Most people like raisins. They pop a small handful into their mouth and enjoy them for a moment. Maybe pop in another small handful or repeat a few more times.
As part of a mindfulness course I’m taking, we did an exercise that created a different raisin experience. It required me to select one raisin. I put it in my palm and held it. Amazingly, it actually felt like a small weight.
Then I rolled it between my thumb and index finger. It had grooves. There was a soft side and a harder edge. I could feel where the stem used to be. (Click here to hear me narrate this post over a bed of my original music).
Next I smelled it. It had a sweet smell. And as my hand warmed the raisin, I could smell it even better.
Then I licked it one lick with my tongue. I felt grooves. I tasted sweetness.
Then I set it on my tongue. It just sat there for a minute or two and I experienced the raisin getting softer. The taste grew stronger. The smell grew sweeter.
Then I bit it once. It burst with flavor. I felt the taste fill my mouth. I smelled its scent even more strongly.
And then, maybe five minutes after picking it up, I ate it.
You might be thinking, “That’s quite a bit more than I want to know about a raisin. What’s the point?”
For me, I began thinking about the amount of time I spend savoring the positive experiences in my life that bring me joy, the amount of attention I devote to life’s small “wins,” The amount of time I spend tasting the food I eat, the preciousness of time spent with loved ones and close friends, or how carefully I listen to someone who is sharing a meaningful comment.
There are a lot of lessons you can learn from a raisin.