Its pretty easy for us to just stroll through life reminiscing the past and dreaming about the future. We often forget to live and experience the present moment. Being in the present moment requires our full attention so that we are fully awake to experience it.
I have become fascinated recently about the word experience. When we think about the way we normally contextualize the concept of experience, its usually job/work related (Ex: If someone lacks experience in a field) or to describe a moment (Ex: I had a good experience at the restaurant). How we experience this world, this life, or someone else’s life is so important, and underutilized and undervalued. Our experiences set the stage for what is our reality and importantly, what will become our reality. I think the very nature of how we view what an experience is may be misleading. I like to look at what an experience is in three ways:
1. Experience is actively being aware of yourself at a present moment
2. Experience is a learning opportunity
3. Experience is knowledge.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word experience as a direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge. Another definition is, the conscious events that make up an individual life. I am impressed by both definitions because it puts the word “experience” in a context that we normally don’t see it as such.
Experiencing life should mean more than just going through the day-to-day mundane activities. Experiencing life means being mindful of every opportunity or circumstance that comes our way. An important aspect of experiencing life is being aware of every emotion or feeling that you go through. This is important because this is how we build up our knowledge about all the facets of our life. We can practice this every moment of our day. The next time you are outside, notice the wind kissing your face. Then notice how the wind kissing your face makes you feel. Try noticing how you begin to tense up with someone walks into the room or you see someone unexpectedly calling you on the phone. Being aware of our senses is your higher-self communicating with you. We can look at them as warning signals and for you to then act accordingly.
The human body is really a magnificent piece of work. With practice we can use it as our own alarm system protecting our sacred temple. We’re programmed to notice the extreme feelings of being scared, sexual desires, or feeling like you’re falling in love. Yet other feels are always present too and these feelings interpret our experiences. Being aware is a full time job, but we have to re-learn how to become INtune and then more INtune with our senses and recognize them for what they are.
I’m certain that we all have a different interpretation of what experiencing life means. For some, experiencing life is simply enjoying life (although that is also subjective), and for others it may mean jumping out of a flying plane thousands of feet in the air, or swimming with the sharks in the ocean to capture that “thrilling” feeling . Experiencing life should not be limited to doing dangerous daredevil stunts. While those too can be an ultimate experience, experiencing life should mean that we also find joy in not just the good times, but also the “not so good times.” In times of death of a loved one we may feel extreme sadness, sorrow, depression, hurt, fear, etc., yet this too is a time to actively experience the event. There is a bright side to everything, (the good, the bad, the ugly) and the ability to recognize it IN EVERY SITUATION is a transformational experience.
There is so much more to this life than we can even begin to imagine. Experience life to me is about using my senses and being aware of every situation that elicits, pain, love, happiness, peace, fear, nervousness. It is based on these experience that I use as a foundation for how I interpret and experience future situations. When I notice that I am happy, peaceful, joyous, I want to experience more of these feelings because it feels good and its rewarding to my spirit. Fear can keep us from experiencing blessings, but fear is also one of the greatest teachers one could have. When we notice this feeling come up, we must learn from it and not just go through it, but GROW through it. Allowing yourself to truly experience every event or circumstances is giving yourself permission to live a valued life, a life of freedom in being able to experience all that there is to experience. Immerse yourself in your life and allow yourself to be free. Being aware of everything at all times, is mindfulness, and it is also experience. Experience is the conscious event that makes up an individual’s life and it’s also the direct observation of, or participation in events as a basis of knowledge AND growth!
How do you experience life?
May you live and love all the days of your life.