Please Tell Me, What Do You Love?

A note from Erin

A few years back, we traveled to Tucson, AZ, to attend a retreat with clinical psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach, whom we adore. We were invited to do a particularly touching practice on the final afternoon of the retreat. We each partnered with a stranger and spent 5 minutes each in the following inquiry: The questioner would say to the speaker, “Please tell me, what do you love?” and the speaker would respond, hot off the press, with something like, “I love the smell of the air in the desert on a hot day – pine, sand, sage.” The questioner would ask the same question again. “Please tell me, what do you love?” And the speaker would respond again. “I love the feel of the water at Nolin Lake in Kentucky and the way it envelops my body so softly as I go for a swim.” Again and again and again. “I love tacos. I love the smell of freshly cut grass. I love my favorite sweater.” After about 5 minutes, we switched roles.

The neurochemistry of joy was so palpable in the room after just 10 minutes of sharing what we love and hearing what lights up another. Powerful, fresh, intimacy with life. I’m so into that! And oh how we could use more of that these days.

As so often happens lately, I have to wonder deeply, what could I offer that might be of benefit, whatever state you’re in? 

Please tell me. What do you love? 

You could set a timer for 5 minutes and do this with a co-worker, friend, or lover.
You could write for 5 minutes straight and make a list of what you love. 5 minutes won’t be enough, but it’s a great place to start.
You could speak out loud to yourself for 5 minutes.
You could email me with a list!
You’ll be wowed.

Please tell me. What do you love?

It’s a simple and powerful practice.
Want to bathe yourself in the neurochemicals of happiness, naturally?
Want to grow intimacy with yourself, with life, with another? Try it.

So, my friend. Please tell me. What do you love?

I invite you to spend at least 5 minutes in this inquiry and to make it even more powerful, stay tuned to how your body resonates with each item your list. You know, now is a really good time to start. :)

My friend Leslie Rinchen Wongmo recently shared this beautiful quote from Tennessee Williams which I’m inspired to pass on.

“The world is violent and mercurial–it will have its way with you. We are saved only by love–love for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share: being a parent; being a writer; being a painter; being a friend. We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love.”

Thanks for reading!
May your cells and your mind and our world be flooded with love. 

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By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.