During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I find it essential to really tune in to what I am experiencing in the moment. It’s important to me to really connect with the people I choose to be with. If I can’t—and find myself spacing out or keeping things on the surface level—that’s OK, too. Practicing neutrality toward myself and my feelings helps me stay in self-love and acceptance.
But when I can really connect, these moments help me feel loved and loving. Though I try to practice it all of the time, it’s even more important during the holidays, as people are voluntarily creating a stressed out, anxious, and hurried environment. I make it a point to fully experience the rich opportunities within my reach and create meaningful holiday moments.
Sensory awareness practice is the discipline of really tuning into something, during those small and everyday moments, to the point that it becomes an exquisite experience. During the holidays, this can be as simple as focusing on a cozy scent, or meditating on a seasonal sound.
Here are some ideas for bringing sensory awareness practice into your holidays:
If you go to an event where there is singing or music over the holidays, instead of letting the experience simply flow over you, try to really hone in on the melody of one instrument, or focus on the sound of one person’s voice in the choir. Notice how the sound resonates in your chest or through the floor in your feet. This will help you tune into the exquisite nature of the sound and make it a much deeper sensory experience.
One of the reasons I love cooking so much is because it is a very sensory experience. If you bake holiday treats or cook meals for the holidays, you have the opportunity to really get in touch with your senses in terms of the texture of food and the smell of the food you are preparing. Tune into the sound of different foods when you are chopping them and biting into them. As you let yourself tune into these small moments, they become richer and more meaningful.
Greeting Loved Ones
Ironically, often the reason we are rushing around during the holidays is because we want to make the holidays joyful for the people we love. Although our intentions are good, urgency and hurry work against deep connection with others.
One example of an exquisite sensory opportunity we often miss out on during the holidays is fully experiencing loved ones when greeting them upon arrival. When you first see someone you haven’t seen in awhile, or when you are in the company of someone you are really happy to spend time with, allow yourself to take in the whole person. Fully experience how you feel, being with them, in the moment.
Before you open the door to greet a guest, or before you knock on their door to be greeted, take 30 seconds to prepare yourself to really take in the energy of that person. Prepare yourself to connect with how she looks, what her smile is like, the feel of her skin or clothing as you hug her. Take pleasure in her company. Be in the moment.
There are many ways to bring sensory awareness practice into your holiday season, which can bring you back from the hustle and bustle into your highest self. I would love to hear about your ideas and experiences. Please feel free to share them in the comments.
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