I recently recalled an interesting book I read some time ago called The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. Here’s a section I thought might be good to share as we start the new year.
Christopher Robin has just asked Pooh a question:
“What do you like doing best in the world, Pooh?”
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best—- and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.
Hoff goes on to say: The honey doesn’t taste so good once it is being eaten; the goal doesn’t mean so much once it is reached; the reward is not so rewarding once it has been given. If we add up all the rewards in our lives, we won’t have very much. But if we add up the spaces between the rewards, we’ll come up with quite a bit. And if we add up the rewards and the spaces, then we’ll have everything – every minute of the time that we spent. What if we could enjoy it?
The Christmas presents once opened are Not So Much Fun as they were while we were in the process of examining, lifting, shaking, thinking about, and opening them. Three hundred sixty-five days later, we try again and find that the same thing has happened. Each time the goal is reached, it becomes Not So Much Fun, and we’re off to reach the next one, then the next.
That doesn’t mean that the goals we have don’t count. They do, mostly because they cause us to go through the process, and it’s the process that makes us wise, happy, or whatever. If we do things in the wrong sort of way, it makes us miserable, angry, confused, and things like that. The goal has to be right for us, and it has to be beneficial, in order to ensure a beneficial process. But aside from that, it’s really the process that’s important. Enjoyment of the process is the secret…
What could we call that moment before we begin to eat the honey? Some would call it anticipation, but we think it’s more than that. We would call it awareness. It’s when we become happy and realize it, if only for an instant. By Enjoying the Process, we can stretch that awareness out so that it’s no longer only a moment, but covers the whole thing. Then we can have a lot of fun. Just like Pooh.
And then he thought that being with Christopher Robin was a very good thing to do, and having Piglet near was a very good thing to have; and so, when he had thought it all out he said, “What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying ‘What about a little something?’ and Me saying, ‘Well, I shouldn’t mind a little something, should you Piglet,’ and it being a hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing.”
May you hear the birds singing, and enjoy a Happy “hummy” New Year.