I was at the Sensory Awareness conference in Menlo Park this weekend. It is a wonderful opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones and be led from leaders across the country.
I want to give a taste, and I wonder how to do that. I am here, and you are where you are, and yet we share one planet, one pull of gravity that might be perceived as not a pull but instead a reaching up to meet.
If you are interested, a taste:
Close your eyes, and notice:
(Of course, you'll also have to periodically softly open your eyes to read this as you can't hear my voice.)
Do you feel the ground rising up to meet your feet? Are you curious?
How do your feet meet the ground rising up to meet you? Are your feet interested in this meeting that may be felt rising up your legs to greet your heart. Can you feel support?
Perhaps you notice your seat on the chair. How does your seat meet the chair? Are you sitting on your sit bones, alert, aware, or are you leaning back, slumped? How are you receiving these words? Just notice. What meets you here?
Do you feel stimulated, or tired? Do you need to sleep? Perhaps blood is stirring you. Wake. Respond.
You might now come with one hand to your forehead and one hand to the back of your head. Notice what happens along the way. What a journey this can be, noticing along the way.
What meets you here? Are your hands alive to receive your head, to hold it tenderly as you might hold the head of a baby? Can you look into your own eyes? How far do your eyes reach into your skull?
If it interests you, you might now bring your hands to the sides of your head.
How kind are you in your movement, to air, muscle, bone? Do you honor this new placement? Are you receptive? Do you give yourself time to respond as you come though the air and come to rest in contact with your head?
What do you notice in the space between your hands? Is there space for you to breathe?
Can you feel space in your groin, your feet, your contact with the ground?
Perhaps you feel an invitation to tap your head, face, shoulders, arms, stomach, back, legs.
I invite you to do so.
If so, are you awake for it, or is it an exercise?
Tap slow or fast, hard or soft. What do your fingers say? Hands? Shoulders? Heart?
What meets you now? What responds?
Can you live every moment of your life as an experiment, meeting each moment new?
We did many experiments at the conference, often together. Sensory awareness is about touch and connection, touch with ourselves, others, and the environment. We experiment to find connection between inner and outer, to know, at times, the two as one.
There is an old gingko tree at Vallombrosa. When I put my ear to the trunk, it is like putting a shell to my ear. There is response.
Their website gives a taste of the grounds. http://vallombrosa.org
We worked with the pause. How do we know when it is enough? Only I can know and honor what is enough for me. Only I can know the response of my tissues, the need for interaction, the need to stop. When is it too much?
Perhaps you chose not to tap and your hands are still embracing your head. They might be tired. Can you allow them to come to a new place, or down to your sides, to rest, until the next invitation to explore comes from deep inside?
I invite you, if you are interested to find a rubber band, perhaps a thick one that comes wrapped around broccoli or asparagus. Play with it. Explore. What responds in you? Are you elastic? Might you be stuck? How do you pull to stretch? How do the bones in your fingers respond? Are you holding your breath?
Are you feeling your feet on the ground, the ground reaching up to meet you? Do you feel support?
How are your eyes? Are they open or closed, scrunched or free?
Do you receive what you see? Do you receive with your whole being?
Are you touched? Does bird call reach into you, into your inner territory, and say, "Wake, I am here."
What do you feel when you touch a petal, a leaf?
What was my greatest revelation at this conference? I am exceedingly grateful to be alive.
Each moment is precious, vital, and vibrant. I learned if I lie down like a baby in a crib with my head on the floor and my hands next to my head, forearms and hands on the ground, and my bottom up in the air, I feel space between my ribs. For me, it is a place to renew, a place of prayer.
I learned when my muscles clamp around my bones, I can't move. I choose now to swing like a pendulum, back and forth, side to side, in love with movement, with being moved, with being breathed. I feel myself being breathed.
Today a friend shared with me that the word "magnificence" comes from magnify. My focus this morning is magnifying the joy I feel as I renew with the support of the ground, the support of the air, the support of knowing the magnificence brewing and stirring in me, and knowing we meet outwardly and inwardly in this shared magnificent stew.
A beautiful day to you, with senses open, receptive, awake, aware, if you so choose. It is your invitation, your opening to an inner muse.