We were all created with five basic senses: smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing. While many people on a spiritual path are often motivated to develop their intuitive and psychic abilities, what I often tell my clients is that the path of intuitive development first begins with attuning ourselves more deeply to the five senses. Once we widen those, it is only natural for other senses to open up for us – and they do, inevitably.
Our five senses carry within themselves all that is needed to connect to ourselves more deeply and to expand in our energy. They are also many wellness and health benefits, because each of our five senses is essentially a language of what our body needs. They also serve as intuitive pathways about what is going on in our external environment – and when we widen our inner world through them, so does our understanding of the outer world widens also.
Our five senses are also what grounding techniques are based on. For example, if you feel stressed, the quickest way to ground yourself is just place your hands on something like a wooden table, or just hold your hands. If you think about it, grounding essentially means to come back to the present moment – which means embodiment. In addition, working with our senses is also one of the key components of Feminine Embodiment – and invoking feminine energy. As women, we connect and align to our natural rhythm through our senses.
When we develop a deeper connection to our physical body through our senses, we also deepen our experience of life itself, and expand our creativity and imagination; we also become more grounded, establishing a stable channel through which inspired creativity, and source energy, can flow freely through our body. So if you are feeling stuck creatively, just connect to your senses and let that deepening of experience inspire you to then express your art through, and find new ways to expressing creativity.
Our five senses are also an amazing and creative way to deepen intimacy with our partner, or with ourselves. You can read more about that in my article The Art of Nurturing Intimacy. We awaken our sensual self and come into our sensuality through our ability to fully enjoy our senses. Sensuality isn’t sexuality, so don’t confuse the two. Actually lack of sexual confidence often refers to body insecurity, which in turn means “not knowing how to be in your body.” Sensuality is in a way the ability to be fully in your body. Being sensual grounds us in our body, and we live in the present moment, and we are able to be more attentive to our partner also. To be sensual is to be completely human; and we get to experience ourselves, and this life, through many different ways. This makes us more imaginative, creative, and able to rekindle our intimacy and connection to our partner; because lovemaking isn’t just about genitals, we make love in so many other ways using sound, words, playfulness, touch, hands, eyes. The greatest lovers are the ones that pay attention, and all begins in life with noticing.
And yet our senses aren’t just about the physical or creative experience – each of the five senses can be engaged towards a higher spiritual purpose that will naturally bring us more fulfillment and soul expansion. Once we learn how to mindfully and consciously use our every day movements and gestures, higher love is expressed and embodied through our hands, ears and lips in a way that is meaningful, purposeful and aligned to our spiritual path. For example, touch isn’t just about touch of fabric and skin, it is about how we touch other people’s hearts. You can read about this in detail in my article Engaging All Five Senses Towards Higher Purpose.
So today, let’s go through each of our five senses and how you can connect to them and widen your experience of life.
Touch is one of our most needed senses to feel connected to ourselves and to others. Touch is healing; we all know how healing it is to be hugged by our family and loved ones. Touch is also in itself a language – a connection, and a voice telling us what is good and what isn’t.
Touch is the first sense that we develop. As babies, we hold onto our blankets and our stuffed animals, we suck on our thumbs, we touch our feet and we are held in cuddles. In fact, being held in our family’s cuddles is one of the most important indicators of a healthy self-esteem later on in life. We seek softness because it makes us feel safe and secure, and because skin-to-skin contact is incredibly soothing, and healing. This is how we also learn to calm ourselves as it releases oxytocin and lowers cortisol levels, thereby reducing our stress levels and making us feel good.
This dynamic continues into adulthood: we know what we like even if we don’t have the words, or science, to explain why. Often times, we look to satisfy our need for touch unconsciously: we hold our own hands, we cuddle in bed or with comforting wraps, we look for a kiss or hug from a loved one, we hold our tea cups while warm, we walk closer to other people on the street, or sit next to strangers in the train.
Connect to touch: Start by focusing on skin contacts and what qualities of touch you enjoy. For example, where do you like to be touched: hands, feet, neck, back, face, hair? Experiment with temperature, texture, speed and movements; for example, hot versus cooler, circular motion and then linear, and try out firm pressure and then soft. This is called body mapping and cultivates connection and intimacy with self, while also, building trust within yourself and new ways to explore what you enjoy.
