Seven Ways Towards The Sensuous Self
Updated: Jul 1
As the sun diminishes, hints of orange and purplish-blue flecks sparkle in finitude along the skyline and the cool air delights in the fleeting heat. A bronze statuesque woman occupies a crisp, all-white bedroom. She shimmies into the caress of her black silk nightshirt and her body thanks her with a sympathetic rush of calm. Collapsing on the faux fur throw, she squints her eyes just enough to catch the sun’s last hurrah exquisitely framed in her skylight. Mouthing the words to her favorite Motown classic playing in the living room below, her thumb circles around the smooth polished platinum of her ring. She inhales deeply into the folds of the blanket. The smell of cedar, patchouli, and fresh lavender feel like home and love.
We are sensuous beings. The beauty of life is in how we feel and what we experience. It is our compassion, awareness of the environment, and love of others that we must take time to savor. What can we do when we stop feeling and become unaware of our body’s signals? What can we do when we are numb to what is going on around us or how others react to us? Learning how to reawaken our senses is paramount to our well-being as functional humans. Whether we are at home, work, the gym, a hotel or restaurant, we are reliant on our senses for survival, distinctiveness, and satisfaction of our individuality.
Our humanity is tied to our state of consciousness. We are what we perceive. Our nervous system brings those sensations to our brain and signals it to react. When we are overwhelmed with life, stress has the ability to block certain ways we feel. Depression and anxiety can cause dulling sensations and weakened mental sharpness. Our senses deserve to be nurtured everyday of our lives. When they’re blocked or forgotten, our self-awareness is skewed.
Gaining full consciousness is living in the now. Now is all there is.
On what appears to be the “tail end” of a historical pandemic associated with personal trauma, fear, and unwanted life changes, many of us are struggling to find the light, or even a soft glow. We are in a daze from months of social isolation, stressful political times, and really just a lack of things to do outside of the house. We want to pamper ourselves and indulge in gratifying experiences.
Although each of us are unique in our ability to tap into different levels of sensuousness, here are some techniques to start reconnecting to the world around us:
Home - In a perfect world the home should be where we are centered. Our home is our personal theater of the senses that we can be the master of. This is where our families thrive. Be aware of sensual design and how to build your space around some of those elements. Texture can calm, balance and stimulate us. For example, a leather sofa is both soft and cool on a warm day. A mosaic with mirror fragments reflects light and distorts images to abstraction. Take time to authentically feel and savor those memories of sensation and where they lead.
Color Therapy - Purchase rose-colored glasses. No really, there is a reason why people say “that person sees the world through rose-colored glasses”. The energy of color affects us on all levels. It can be very healing. Color therapy teaches that rose and pink tones promote relaxation, reduced aggression, and appetite suppression.
Nature - the concept of “shinrin-yoku” or forest bathing in the richness of green and nature’s fragrances is considered an eco-antidote offering sensory immersion. A simple walk on a forest trail can be profound.
Check out this beautiful children's book about forest-bathing.
Taste - The average human has 4,000 taste buds throughout their mouth, throat, and nasal cavity. Try utilizing fresh herbs and spices in your dishes. Close your eyes and taste, smell, and feel the texture of what you're eating. Appreciate the combination of ways food affects your receptors.
Dance - can help individuals achieve emotional, cognitive, physical, and social integration. It can be a truly transformational therapy. What we hear and how we respond to it is powerful. Beats, rhythm, harmony can be complex. Reacting to these elements through dance practices a higher level of awareness.
Olfactory - Aromatherapy, fine perfumes, and incense have been around for centuries. Experiment with a variety of oils and fragrance. Scent can take over and release associative memories inside of us, and help create and retain new memories. Be aware of how your environment smells and how you can uplift or transform your mood by controlling it.
Music - is one of the few activities that stimulates your entire mind. It is mathematical, structural, and architectural based on the relationships between notes. There is power and healing in music and listening to a diversity of musical styles triggers healthy brain chemistry.
The grass feels peculiar, both rough and soft on her winter feet. Feet that have been tucked away in fuzzy warmth as the seasons die and birth anew. She moves her body to the soulfulness of song and trance-inducing drum beats, consuming a bowl of red berries and juicy peaches on this hot summer night. The smell of her garden’s freesia and rose bush lingers in the air and she is gratified with being in her natural simplicity and sensuousness underneath the new moon.
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