Sensory Tune Up
Before I began mindfulness practices years ago, I thought I was pretty good at noticing the details. I thought I was in tune with nature and myself. However, being intentional about awaking my senses brought the world to my attention in a whole new way. I want this for you too and Spring is a great time to begin noticing the details.
There is so much beauty around us, and if we aren't careful, we miss the good stuff!
Sensory Tune Up Practices
5 Sense Mindfulness
To bring your awareness into the present moment and tune-in to your environment, name:
5 things you see right in front of you
4 things you feel touching you
3 things you hear right now
2 things you smell near you
1 thing you can taste
After doing this quick exercise, you will feel more present in the moment, tuned into your awareness, and notice an appreciation of the details we often take for granted. As you practice this, you don't have to worry about the numbers, that is just to help you get started. Make a habit of tuning in all five senses every where you go. The world will come alive!
1. Notice sensations in your body - where is there tension, where is pain, where is tightness? What feels heavy, hot, burning, tingling, numb, cold, weak? These are signs that your attention is needed. Ask yourself, what part of me needs attention and love?
2. Choose one area of your body with a sensation that you are now aware of. Allow yourself to focus on that area and take a deep breath. Think about not trying to make the sensation go away, instead, allow it to be. It may get more intense at first as you focus on this one area, but stay with it, and take a few breaths, and then ask yourself, what do you notice about this area now?
3. Now imagine gently opening up some space around this area. Imagine the area getting bigger, send your breath to this part of your body, as if you can direct air flow to that space, expand the area, give it room to breath, stay connected to the sensation, but allow it to have some space and oxygen flowing to it – ask yourself, what do I notice about this sensation now?
4. Now you finish this practice by sending love to the area. Feel gratitude for this awareness and for your body brining this to your attention. Feel a healing love flowing through your body. Relax now and take a few deep breaths. Notice the area once again and then release the effort. Notice how you feel after paying attention to the sensations in your body.
Many of our areas of tension, pain, or fatigue in our bodies can be lightened with awareness, envisioning space around it, sending our breath to that area, and expressing love with gratitude for our body communicating with us. If this feels silly or uncomfortable, give it a try before you negate the possibilities. Not only will you become mindful of tension, but you will also become mindful of the sensation of releasing tension.
Tuning into our senses and body sensations is a quick way to notice the present moment, decrease stress levels, and find greater clarity in thinking. When your mind is racing or the inner chatter is getting louder, practice one of these awareness exercises and you will immediately notice a shift in your awareness.
Our senses are constantly conveying messages to us. By paying attention to what they are communicating, we tune into a higher level of consciousness. The first steps to a spiritual experience start with your ability to tune in. Being aware of sensations opens you to noticing things that can be sensed, but not seen.
Enjoy a new level of awareness as you see the colors of Spring illuminate, hear the sounds of nature re-awakening, feel the sun on your skin, smell fresh cut grass, and taste fruit in season. And once you are really noticing your five senses, you can't help but feel more in connection to nature, humanity, and God.
If you are traveling or taking a break with family for spring break, take a few minutes and try these practices. A change of scenery and routine invites new moments of awareness into our souls. Mindfulness will help you appreciate the moments and enjoy this season of new starts.
I send you love as we awaken together!