Sunday, July 21, 2013

Things My Dogs Teach Me About Sensuality

 “Today's fashion is really about sensuality; how a woman feels on the inside.”
                                                                                                        -Donna Koran


I learn a lot about life from my dogs, from nature, and from my students.  One of the reasons I love to teach is that I get a chance to learn as well as help others. Every time I teach something I learn it at a deeper level.

My dogs teach me without either them or me realizing it. As I watch them move, run, stretch, and play show me poetry in motion.  They aren’t self conscious and when they want to run, they run. When they find a smell that is wonderful to them, they luxuriate it and roll in it. They naturally embody sensuality.

As humans we also are meant to embody sensuality.  The very word “embody” implies we are in a body that feels and senses.  One of the reasons we are put on earth is to feel; to enjoy our senses and our bodies.  When we are disconnected or disembodied or when we disassociate from ourselves, we lose touch with a vital part of who we are.

Our bodies are also our teachers.  We get so much information about ourselves from our bodies.  They tell us when we are hungry, when we are thirsty, when we are in pain, when we need a touch or a hug or even something more intense and physical.  They tell us when we are uncomfortable, when we are not safe, when we are anxious, when we want to get closer to someone or something, or when we need to get further away from someone or something.  In fact, we often learn more from the bad feelings than we do from the good ones. This is all information from our bodies; perceived through our senses.

Unfortunately rather than celebrating our bodies and our embodied selves, we often judge ourselves, our bodies, our feelings, and our thoughts.  And that judgment takes away from our enjoyment and our sensuality.  Animals don’t do that. They just go with their instincts and the information they receive from their senses.  

Even if you don’t have a dog or a cat, just looking and walking and being outside shows us how animals luxuriate in being in their bodies.  Watch a cat stretch. That is a lesson in luxurious living and sensing if I ever saw one. It makes us want to stretch too. Watching the graceful way a deer reaches for a branch and a leaf is gorgeous and sensual. 

I have a dog that is part pit bull and part pointer; I think.  He loves going for a walk and he watches acutely for any activity of birds, squirrels, rabbits as he stands and literally points his body and becomes motionless.  He is gorgeous; motionless and yet poised to move at a moment’s notice. I have trained him to stay unless I give him the word, GO, and he is off! He is in heaven and I am too as I watch his beautiful movements.  His body moves gracefully, fast, and literally jumps for joy as he trees his prey. He just wants to go after them and play, and he is pure enjoyment.  Talk about a sensual moment, for him and for me; that is certainly one of them. 

I am also struck by how unselfconscious he is. He has no second thoughts to hold him back and to keep him from his instinctive movements.  When he finds a smell that attracts him, he just goes after it, and rolls in it in such a way it is very clear that he loves it so much he wants to get it all over him. Then he is so proud, and literally struts his stuff.

Can you imagine loving your body, luxuriating in your five senses, following your instincts with no second thoughts or censorship, and living from that place every day?   I certainly am not free of my censors, yet, I am certainly learning. I find myself more frequently appreciating my quiet moments in the sun and the wind and very aware of the feeling on my skin and my hair and my body. I find myself more aware of when I restrict myself verses when I freely allow myself to be aware of and enjoy my body and my movements; when I truly smell the smells that give me enjoyment and the tastes that light up my taste buds.

We are each given a body as a gift.  Why shouldn’t we celebrate that as we enjoy our bodies, our sensuality, and our lives with as much passion, vitality, and wholeness as we possibly can!


Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results Find the time to take yourself to a park, a nature preserve, or a zoo. Take a short walk, or find a bench or chair and open your eyes and senses to all around you.  With a gentle focus, really see the animals around you. Watch how they move, how they look, and notice their actions and reactions. Just notice them.  If you get a feeling sense from them, just allow it and take it in. See what strikes you the most. What are you taken by? What do you begin to notice? What have you sensed that you would like to incorporate in your self and your life?