“My grandmother knew what a painful life had taught her: success or failure, the truth of a life really has little to do with its quality. The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” ~ Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way…..
Imagine a child going to an amusement park and not having any fun because he or she was worried about how they would feel when the fun was over and they had to leave. Our delight in life is often times much the same: we fail to experience it even though it is all around us, simply because we are not aware of it.
The quality of our lives is found within our ability to experience pleasure and joy in the moments and the little things that we partake in. If we never allow ourselves the opportunity to slow down and give our complete attention to the fullness of life, we will find that we have discarded a portion of the gifts we have been given here on Earth.
God created us… and He created pleasure. He wishes for us to experience it in all things–eating, praying, running, singing, reading, writing, dancing, and on and on. And if I wish to increase my “capacity for delight,” I must first recognize the ways in which I limit it in my life. This means gaining an awareness of the available pleasures in my life. If I want to experience more delight in the food I have been blessed with, I can begin by making my eating experience more pleasurable–taking the time to see how to cook it and prepare it, savoring the aroma and the flavors, or by taking the time to eat it slowly, as well as choosing to enjoy the company with whom we eat. If I want to experience more delight in sleeping, I can begin by ensuring I get enough sleep, and that my rest is not disturbed by unnecessary distractions such as phone calls and such.
Our capacity for delight helps us to pay more attention to life–the greater our capacity… the greater our ability to appreciate things, to feel and to live more deeply, and to share our joy and delight with those in our life. Most importantly, it is a gift from our loving Father, who desires us to experience it every day of our lives.
Create a list of things that currently bring joy and pleasure into your life, making sure that you continue to allow these things to bring you delight. Each day, add to that list another place in which you might find more joy and pleasure in your life, and continue to do so until you have a a sizeable list that you are happy with. Then, share some of these “gifts” with those around you.
Questions to consider:
What are some things in which you have taken delight in today?
Why is it difficult for some individuals to feel a sense of delight in the things that they do, see, hear, taste, perceive, and feel?
How can you increase your sense of delight?
For further thought:
“A person will be called to account on Judgment Day for every permissible thing he or she might have enjoyed but did not.” ~ The Talmud