What I love is near at hand, always, in earth and air.
- Theodore Roethke
I recently came back from a vacation to Cabo Mexico. One of my favorite things to do was to walk the beach in the early morning. At this particular resort, at 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning, there are very few people on the beach, the wind is fairly high, the waves are crashing onto the shore, the sand is cool to the touch (and fairly firm for easier walking). The crabs are scurrying to their holes, the pelicans and sea gulls are foraging for food, and all my senses take in all of the beauty. As I walked I could feel the sun warming my skin and the sea air combing through my hair. I felt awed, free, and inspired.
Do you like the ocean, or the mountains, warm or cold climates? What kind of environment brings you full alive? What places and conditions fill your senses with awe, freedom, and inspiration? Where do you feel most immersed in your senses and how can you stay connected to these senses when you are at home?
I know that when I am in such a place, it is easy to luxuriate in all my senses. They are good ones. I feel my muscles flex and stretch as I walk. I feel how it feels to move my body and take in the sun and wind and beauty. It is sensual in the true sense of the word. And it was funny because as my plane descended to my home, I actually felt myself leave this sensual place inside of me. I felt myself to a work place where there are things to do that leave little time for sensuality and luxurious living.
I have to remind myself to stay connected and to feel my body, and the good feelings of movement and sun and humidity on my skin as I engage in my day to day life. I know that such daily sensing has not been something that has been encouraged in my life, and in many ways, our society. It is important. We are human, our bodies are made to feel, and the sun and clouds and wind and grass and foliage and hills and trees and animals and birds and rocks and water are with us wherever we go.
I think we are here to learn and explore and grow and feel. Engaging our senses and reveling in our sense of an embodied self, as well as the elements around us, is also part of why we are here.
I am more of a mountain person, but I also love the sun and walking the beach and the feel of the water on my skin; cool, invigorating, and a bit unpredictable. Is it possible for me to either remember these feelings here at home and to re-create them in some way in my home? Pictures, murals, nature sound cd’s, sun rooms, sky lights and more are all ways we can bring nature home to us. We can also grow gardens, create green space around us, use potted plants, put out bird feeders, and learn to dance in the dewy grass. The secret is not in waiting for the dream vacation to Mexico, but in seizing today to experience the magic of being human on this gorgeous planet Earth we call home.
Shift Your Story; Guided Visualization/Meditation
Take a moment to breathe deeply a couple of times. Grab something to write with and some paper. Sit down, get yourself comfortable, and just breathe for a couple of minutes to center yourself. Imagine you are in a place that speaks to your soul, a place where you feel all your senses.
Where is that place? Is it somewhere you have been, pictures you have seen in magazines or in movies or television, somewhere you want to visit? See yourself there. Feel the air on your skin, feel the water caress your toes, feel your body moving, become aware of your breath and how you feel breathing the air.
Are there trees, and if so, what kind? What is the vegetation like? Reach out and touch a flower or tree or bush near you. What does it feel like and how does it make you feel? Are you walking, running, riding your bicycle, hiking, skiing, and sitting on the beach or a porch overlooking the water or mountains?
What do you want to do here? What would your next movement or instinct be?
Remember these feelings and thoughts. Feel them deeply inside of you. Breathe it all in, and take a few more deep breaths.
Now open your eyes, if they were closed and write out what you experienced. Fill in all the details you can remember.
This is your place. Whenever you feel stressed, confused, lost, angry, upset, take a moment and find your easy chair, and breathe and take yourself to this very place. This is your safe place, your place of sense and sensibility, and your place where you can be the sensual person that you are and which helps you to come back to a balance.
If you are brave and want to continue this exercise in some way, also write down the feelings that come up for you in taking this time, in being in this place and in being in your body. Again, just notice them and become aware of them. See where they take you in time, as all new awareness’s take us somewhere.