Find a few objects that you love to touch. It can be a nice fabric like silk, cotton or cashmere, or a book, or a fruit, or anything you like around the house. How does it feel on your skin; what makes this sensation comforting and pleasurable? Wear soft fabrics such as silk, satin or whatever you like. Explore various speeds and movements: fast versus slow touch on your hand, circular versus linear, back of palm versus front of palm.
Take a long shower or a hot bath – how does water feel on your skin? Showers and baths are also great for relieving stress: they inspire a sense of calmness by releasing our mental defenses, and are also part of spiritual cleansing, and psychic protection.
Give yourself a massage. For example, gently message your feet and apply lotion on them before bedtime – this is also a great ancient way of grounding and reconnecting you back to your physical body. Applying nail polish on your toes is another way of grounding actually, especially in red colour, as it unconsciously brings your focus do your feet throughout the day.
Additional ways of nurturing touch are: stretch different parts of your body and notice which ones feel the most relief; walk with bare feet; brush your hair and massage the scalp with fingers; sleep naked in bed or try different fabrics against your skin; place your hands on your belly and focus on its movements as you breathe in and out.
You can also take a shower in candle light. Feeling how the water feels on your body in the dimly-lit bathroom can create a new experience for your senses, and how you experience yourself guided only by the movement of water on your skin.
Our olfactory sense, or sense of smell, is perhaps one of our most powerful. The oldest and strongest form of memory actually occurs in the olfactory bulb – it is this that gives so much power of connecting us to the liminal, to spirit, to soul memory, and to lineage. To past lives too, if that’s something you believe in. You know this: Each time you smell something familiar, you go right there, all the way back to the moment when that thing happened.
Scents open doors and can change our mood immediately, because they are so connected to our emotional body. We enter doorways through senses – and in these rooms, we conjure feelings, experiences, thoughts and emotions. When we know which door to open, we can invoke specific moods into our life.
So if I have a great memory with the scent of apples, every time I smell apples, I’ll feel that thing I did way back when. This is great for self-care and mood enhancers, because knowing ourselves and our minds and our memories, we can use specific senses, whether music, scents, images, to put ourselves in a good mood when we are feeling down.
Scent is very important in aligning to our natural rhythm. With so many harmful contents and toxins in cosmetics, food, house cleaning supplies, and don’t even get me started on the toxins in contraceptives, our hormonal health is constantly disrupted, and our bodies can become too numbed in our senses. It is a well known fact that we choose potential partners based on their body scent – and if our senses are off, well … yeah. But that’s another topic.
Each scent is traditionally associated with particular emotions and body organs – which is why scents also have many medicinal and wellness benefits – but it is also why they provoke very powerful memories within us, from our deep subconscious. So while for someone jasmine oil might be soothing, for another, it may provoke some uncomfortable feelings.
Connect to scent: Experiment with various scents in a perfumery – which ones do you love? What feelings and emotions arise within you? Smell the fruits and vegetables in the market. Light candles or essential oils at home, whichever you prefer, and have some relaxation time.
Have a candle-lit hot bath with essential oils and flowers. Mix your own oil or perfume blends – there are some perfumeries where you can create your own signature perfume! Create your own bath oil by mixing various oils. For some playful intimacy with your partner, close your eyes, and let your partner give you different candles or foods, so you can guess which is which.
Indulge in the scent of something before you eat it or drink, for example, tea or chocolate. Don’t hurry to eat or drink it, just enjoy how it smells for a while.
Notice how your skin smells, how your sweat smells, don’t be afraid of it. Notice how your partner smells. Smell your arms, smell his arms, his neck, his chest. Press noses to skins and rediscover how we can kiss with our noses.
When you go to the beach, take time to enjoy the salt air, the beach lotions, smell your skin after swimming – isn’t it wonderful!
Everything in life begins with noticing – and as we widen our sense of smell, we begin to notice how actually everything has its own unique scent, even air, even tree leaves, and it is how we connect to all and everything even more deeply.
How do you feel when you eat chocolate? What does happiness taste like? What does an apple remind you of? If love was a flavour, what would it be for you? What does love taste like when it is given to you, and when you give it?
Taste is about nurturing and nourishment. On a spiritual level, it shows how we take care of others, and how we create the needed space for them to feel comfortable enough to thrive and shine in their true selves.
It is also about connection to our own true self and being able to take care of our needs emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. It is about being mindful of what we feed ourselves with every day. We become our tongues and our hands – what we speak we become, how we act we become.
