I have a favorite spot on the beach. I tend to go there every time I need some me-time. The pipe allows me to come close to the ocean – almost like being inside the water, but not getting wet.
Today was no exception to the rule. But instead of staring at the waves, I laid back, closed my eyes and just listened.
Closing your eyes, allows all your other senses to come alive. For the first time in a while, I closed myself off from any fear of being alone, from seeing anyone moving around me, to just listening.
I became aware of the waves crashing against the small rocks laying on the shore. I heard how the ocean pulled back. I could literally feel the build up to the next wave. And then I breathed. And not just the way we normally breathed. Deep breaths. I felt my chest rising and falling, and I could feel the tension, the worry, the anxiety leave.
When our senses are evoked by nature, our breath responds.
When I left my home my breath was shallow and constricted. After relaxing and listening, my breath became full and expanded.
What is it that connects our senses with our breath? Perhaps it is the “essensual” connection with that which we are created from. When our senses are filled – our breath is full.
Spending countless hours sitting in front of computers/electronics, watching television for some, and hooked into sedentary lifestyles and mind games we have forgotten that we even have a full array of senses that can give us unending pleasure, ignite our life dreams, and connect us to the whole of all that is around and within us.
What would it be like if today you took a “senses break”. In other words choose one of your senses – nose/smell; eyes/visual; ears/hearing; skin/touch or tongue/taste. I invite you to take a 15 minute “sense break” and completely focus on that particular sense.
What is your experience? Has your breath changed as you allow your one sense to be the connector moment to moment? Now see if you can focus into the moment with all 5 senses and notice how your breath may change.
All life that came before us depended upon senses to navigate their particular place in the world. Their survival actually depended upon it. How might we bring back a deeper connection with our senses…and thus with our breath? As this connection deepens, and in some cases returns, our direct experience of life in the moment expands.
In return, our full embodied breath can also ignite our senses. Just taking one full breath activates the nasal passages/smell as we bring more air into and out of our body; increases visual depth and acuity as oxygen stimulates our visual receptors; creates a soft sound that tells us “we are alive and breathing”; expands our chest, ribcage, back and belly, massages organs and the lymphatic/circulatory systems, and causes increased sensitivity to touch as the breath moves in and out; and stimulates appetite to “taste” more of life as we increase our aliveness with a full breath.
What is holding you back from using your senses more to feel, hear, taste, touch and see? All it takes is 15 minutes a day. Breathe it in!!
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