billions of light years away and a reminder of our universe’s sheer scale. A picture of a quasar can easily be found online. I keep one nearby to remind me how small my problems really are compared to the vastness of space and time. When realize this may not be as life and death as we are making it out to be we can let it go.

In closing, I am certainly not advocating avoidance of real problems in our lives. What I am saying is that our quality of life can improve when we find ways to jettison those annoying little stressors that hold us back.

I’d love to hear from some of you about strategies you use to reduce stress. I may feature them in a future blog. Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race.  He’s the author of the breakthrough novel Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com

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