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Senses and Sensibility: The Art of Appreciation

So many people in this world live day to day life not ever experiencing the wonderment of their surroundings because they are “too busy”, “too stressed” or “too something-or-other-else” to actually pay attention to what is around them. If only we sat up and paid attention. If only we learned to appreciate things around us and expressed a graciousness for them. I feel that a huge part of being able to do this lies withing the ability to tune in to your senses.

SEE

During my time overseas I learned to look at things with completely new eyes like a child would in many cases. I learned to look up from what I was doing and take stock of what it is that is around me. On my drive to the coast today, multiple things that I saw gave me joy. The kookaburra’s sitting on the electricity wires and in the trees, the bright sun coming up over the mountains, the stunningly rugged lanscape of my surroundings that is so unlike what you would find anywhere in the world. It is beautiful. And although my eyes have seen it hundreds of times, I feel like everytime I see something new and every time I see it in a different way.

In your own life, I challenge you to look up. Look at something and actually see it for the first time. Every single day in this life there is a sunrise and a sunset. And everyday there is a different kind of beauty in these two things. Look up from the road when you are driving and see what is actually in front of you. See the rolling hills, the beauty in the trees, the streets around you, the people.

On my way home from work there is an old man that sits on the side of the road and ‘fishes’. In his chair he sits with a wooden stick from a tree that has a fishing line attached to it and at the end of the fishing line is a coke bottle. He sits out and fishes daily at the same time. And as I drive home from school I wave to him. The excitement he shows in waving back makes me happy. It never fails to make me happy and yet so many people criticize him, make fun of him and say he is weird. Sometimes all it requires is a different perspective. Choose love and show love. You will find love and happiness in return from places you never imagined.

TASTE

Food is one of the most incredible things in this life. It is a gift that we get to undertake multiple times a day. In our busy lives however, it is hard to actually take time out to properly ‘taste’ all aspects of our food while we are chowing it down as fast as we can to get to our next meeting or wherever it is we are going to.

Let what you are eating roll over your tongue. Feel where the sweet, the salty, the bitter is detected on the different areas of the tongue. Feel how all of the different tastes come together to form one glorious sensation for the taste buds.

Eat new things and appreciate the flavours of things you may have eaten a hundred or more times. Appreciate the subtlety of some of these flavours. It truly is one of the most amazing gifts.

HEAR

Sometimes when I am walking down the street, I can tell you whether people are watching television in their houses. Despite not being able to hear what is on the TV, there is this high pitched frequency that occurs when a TV is on that some people have the ability to hear and others don’t. And sometimes we learn to block certain things out so that we don’t hear them at all.

Now there are some things that can be quite annoying to hear, but next time you are outside, listen to the sounds of the wind, for the birds in the trees, for all of the sounds in your environment and focus on them separately. Embrace the sounds around you and let them resonate as a part of you and you will feel way more in touch with your environment.

FEEL

Tactile sensations are wonderful. A simple hug releases a large number of chemical endorphins in the body that make you feel happier. So get your daily dose of hug. Often it is nice also to go and get a massage and just relax with the sensations smoothing out all of the knots in your muscles. But feel is more than just physically touching things.

One of the most magical things I find is the warm feel of the sun on your face on those cold winter days when the summer is starting to appear. Feel your breath and all of the parts of your body working together in harmony to keep you going. Feel your movement and your vibrations and be aware of your surroundings. Appreciate the wonderful gift that this sense allows.

SMELL

How many times have you heard the saying ‘wake up and smell the roses?’ There is nothing quite like the glorious smell of roses and flowers in spring as you walk down the street in spring. Or the smell released by the fungal spores in the air after it rains.

Smells have long been associated with memories and triggering them. Smells associated with people especially. Stop and take note of what smells you have in your house, outside in your surroundings. Take in the aromatic smells of the food you cook and how they make you feel.

By combining your senses and developing your awareness of your surroundings and of your body and how it responds to things you will find that your appreciation and love of life will increase. Your levels of happiness will go through the roof as you find a gracious attitude that is not only calmer but more respectful of the things you have in your life. So take time, sit, and be aware. Use your senses, develop your sensibility.

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