This is not the first post titled ‘sensual’ that I have written. I don’t think I’ve posted any…yet.
The journey of my last 7 or 8 years toward (what I now call) well-being has three main elements that I would consider to be the biggest game changers – both personally and professionally.
All three elements began with me having a total clueless-ness about them. Funny how something can be 100% meaningless…and then all of a sudden it’s 100% authentically meaningful…a foundation, a springboard.
To begin…well, it all began with mindfulness which I now call self-awareness. The word mindfulness appeared to me for the first time when I hurriedly googled Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to unmask the magical skills that could cure the population of kids that I spent time with from harming themselves and/or harming others.
DBT had 4 main skill sets – and mindfulness was one of them. The word ‘mindfulness’ made NO sense…I ‘shelved’ it and decided the other, ‘more approachable’ skill sets would be a good place to start.
Sensations was a HUGE game changer when I began to work at the elementary level. A parent introduced me to sensory integration/processing (disorder – I actually drop the ‘disorder’). The same parent gave me a copy of Out of Sync Child. When I learned about sensory integration, the behaviors that were so confusing to me of high school students all of a sudden made ‘sense’ – yep.
I understood ‘Sensory Processing/Integration’ conceptually LONG before I really grasped and could transfer skills as to what sensations really were. I know I taught it long before I actually understood it. It wasn’t the first thing I taught that I didn’t really get – wink.
When I would read books about mindfulness…or watch YouTube videos…read blogs…etc…I learned that the skill of ‘Storytelling’ was a way to practice mindfulness. I couldn’t really grasp the connection.
My current understanding is that of my own. We get to do this. We get to interpret information and tell our own story about it.
I now recognize that when we are self-aware we notice sensations and tell a story about them. The story is either rooted in a theme of fear and doubt which triggers our nervous system and fight/flight/freeze/faint, or the story theme is one of safety and security – what I like to call a state of possibility.
There you go – self-awareness, sensations, and storytelling.
That’s just a quick back story.
This blog is about the word sensual.
To keep this post simple, I’ll just share a few thoughts to peak your own interest into the meaning you place on the words sensual and pleasure.
We interpret the world through our physical senses. If one sense is lagging, as a whole human we compensate with another sense.
When we take in the energy and information around us through our physical senses, it creates sensation. A sensation is inside. The sensation is interpreted through our inner senses – proprioceptive (where am I in space and time), tactile (safe/comfortable or unsafe/uncomfortable), vestibular (balance…too much, not enough), and interoceptive – (my experience or yours).
If you practice yoga or meditation, you will be cued to sensations. Awareness. Noticing. You will also be cued to practice compassion toward what you notice – having the experience without there needing to be a right way or a wrong way (judgement), anything to compare your experience to, or anything to critique. Allow.
The story we tell.
Notice. What story do you tell about those things you enjoy? Remember, this is about you and you. Right now, let’s not be concerned about others and the story they may tell and how it could be dangerous. Just you.
What story do you tell about a pink sprinkled cupcake? Or how about…food?
What story do you tell about Art and the value you may place upon it?
What story do you tell about music?
What story do you tell about touch?
What story do you tell about pleasure?
Rooted in fear and doubt? Rooted in possibility?
You get to tell the story.
What does the word ‘savor’ or ‘to savor’ mean to you? Do you savor moments?
Do you want to?