paris

Feeling the Edges of my Skin

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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."
-Emma Bleker


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.

You don't have to lose to win

We all know how it feels to lose someone we love.  During those days after, we hold everyone tighter, we tell them we love them, and life feels more precious and fragile.  

A similar thing happens when one of our 5 senses are dulled.  We have a cold that clogs our nose, so we can't breathe and thus can't smell or taste things very well.  Our ears become stuffed, making it harder to hear, and suddenly, we have a new found appreciation for these senses, that we take for granted in our day to day lives.  

When reminded of the fragility of life, we go from living in black and white, to living in full on technicolor (the mission of Souldust).  The French have a term:

 Joie de vivre: meaning-a delight in being alive; keen, carefree enjoyment of living

What would happen if you were able to unfold, like a delicate flower, into the beauty of your everyday surroundings, discovering how alive your life is, without having to lose something or someone to discover it?

You know the term, what we focus on expands.  So, what happens when we bring all of our attention to touch for one day. What does it feel like to touch and to be touched?  How do the things that we pick up and hold everyday actually feel when we aren't going through the motions of life?  What if we allowed our nerve endings to be wide open and receptive? 

Touch can open a heart, heal a sore body, connect with a friend or beloved, and even build the connection and love we have for ourselves.  When was the last time you spent caring and nurturing own physical body?  Do you rub the lotion on your body quickly with the next thing on your list to do on your mind?  Or do you take the time to slow down, infusing loving energy from your hands into your own hands, arms, legs and feet?  

Do you think you might embrace your own beauty if you slowed down and took a few minutes to honor your body?  

“Listen to me, your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest—thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.” -Beau Taplin

Take a moment to awaken and delight your senses.  Feel the breeze on your face, smell the salt air, hear the seagulls calling and the waves crashing, taste the mist of sea spray as you see the waves roll in.  

Be present in each moment to the world around you discover the beauty that lies in the everyday moments called life.  

xx Nicole

Befriending fear leads me to Paris

A month ago, I was sitting, wrapped in a paralyzing fear that was like a heavy blanket smothering my every breath.  Standing on the edge of a cliff, knowing that in order to claim my soul's destiny, I had to use all of my energetic tools to leap off and fly.

A few of you know the 12 years of anxiety and panic attacks that I have been affected by.  

They have paralyzed me, stolen jobs from me, stolen opportunities from me.  

The time had finally come for me to confront my fear and anxiety before I missed another opportunity that came knocking.

In the last year, most of the anxiety and panic has fallen away, as I have worked diligently to create a life filled with Soul.  My last lingering whisper of fear was around flying.  

Just the thought of being in the air, in an enclosed space, away from my beloved earth, caused my heart to race and my breath to become shallow.

I felt like a fraud.  How can I teach about facing and befriending fears, when I hadn't been willing to befriend my own? 

The journey to befriend my fear, began in December 2015, when a lovely friend, Rachel, founder of Souldust, approached me about co-hosting a retreat in Paris.  

My Soul immediately shouted YES! while my mind wanted to run and hide at the thought of GETTING to Paris.  On a plane for 10 hours! My heart raced, but my Soul kept insisting.  YES! YES! YES!

I believe a majority of me would have turned down the opportunity, if my partner had not been so adamant about me not allowing this opportunity to pass me by.  

The time had come to befriend my fear and begin my healing journey with flying.  

Last month, I was sitting on the precipice of a flight.  This would be my very first flight to the East Coast, and the longest flight I had taken in 5 years.  A mini test-run for my journey to Paris.

The week leading up to the trip, I began connecting to all the healing tools I felt I intuitively needed:

  • Shamanic Journey: A hawk gave me the reminder to embrace the magic of flying. He asked me to imagine he was the plane and I was riding upon his back.
  • Tapping: I began loving and accepting myself, right where I was, fears and all, so I could begin to change how being in a plane felt to me.  
  • Visualization: In my preparations, I was gifted the vision of a rainbow highway, running from Seattle to Washington, DC, that the plane would travel on.  Any turbulence I felt were merely bumps on the rainbow highway, not a plane being thrown around in the air (I know, mind tricks work magic!).
  • Grounding: It was a gift from the divine, the idea that even if I am off the ground, I can still remain grounded.  So I created a grounding cord, that was firmly planted into the Earth, when we took off from Seattle, and I imagined that cord like a rubber band, stretching all the way to Washington, DC until we landed.  Then, I released the grounding cord until we flew back and reversed the process.  

Not only did I survive the trip, but I thrived.  Facing and befriending my fear, even with my past negative experiences, have given my Soul new wings to fly with.  

I am now completely excited about the journey ahead to Paris, instead of just halfheartedly excited, while secretly dreading it.

I can co-build the Paris retreat, focusing on Women Rebirthing Their Lives Through Their Senses, from a place of fully saying YES to all that lies ahead.

 

Where will befriending your fears lead you?  Are you ready to find out?   

All love.  All soul.

Nicole