The Way We Experience the World
Every once in a while, it’s nice to stop for a few minutes and simply appreciate the little things around us. This simple habit is a great reminder of how lucky we are to be able to hear, see, smell, touch, taste and experience so much that life has to offer.
Through our hearing, we can learn new things, make friends, enjoy music, or keep ourselves away from danger. We can hear a doorbell, a fire alarm, a speeding car, a baby crying, the whistle of a teapot, or the sweet voices of children playing outside.
Through our sense of smell, we can enjoy the aroma of spring flowers in the garden, detect the smell of gas leak from our furnace, or tell when our pet dog is in dire need of a bath. The sense of touch lets us feel pain to warn us if the soup is still too hot, as much as it allows us to enjoy the pleasant feeling of a kiss or a warm hug.
Our sense of taste lets us savor our mother’s delicious homemade meals or sample the gastronomical diversity of other cultures. Last but not least of our five physical senses is sight, which allows us to gauge whether we’re parking the car correctly, find the car keys that mysteriously ends up lost every single morning, enjoy the sunset and the beautiful colors of the changing seasons, or to stare into the eyes of our beloved as we exchange “I do’s” at the altar.
You might know someone who may have been born blind or have lost the sense of hearing due to disease or an accident. But have you ever really thought about what life would be like after losing one or even two of your physical senses? When we take them for granted, it is very easy to get lost in the everyday motions of life, which we tend to do in an almost robotic way. But as sentient beings, we need more than just a job, a house to live in and a stable relationship with someone. A balanced relationship with ourselves, with others and with nature is just as important, whether we accept it or not. Being mindful of our physical senses is truly a good practice for achieving this balance.
Try waking up tomorrow and commit to the task of paying attention to the seemingly insignificant details that your physical senses perceive. Before getting out of bed, feel the soft sheets wrapped around your body and the warm ray of sun seeping in through the window. Then stand up, stretch, and savor the aroma of freshly brewed coffee emanating from the kitchen. Feel the cold kitchen floor beneath the soles of your bare feet. Take the time to run your fingertips through your sleeping cat’s soft fur as she purrs contentedly. This will give you a glimpse of how your otherwise busy and fast-paced lifestyle can dramatically transform into a less stressful and more relaxed experience. Go ahead and give yourself the chance to override the monotony of your daily routine and enjoy life’s small pleasures.