Learning to Sip My Coffee More Slowly

Since my daughter was born a little over a year ago, I’ve been gulping down my morning coffee instead of enjoying it a sip at a time.

It is easy to be preoccupied with what happened recently or what is happening next. How can we slow down and enjoy what is happening in the present moment?

I fell into this habit because I wanted to drink a cup of coffee but had little time to do so because I needed my hands free to care for my baby. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that I haven’t slowed down the pace at which I consume my coffee despite the fact that my little one is now older and sleeping better.

This is a pretty inconsequential issue and is simple enough to fix. However, as I was thinking about it, I felt like the Lord highlighted to me that I have the tendency to do this same thing in areas of my life that have nothing to do with coffee—I don’t enjoy them because I’m preoccupied with what happened recently or what is happening next!

How can we, especially when we have full schedules, focus on and enjoy what is happening in the present moment? Here are a few approaches I’m learning to use.

How to enjoy the present moment

  • Count blessings. Have you ever noticed that when you take time to name the things for which you are grateful, you tend to become very aware of the wonderful things you have in life? This heightened awareness is how counting our blessings helps us enjoy the present. After all, we have to be aware of current happenings if we’re going to savor them.
  • Pay attention to little details. We often take great joy in the little things—the feel of a breeze against our skin while on a walk, the rich flavor of a cup of hot cocoa, the vibrant color of blooming flowers, etc. Actively looking for these details helps maximize our enjoyment of the present.
  • Let go of the past. Though it is beneficial for us to learn from our past experiences, wallowing in regrets regarding things we wish we’d done differently is pointless. Instead, we can apply the lessons we’ve learned as we focus on what’s happening today.
  • Try not to worry about the future. Worry doesn’t prevent bad things from happening. However, it does prevent us from enjoying the good things that are happening right now. God promises that He knows our needs and provides for us (Matthew 6:25-34). When we trust Him, we find freedom from worry and can fill our minds with thoughts of the present.
  • Avoid comparison. It’s difficult to enjoy the current moment if we are busy contemplating how we measure up to others. If, on the other hand, we remember that it is God’s approval we seek instead of man’s (Galatians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 2:4), then we can focus our efforts on enjoying the present instead of comparing ourselves to others.
  • Eliminate clutter. Clutter makes it difficult to focus. This is true of physical clutter (e.g., a disorganized home) and the clutter created by the technology in our lives (e.g., TV shows, email, social media). When we organize our spaces and moderate our use of electronic devices, we’re better able to engage in current happenings.
  • Do less. It’s only natural to be distracted by what is happening next when our schedules become too full. Multitasking, a strategy we sometimes use to get more than one thing done at once, also results in distraction. Often the best thing for us to do is to eliminate unnecessary things from our schedules so we have time to take a deep breath and rest. It’s easier to notice and appreciate the present moment when we move at a slow pace!

Do you ever struggle to enjoy the present moment? How do you minimize distractions so you can focus on what’s happening right now?

Shared at the following link parties:

Faith Filled Wednesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, From House to Home, Coffee and Conversation, WholeHearted Wednesday, Tuesday Talk, Monday’s Musings and The Art of Home-Making.

Comments

  1. Multitasking at almost all times is definitely what I struggle with the most. I give in to the pressure to do too many things and try to do them all at once, which just leads to stress. That is something I am going to work on this next year, focusing on the task at hand rather than a million things at once.

    • Hi Heather,
      It’s tough because it seems like multitasking will help you get more done, but it really does prevent you from focusing. Grace as you work on this next year!

  2. Shannon, I love this analogy! I find your thoughts really helpful, especially since I’m currently pregnant with my first child and have already been thinking a little bit about how life and routines will change once the baby is born this summer. Learning to live in the present moment is something that God really showed me the importance of several years ago when I read a particular book, and I’ve been trying to work on it ever since. For me, a big way that I’ve been learning to live in the present moment is by trying to be trusting in my prayer. I think that sometimes, it can be so easy to pray, pray, pray about something, and in all of that prayer to be building on stress and worry because we aren’t seeing the results that WE want to see. So, while prayer is important, I’ve been trying to remember that God wants us to pray with confidence and trust in Him, and when I pray about something, to not worry about how that prayer will be answered in the future, but to just accept God’s grace in the present time.

  3. One of my New Year goals is to live life more slowly — intentionally create margin in my day, take naps, leave for appointments earlier, not be in such a rush all the time. Maybe I’ll start sipping my coffee more slowly, too! Found you on Coffee and Conversation and am really glad I did. 🙂

  4. As a daddy of three–soon to be four–girls, staying fully present, and enjoying the moment is not always easy. Thanks for a great list of strategies–I’m working on trying not to worry about the future. And I’m trying to remember to sip my coffee more slowly and enjoy each second of it too.

    • Hi Jed,
      I imagine you are very busy, which certainly does make it challenging to enjoy the present moment! I truly hope you soon find it easier to not worry about the future and that you enjoy both your coffee and every second of the time you have with your girls.

  5. Great post Shannon. I understand gulping the coffee on the mornings one of my grandsons comes to stay and this week it’s been 3 days. Great thoughts and truths about slowing down.

    • I think it is something many of us do without noticing, Debbie. It’s nice to become aware and be intentional about slowing down.

  6. Not worrying about the future is a hard thing to do but it certainty does take you away from the moment you are in. I am a what-if’s girl through and through and I need reminders often to let go and focus on what is happening now and leave the future in God’s hands.

    I recently started a blessing journal to record a daily blessing in and I am really enjoying that time of reflection every morning.

    Great, practical ideas! Thanks, Shannon!

    • A blessings journal sounds wonderful, Ana. What a great way to take your focus off things like worry and use it more constructively.

  7. Wonderful way to begin a new year. Actually a new day!! Thanking you for sharing this on our Tuesday Talk this week. I will be featuring this next week on my blog for Tuesday Talk. A great way to remind others about living in the present. Giving it our best shot and remembering the blessings each day brings.

    • Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for stopping by and for featuring my post. Hopefully we can all be more focused on the present and enjoy the blessings before us throughout the coming year.

  8. I realized I was doing this on our last family vacation; I was so focused on trying to get the prefect pictures to capture our trip, scrapbook with, blog about, and keep our schedule moving so that we’d have time to see everything and I finally realized I was letting the enjoyment of the trip and all it’s little moments pass me by!

    • This is exactly what I’m talking about! It’s so much better for us to slow down and enjoy those wonderful moments.

  9. I really need to work on being more present. My life feels so hectic right now, I have very little time to savor it. Thanks for the reminder. A great help this morning!

  10. Stopping by from Titus 2 Tuesdays and wanted you to know that I love this post…. I feel like God’s been guiding me in this direction – the way of seeing each moment for all that it is – for a while now and it’s been life-changing.

    • Hi Emily,
      I’m glad to hear that this has been life-changing for you. Hopefully the rest of us will experience this, too!

  11. Shannon,
    Such a timely and important post!! Love my coffee, but find that life always seems to have me gulping it these days…
    Thank you so much for sharing it on Coffee and Conversation last week – we’ll be featuring it in tomorrow’s post! 🙂
    Have a good week…and Happy New Year!

  12. Shannon, I love the visual image of taking life one sip at a time instead of trying to gulp it all down in a hurry. Thanks for that clear picture!

  13. After getting in a fender bender before the holidays I realized that I really needed to slow down. I had been rushing to make sure that everything was “just so” that I wasn’t making any time to actually enjoy it. Loved this post.

    • Sorry to hear about the accident, Lindsey. Thanks for sharing about it, though, as we can all learn from your experience.

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