I have been preparing for my upcoming Rebirth through the Senses Retreat in Paris, France next month, diving into the relationship I have with each of my senses to awaken my own full-sensory journey. This is what I have discovered along the way.
Bringing presence and awareness into each moment, focusing on one sense, is no fucking joke.
I don't say this to be discouraging, but to WAKE YOU UP, from your sleepwalking slumber through life, my dear.
Touch is the one sense that I keep coming back to since it is one that can never be shut off. You can close your eyes, you can plug your nose, your can shut your ears, you can chose not to eat, but you can't stop your skin from being exposed to sensations and experiences every moment of every day. This causing most of us to no longer have an awareness of the edges of our skin.
The entire body is touch factory.
It is in contact with what we chose to wear (are you wearing things that feel divine on your body?), what we chose to bathe in (are your bath and shower products a toxic cocktail aimed to cover the natural scent on your own skin?), who we chose to allow close to us (are you receiving loving, heartfelt touch or are you being treated roughly, and with little respect?), and it absorbs into the body all it encounters (are you slathering your body with feel good, natural products, if not, why not?).
When was the last time your slowed down to feel the edges of your own skin? Slowly and lovingly massaging coconut oil over your entire body, or taking the time to chose what you are wearing each day because it feels rich and luxurious on your skin? I can guess it was either a long, long time ago or likely never.
"You touched me like there was more to me than skin."
No other sense can be damaged as deeply as touch can be.
I realized it is no surprise that our relationship to touch as women is so shut off. Nearly 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18 and 1 in 5 women are raped at some point in their life. Knowing that most sexual abuse is never reported, makes both of these statistics likely even higher.
I have considered how many women suffer some form of physical abuse in their life, causing further shut down of the sense of Touch.
These realities cause a painful and deadened sense of touch.
Though the sense of touch can feel turned off, with a lack of life, I bring hope since I have discovered that it is really a seed waiting to be planted, tended, watered and waiting to sprout and bloom.
My awakening to touch has been challenging as it is a sense that I turned off long ago. As someone who gets over stimulated easily, my days as a young mother with 2 children under 2, were full of constantly holding, breastfeeding or caring for one child or another. I felt over touched, and over needed most days. It continued with having a husband at the time, that touch only meant him wanting sex from me when most of the time I wanted nothing to do with, but did it anyway, forgoing my own wants and desires.
This has been a challenge I have worked to overcome in my relationship with my now fiancé, since I arrived with more baggage than I realized. I am rewiring my brain to not associate touch to always mean that someone wants something from me, to fully enjoy and relish in all the beauty that touch holds.
To begin the awakening process it starts with an awareness of the edges of your skin, where you end and something else begins.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself to tune into your sense of Touch:
- How connected are you to your sense of touch?
- Does it feel safe to be turned on by touch?
- Do you spend time honoring your body with sacred touch: massaging your feet, smoothing oil onto your skin, wearing clothes that feel silky on your body?
- What are some ways you can awaken the sense of touch for yourself? Perhaps treating yourself to a monthly massage, reaching out to hug those that you love, or cuddling with a close friend.
The biggest lesson I have learned is that it is challenging to awaken our senses in our day to day lives. It takes constant attention, presence and awareness.
This is yet another layer in my spiritual development, as being fully embodied is just as important as all of the other tools I use to expand more into who I authentically am. This is all about the journey, not the destination.