Connect to taste: Explore which tastes are most pleasurable to you. Perhaps try eating with closed eyes – which textures are most noticeable to you, in what ways does eating in the dark amplify your tastes or desires? Try new foods and tastes, and have fun exploring! Eat slowly and experiment with eating with hands. Try to eat smaller portions at a time, so that you can enjoy each bite and piece of your food. If you want to spice things up with your partner, perhaps let him feed you a piece of chocolate – does the experience or taste itself change for you?
We are often in a continuous process of refining our palette, and experimenting with and selecting things that give us pleasure and satisfaction in life. Also – notice if you pick up tastes around certain people – do their words sound sweet like chocolate – as this may be your body’s way of telling you whether they are sweet to your energy also.
Sight can be such a wonderful sense to play around with – because it isn’t just about the world of aesthetics that we can enter into, it is also about playing around with light, shadows and movements! Get creative!
Connect to sight: Light a candle and dance/move in front of the mirror, noticing how your curves change in candle-light.
Visit a church or an old building and notice the engravings, and details on the stained glass. Explore the hidden corners and see what you can notice if you pay attention to the small details, ones that might have been obstructed from your initial view.
Perfect the art of slow motion; imagine you are a camera and sit still outside noticing how things move by; watch the sunset, watch fields in the wind, watch your loved ones laugh, watch your children play.
Light incense or candle and watch the smoke/flame move.
Practice receptive gaze. Notice the details of your body lines. How does it change in different lights; when you are outside, at sunset, or home in the morning? Undress yourself in front of the mirror, noticing how you feel about the curves of your body. Dance, or move slowly, or walk around naked, and notice how your body stretches and moves. How does this change if you now put on jewelry?
Decorate your home in a beautiful way, look at beautiful art, window browse – as these all may open your mind and help it relax. Allow yourself to be drawn to beautiful spaces, places and things, noticing how visual clues can guide your path. Perhaps you see a beautiful flower and go down that road, perhaps you notice a person’s beautiful dress or scarf and then strike a conversation. In addition to beautifying your home, you can also create food that looks visually beautiful.
We are like a violin, through which God’s breath dances us into life and creativity. Sound is also connected to the power of the word, which is one of the powers of creation. Whether it is music, song or poetry – there is a language unfolding.
Words particularly carry a very strong vibration and much can be transformed through their energy. Every day we make a choice of whether to speak harm or love into ourselves and others – whether to imbue love and purpose into our creations. We must be mindful of how our words affect other people. Not only do sound and words change our own frequency, and affect our health and well-being, but our choice of words also reflects our current state of being.
So sound isn’t just about bells, chimes, music and words – it is also about our own voices, and hearing our own selves. It is these sounds of ourselves that also connect us to our sacral.
We are all made of vibrations as is everything. Sound can be incredibly healing and balancing to our physical bodies and our moods, it can be an ally in reducing stress, pain, anxiety, sadness, and tension. Sound is also a great stress reliever, and can boost creativity also.
Sound is natural to our bodies as is movement and breath. Sound doesn’t only refer to talking or singing, it refers to sighs and moans that our bodies naturally produce. Yawning itself is very important because it equalizes our energy; it releases tension and resets our nervous system. And “sighs of relief” actually occur naturally after every 4 or 5 breaths.
Connect to sound: Sit in a quiet spot and out in nature, and notice what sounds you can hear around you. There is so much we may not hear when we are in a hurry, and yet everything in nature has its song. There are also subtle sounds, but if we can allow ourselves the time to hear, we’ll hear so many. We hear sounds in the distance, as the cars move, as the leaves move in the trees, as people talk, and as a soda bottle opens.
Listen to wind chimes – what does the sound say about the wind’s movements?
If you are a swimmer, how does your relationship to sound change when you are underwater?
Experiment with your voice, by recording it and then listening to it (as uncomfortable as it’d be).
Humming can be very beneficial to connect you to your own voice, and soothes the entire body.
Listen to different foreign languages, whichever ones sound appealing to you the most. You don’t need to understand them, just listen.
Repeat a sentences ten times with closed eyes, and then notice how the sound and feeling changed, and how your mind and body changed with each repetition.
If you want to practice with a friend or partner, let them ring a bell while you are with closed eyes, and experiment with distance, space, movement and volume. How does your experience of sound change, and what feels more comfortable for you?
Listen to the sound of waves, whether you are literally at the beach or playing a video at home, and feel how soothing and healing it is; it is one of the greatest ways to align to the natural rhythm of our bodies and feel more connected to the flow of our life, and ourselves.
For more of my writings, browse through my Art of Love.
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