To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be
present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread.”
- James A. Baldwin
I love the word, sensuality. Just saying it makes me feel languorous. How does that word, sensuality, make you feel? What comes up for you? I feel and think of the wind tossing and combing through my hair, the feel of the sun on m y skin, floating on the waves in the ocean, being touched and touching my lover, feeling the strength and tone of my body after a workout, walking barefoot through autumn leaves.
Just thinking about or suddenly hearing the word, sensuality, can take us on a journey. It is interesting to see where it takes us because it is such a fundamental part of being human and of living a full and vital life.
Sensuality (and fully experiencing our senses) is this month’s secret Key to Wholeness, Health and Vitality.
I find it an amazing journey to see how when we really look at certain words, ideas, and thoughts as well as our reaction to them. These reactions can tell us so much about ourselves. Learning about ourselves and letting the light in to illuminate our way always gives us energy and vitality.
So, where does the word sensuality take you?
It takes me down a road of family memories – both good and bad. As time goes by and as I heal my relationship with my parents, I remember more good than bad things. If I can let in good feelings about them, the good memories just spring out of thin air. It is amazing how much we can forget. As I re-member, I think of how it felt to be held by my parents. I remember feeling my mother’s stiffness, and feeling like I was in the arms of a teddy bear with my father. He was comfortable in his own skin and comfortable holding us little ones. My mother wasn’t so comfortable. I remember the feel of my bed and sheets as I am being tucked in by my parents. That was such a good, sensual feeling and memory. I remember the feel of my mom brushing my hair. The hair brush across y scalp felt so soothing. There is something so special about being held and having our hair brushed.
These memories and more are the seeds of our sensuality and sense of ourselves in our bodies. I remember watching my parents and others walk, and feeling the movement myself as I watched them. Again, this was a good feeling. I remember watching how my mother sat as a woman as I was establishing myself as a young woman in the world of men and women. Then I tried what I saw and checked to see how that felt to me.
You will have your own good and sensual feelings; and bad ones, and memories. Both the good feelings and the bad ones, shape your sense of yourself and your own sensuality. At this stage in my life I am focusing more on the good ones in order to bring more good memories out to play.
Our first years in life with our parents and care takers teache us so much about how we feel about our own bodies. We learn by watching, sensing, feeling and incorporating what we learned into our beings. Can you remember the feel of sluicing through the water as you learned how to swim? Can you remember the feel and taste of ice cream on your tongue? What good memories do you have about your body and your senses when you were little? For myself, I even remember learning about my individual scent and the comfort of it as I went to sleep by pulling my sheets around me.
These early memories shape us and our feelings about ourselves and our bodies and our sensuality in life. As long as we are here on earth – and at least for the entire month of July - we should enjoy our sensuality as much as possible, and bring our senses to life in a way which gives us energy, vitality and a healthy sense of ourselves.
Shift Your Story: Guided Visualizations/Meditations
I recommend taking a trip into your past to re-learn and re-member your self and your care takers in a new way.
Have a seat in a comfortable chair or recliner, or just lie in bed and close your eyes and begin feeling your body. Feel how your body feels on the chair, or on the bed. How doe your clothes feel on your skin? What part of your body touches the bed or chair or sofa, and how does it feel, and how warm is it?
Tune into your body and it sink into its surroundings. Say the word aloud, “sensuality”, and feel it on your tongue. Ask yourself, where do you feel it, and how does it feel?
What comes up for you as you say and feel the word? There may be feelings that come up for you that are uncomfortable. Maybe in your family, it was dangerous to be and feel sensual. Write down all that comes up for you; the good feelings and the uncomfortable ones. Remember, this is a learning experience, not a censoring experience. Where do you feel allowed to go, and where do you feel repressed from your own feelings?
Just take note.
If you feel particularly adventurous, go back to when you were little and see what memories come up for you. What felt good, and what didn’t? Who did you feel closest to and who the farthest from? As you are just with your memories and feelings, see if any new memories or new to re-member memories surface.
Write down your experience and then put it aside. Let it rest for a couple of days and then read what you wrote. Pay attention to how you feel and if you feel the need to do this exercise again. If so, do it again and see if you write anything different or new.
Next week we will look at the power of sensuality from another perspective. In the meantime, enjoy yourself!