What are some of life’s many simple pleasures to enjoy? Why do we forget to take the time to appreciate and enjoy them more?

Alfred Nicholas Gardens, Dandenong Ranges

I will begin with my list of simple pleasures to enjoy.

  • Fresh air
  • Fresh food
  • Cold, clean drinking water
  • Natural world environments
  • Uncorrupted landscapes and waterways
  • Wind and rain
  • The night sky
  • The day sky
  • Gardens
  • New life
  • Wildlife
  • Vistas
  • Autumn
  • Anticipation of winter
  • Warmth on a cold day
  • Electrical storms
  • New learning
  • Imagination
  • Imagery
  • Music
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Comfortable chairs
  • Verandahs
  • Thinking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Books
  • Walks
  • Cycling

It is so easy to be distracted, to habitually take such things for granted. More complicated experiences repeatedly assert themselves as front and centre of our consciousness and decision making. Issues surrounding insecurity, relationships and others’ bidding clamour for attention, occupy us with busy-ness and distract us.

The experiences that are always there for the taking become secondary due to their very simplicity, their enduring nature, their very availability. We readily forget to be mindful of their existence as the essence of our existence.

These profoundly simple and accessible pleasures can be constant stabilising influences on our lives. They are always present, complete with restorative potential. When we do remember to attend to them we come back to ourselves as capable of choosing to reset, appreciate and experience joy.

The art of sitting

Choose a place to still your body and a restless mind. Sit. Start by observing all that is going on around you. Hear the background noises. Examine the occupants, textures and colours of the physical surroundings. Feel the movement and temperature of the air. Take your time. Acknowledge and appreciate these things. Once you have paid them their due. Let them go.

Look into your mind. Question the constant restlessness of your thinking. How important is it for this moment? Work your way through your thoughts, shedding all that are not essential to your being here and now. Settle any disturbing waves of turbulence to a calm pool within.

Breathe, slow and deep. Find your own rhythm.

Place yourself exclusively in this moment and space. Stay for as much time as you need. Peacefully, refresh and reset.