HEIGHTEN THE SENSES
Our senses are engaging unconsciously all the time. We look up and gasp at a sunset, or melt into a back rub, or smell a pie baking. These are hard to miss.
But there’s a world of subtler sensation that often goes unnoticed. And it’s these subtleties that you’ll discover through mindful awareness, in the same way that you spot more stars as your eyes adjust to the darkness. In fact, even those high-voltage sensations…those sunsets and brass bands… become richer, more exciting, and more nuanced when you experience them consciously. That is, when you focus consciously on the physical thrill they’re causing.
The more conscious, undivided attention you give to your senses, the richer the experience will be.
The benefits of conscious, mindful sensory awareness are:
➢ Our senses become more acute.
➢ We gain more information about the world around us.
➢ We perceive more accurately.
➢ We learn to live in the moment.
➢ We experience more pleasure from the things we perceive.
Here are 3 exercises to isolate certain senses (sight, hearing, and smell) to become more in-tune to the world around you.
On my hike this week, the yellow leaves and birds chirping were captivating. I recorded a video so you could listen and join me in a a simple exercise to practice heightening your ambient awareness. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds in the video. You may hear birds chirping, leaves rustling, or a waterfall rushing. Imagine yourself floating around, above, and through the sounds. Don’t
label any of it as noise; imagine that what you are hearing is music, and every sound is a new phrase.
In your everyday life, you can try this ambient awareness exercise in the bathtub, on a park bench, in a library, or anywhere else life takes you.