What does stop and smell the roses mean anyway? It means to slow down instead of rushing through life. It means to enjoy what is available to you in any given moment. It means to fully experience each moment as magical. Yes to me a “magical moment” and a “rose moment” are one and the same (see Magical Moment Mondays).
Why is it so important? How does it change your relationship to yourself and to others? How does it change the perception of the experience itself? Well, the more you slow down to feel the moment, the bigger the experience will feel, the more fully it attaches to your memory, and the greater you gain an understanding of what it is to be alive and human.
It is easy to lose touch with the wonderful life that you have as you take on responsibilities of career and marriage and children and illness and whatever else comes your way. It might not feel like roses at times but if you look deep below the surface, you will find roses. Roses of love, connection, beauty and shared experience. The more you celebrate and honor those moments and experiences and events, the more they will feel like roses. Some people write in journals to preserve their experience with an event. Some tell stories.
As a wedding officiant and celebrant, I love asking couples how they met, how they proposed, and other stories of their relationship and their life. Recounting life stories helps to uncover the roses. It helps to preserve the moment. It spreads the joy of the moment and it solidifies in memory that experience. Others around you feel the excitement and joy that you experienced when you share a rose moment. And you will re-experience your own delight just as you felt in the actual rose moment. One of the many reasons why we love reading romance novels (and an astonishing number of people do read them) is to get rose moments. We know that the boy meets boy (or girl) looses boy then gets boy back and we feel the magic of the moment and connect it with our own rose-moment experiences.
It takes some practice to stop and smell the rose while you are in the middle of everything. More often we recognize it only after the fact. So let’s break down what stop and smell the roses really looks like by trying out these five steps. Try it during your wedding day and particularly during your wedding ceremony to help heighten and preserve the wonderful event.
Step 1: Stop whatever you are doing.
Step 2: Be present to your own thoughts. Listen to whatever you feel deep inside.
Step 3: Be present to those you are with. Listen completely to what they are saying and identify their underlining feelings as you connect with them.
Step 4: Be present to everything that surrounds you—nature, animals, food, whatever. Enjoy their sounds and colors and textures.
Step 5: Identify and celebrate each moment as if it is magical (that’s the “smell the roses” part).
Because it is all magical—even those moments that are uncomfortable or difficult. You get to experience the full range of what is means to be human; you have the capacity to smell the roses.
So don’t miss out on all the opportunities to appreciate what’s around you. Every moment is a chance to stop and smell the roses of all the magical moments and experiences and people and nature and animals and love in your life.