(taken from my article of the same name on Healing.Answers.com )
Delighting in simple pleasures has become a lost art. Very young children do it; they can’t help themselves. They haven’t yet been conditioned to expect more.
Being told to delight in simple pleasures is a rather broad commandment. First of all, what is a simple pleasure? Second of all, what exactly does it mean to delight in something? And third, why is it so important?
What is a simple pleasure?
A simple pleasure is a thing, a connection, or an event that causes a person to feel a smile within the body. In general, large and elaborate things or events that, while positive, create different reactions within the body.
Simple pleasures rarely change in life. What delights a child should delight an adult, unless the adult has been too tarnished or damaged. There are infinite simple pleasures and each person feels perhaps 3,000 in his or her lifetime. The more open a person is to the amazement of life on Earth, the more simple pleasures he or she can feel.
Examples of simple pleasures are:
- Seeing a beautiful flower, smelling it, touching its petals
- Approaching a large tree, looking up into its leaves so high above, touching the bark
- Walking barefoot on sand and feeling it between the toes
- Standing outside during a mild rain shower with face uplifted to the sky, feeling the drops on the face
- Being held by someone who loves you
- Being rocked by someone who loves you
- Holding a pet in your arms, stroking the fur, seeing the pet’s reactions
- Feeling strength in your hands, their versatility, their capability
What does it mean to delight in something?
To delight in something means to roll in its hold on you. Not to really roll, rather to let it take you over in childlike amazement. As if you are a small child witnessing wonder.
Many people lose the wonder of things as they age and experience experiences over and over again. To see a tree for the millionth time is less amazing than seeing a tree for the first time, and yet, the millionth tree is really as amazing as that first one. Finding delight in each and every experience that is pleasurable is a goal worth pursuing. Avoiding becoming jaded, avoiding becoming apathetic.
Why is it important to delight in delight?
The more we let ourselves be moved by the joyous moments in life, the more balanced we are. Our bodies and souls require HAPPY for proper functioning. Even when life is difficult and challenging, finding delight in simple pleasures can affect the way in which we handle the challenges and low tides. Finding moments of un-joylessness, un-annoyance, and un-restlessness lead to balance and to meaningful existence.
A simple way to recall the joyousness of childhood is to be outside near a plant that has a scent you find pleasing. Sit down next to the plant and let yourself be absorbed by its scent and its fullness of life. (Be sure to protect your clothes before you sit; otherwise, you’ll be upset when you see your dirty clothes and forget the joyous moment!)
“The importance of delight” is the title of this post. It is also a directive from Spiritual Presence about our lives. Life is not meant to be easy, but it is meant to be interesting. The more we find pleasure in the world, the more we can contribute and receive.