Come to Your Senses. As miraculous and seductive as technology is, and I swear on my favorite apps that no one loves it as much as I do — the ability to research alone is worth the bleary eyes, chronic neck ache and posture of a wizened crone – it’s the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual equivalent of living on Cheetos and Diet Pepsi. (Which I could totally do, but moving on.) You know it’s true. And yet, and yet, we can’t quite bring ourselves to come to our senses and BE in our senses. That’s the second meaning – literally, come to your senses. The thought of being away from our screens is anxious-making. We are on the verge of not knowing who we are if people aren’t “liking” our farro salad or selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower. We know this isn’t where our life really is, but we act as if we don’t know it. We’ve forgotten the wisdom of the Poet Luhrmann who, in his epic “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen,” exhorts us to:
Enjoy your body
use it every way you can…
don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it
it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
Five Ways to Come to Your Senses Right Now:
- Put down your phone and inhale. Our sense of smell is our most evocative sense, most closely linked to memory. It’s highly emotive. The chemo receptors in our nose have a direct path to our limbic systems. Our other senses take a more circuitous route, through various processing and translation centers. We think more about what we experience via our other senses. It’s why a jolt of Old Spice will remind you of your Dad, or the smell of your kid’s elementary classroom will send you rocketing back to second grade.
- Five Senses checklist: what am I feeling in my body (shoulders tight, indigestion from that seriously dodgey sushi), what do I smell (my dog needs a bath, someone made popcorn, my own perfume), what do I hear (a jet flying overhead, the ice cubes clinking in the glass of my beloved who’s playing a video game in the next room, Eddie, our favorite neighborhood lunatic singing to himself as he sways down the street), what do I see (oy, this desk needs some Marie Kondo-ing), what do I taste?
- Do something right this minute that makes your heart pound. Some personal favorites: running up and down the stairs; jump squats, jumping jacks, internet stalking an ex. (Just kidding. Okay, not really.) Have sex.
- Field trip: Yarn store, music shop, cheese or wine shop or anywhere you can convince the proprietor to offer tastings, department store perfume counter. Watch a movie blindfolded and have a friend describe what’s happening.
- Bake something you mix with your hands: Like the Official Chocolate chip cookies of Karbohemia