Finally I started seeing beautiful colors of flowers and plants around the city of Toronto! I was lucky to have the opportunity to admire the cherry blossoms at High Park. In spite of the weekday morning, I was surprised that the park was so packed! I think more and more people are becoming aware of our inner longing to connect with Mother Nature.
Sakura (cherry blossoms) bloom gorgeously, and even fall so elegantly like snowflakes, but it is so shortly-lived, for about 7 days or less depending on the weather. Japanese appreciates not only the beauty of the blossomed Sakura , but also the metaphorical meanings of the life of Sakura, reflecting the impermanence and preciousness of our life. The fact that death is always the ultimate even there is a beautiful and gorgeous time in life. We learn to appreciate the wholeness of what is rather than just what we want or wish to be. Being alive simply means that we will die one day, and to die one day means that we are living right now at this moment. This Buddhistic perspective has been evolved to be an essential part of Japanese aesthetic values (called Wabi-Sabi) and that is also one reason why Japanese love Sakura so much.
In “Tsurezuregusa” (Essays in Idleness), a 14th-century Japanese classic literature, Kenko Yoshida, a Japanese Buddhism monk wrote
Humans fear death, and it is what we hate. Yet it is more important that we cherish our limited precious life, to enjoy the joy of being alive every day.
For centuries, with this understanding of life, Japanese ancestors practiced to actively embrace the joy of living in daily life. My favorite 16th century Japanese Samurai doctor, Kaibara Ekiken talked about this in his book, Yojokun (The Book of Life-nourishing Principles), over 8 volumes from how to carry daily lifestyle to how to use our mInd and Qi (energy) for well-being.
So, how about in your daily life, what brings you the “Joy of living” ?
Maybe it is as simple as the fact you are breathing effortlessly right now, or having a place to sleep safe and cozy, or it maybe be an occasional special event such as a baby was born to a friend, or celebrating someone’s birthday. If we think about this, from something basic and common to all humanity to something very unique and different to each individuals, it seems like that our life is actually filled with numerous and various “joy of living”, does it?
Now, this state in which to experience the joy of living, is related to the state described in Positive Psychology, called “Flourish” or “Well-being”. Dr. Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania has done extensive researches in this area and developed various exercises to promote the state of positive mental health. So let me introduce you one of his exercises to promote your delicious life!
What Went Well “Three Blessings” Exercise
Materials needed: notebook & pen, or computer to take a note physically
How: every night, write down three things that went really well for the day and also why.
Period: 1 week
Yes, that’s it! So simple and easy, isn’t it? It does not matter how small or big those things are. The important thing is to continue writing down 3 things every night. The randomized clinical trials have shown the effectiveness of this exercise to relieve depression, and increase sense of well-being and happiness. Moreover, this positive effect has been shown to be still maintained after six months! With that being said, I am trying it now for myself. I am so excited to see how things would improve and bring in more deliciousness into my life!
The key to flourish our beautiful health is to savour our joy of living on a daily basis, and that is truly a Delicious Moment♪ And this is my lifework, to support you on this wellness journey to bring in more Delicious Moments through a practice of holistic and integrative health care, and also ultimately, this gives me the true joy of living (^^). I am very blessed and grateful.
So, let’s enjoy savouring our Delicious Moments to flourish this spring!
Thank you very much.
With love, hope and gratitude from my heart,