Sometimes, the effort to embrace neutrality and minimalism can be a refreshing way of letting go and relaxing into a clean, restful atmosphere that isn’t overstimulating. In the wellness world, there is often an over-emphasis on “clearing,” “cleansing,” and “letting go,” when in fact what we might actually be craving is the opposite of that feeling.
Nourishment of the senses can be an impactful, satisfying way to enliven your spirit and connect with the many manifestations of the world around us. If we are feeling underwhelmed and uninspired, it is likely we are not in a place to explore the possibilities of life through the lens of our Higher Selves.
By awakening to the many gifts that become accessible to us through our senses, we can become enlivened and motivated to go deeper, to experience more, to feel more, an attitude that is very conducive to fostering the relationship with the Higher Self through everyday activities.
To awaken the senses, consider the following exercises:
Vision: A New Way of Seeing
Consider candle meditation – this practice is as simple as it sounds. To practice candle meditation simply find a comfortable seat that allows you to rest eye-level with a candle that has an exposed flame (versus a candle in a jar that simply glows from the inside.)
Gently rest your gaze on the moving flame allowing your mind to relax into the continual fluid movements of the small flame.
You may notice that over the course of a few minutes your eyes may become unblinking as you drift into a state of mindfulness that is fascinated with the ever-changing motion of the light.
Stay here for as long as you are comfortable and rest your eyes after you have completed the exercise.
Scent: A Lesson in Herbology
The next time you are food shopping, stop by the fresh herbs section in the produce area. Stand in front of the herbs with an inconspicuous intention and gently notice if you are drawn to any herb in particular. Pick up those herbs and any others that may be of interest to you.
When home, take a mindful moment in relating to the herbs, feeling their textures and experiencing their scents. Take note of how you react to each – are you relaxed, invigorated?
You can continue to work with the herbs by adding them to your water, keeping them by your work area or simply placing them in a vase to have them in your view. See which herbs
If any feel special to you and keep that herb in the back of your mind the next time you relate to your Higher Self.
Sound: The Spirit of Silence
Dropping into a state of silence may feel counterintuitive to experiencing sounds but chances are, you’ll be hard pressed to find a completely silent space most-anywhere.
To practice sound mediation, simply relax into the quietness of a space. Slowly begin to notice that sounds that materialize around you. You may be drawn to the sounds of the birds outside your window, the groan of the heater or the creaking of the floors.
Relax into these sounds, noticing how you respond to each. When you step away from this meditation, you may notice that you feel more present and open to the world around you.
By raising your senses, you have created a path to openness and availability that is very conducive to staying in contact with your Higher Self.
Taste: A Descriptive Experience
We’ve all been at a restaurant and spied someone taking a picture of their plate before diving in – maybe it was even you! Social media critiques aside, taking a moment to appreciate the alluring beauty of a good meal is mindfulness 101.
Instead of reaching for the phone to capture the essence of the food you’re about to enjoy consider a food diary. Knowing that you’ll be taking a moment later on to chronicle your experience of a special meal will prompt you to focus on your experience more deeply.
Much like a mindful wine or beer tasting, where you would be prompted to describe your experience using flavor descriptors like earthy, pungent or bittersweet, a food journal will inspire you to be present from the first bite through to the satisfying finish.
Touch: An Exploration of the Tactile World
As adults navigating a digital world, we often walk around our day with a sense of sterility. Our digital devices are always at the ready, their sleek, cool metals tempting us to check out of our bodies and into a zone where the only touch we prioritize is the flickering of our fingertips on the keyboard.
Consider this take on the traditional body scan that can be done any moment, anywhere.
Wherever you are – pause what you are doing and bring your attention to your feet. If you’re able to, place your feet on the floor in front of you. Notice the sensation of your feet hitting the floor. Imagine that the floor is reaching upward, meeting your feet with support and stability. Whether you are barefoot or wearing socks and shoes, feel into the weight, pressure, vibration, and temperature. Avoiding judgments of good or bad, embrace the texture of your experience. Let the experience go, then notice if you feel a touch more dropped into your body. Carry this feeling forward with you into your next activity.
Do you have a favorite method for re-connecting to your body, your senses, and your experience when you’re feeling out of touch or disconnected? Share your favorites in the comments below!