Top Ways to Reconnect With Your Senses
Sounds like a simple tip, doesn’t it? That’s what I thought. And then I really, really started practicing Mr. Wood’s task. It’s harder than I expected to stay present enough to honestly say that I taste what I eat and smell what I breathe all day, for days. The events of the day have the gift of attracting our attention and drawing you into what screams the loudest. Most of the time we eat, we breathe, we walk, we talk……..we tend to exist in a state of distraction.
There is a chipmunk visiting the terrace between the forest and the outside of my office door. Most of the time, he jumps on the Terrace, behind the pile of stones next to the house and stops abruptly to pick up a seed. He looks around and sniffs the air several times. Then, with his little hands, he diligently nibbles the seed at will and puts it in his cheek to finish after. This lasts for a few moments until he has a full cheek, then he returns to the pile of stones. I would bet that my resident chipmunk will taste all the seeds he chews – in those moments on the Terrace, food is what he does, so food is what matters to him. Eating this Seed attracts all his Attention. And the few seconds when he stops to sniff his nose in the Breeze? I bet he breathes this air with his whole being and absorbs the smell of the moment as it unfolds.
Wild creatures have a present way of life that we humans too often overlook. Of course, a chipmunk doesn’t have bills to pay or documents to file or meet with clients like I do. But he has a Body and a Life to live. Just like me.
How can we look like our wild neighbors and focus our attention on one place at a time?
When multitasking threatens to turn my attention into small distractions, I try to remind myself to do a few simple things. If I remember to do these simple things, I can honestly say that I am present in my moments and that I taste and smell with my whole being, that I see, that I hear and that I feel.
I’m going out.
Even if it’s cold, cloudy or rainy. It has something to do with connecting to the air of the world that exists outside the man-made walls, which forces me to focus on the Moment of the “present moment”.”
I touch something wild, something that is the earth or that is close to it.
Maybe it’s just a hand on the bark of a tree, or maybe it’s bare feet in the dirt of the garden. Perhaps he is gliding through the icy waters of the lake on a sultry day or he is in the middle of the meadows and wildflowers that shape the field next door. Direct body contact with nature is essential for well-being. It roots me in reality in a way that nothing else can do.
I close my Eyes.
When my eyes are closed, I am forced to rely on something other than vision. I can adapt to the vibrations of the call of a sand mound crane when it flies above me, or to the feeling of a sunbeam on my face upside down, or to the taste of a raindrop coming off my cheek on its journey to earth. Relying on the other senses puts me directly at the center of presence.
When I do these three simple things, I come back to earth in a way that honors every moment it happens. I can really taste what I’m eating and I can smell what I’m breathing. I can see with the eyes of a wild creature and remind myself that my body, my community and my environment are best served when my attention is placed in one place at a time.