On Sensing, Taking Your Space and Taking Good Care [+ Audio Link]
"I think our bodies constantly function as conduits, much like radios and wireless handheld devices, sending and receiving subtle information: sensing -- all the time. I think there are instances where this ability becomes especially pronounced and the step that comes after sensing -- processing -- leads to sometimes spontaneously clear and seemingly inexplicable thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations (the latin suffix "-ation" meaning the action or result of -- in this case the action or result of sensing) ... I've grown to have a great deal of confidence in my additional senses. So if the invisible pulling is toward rest, laying low and gathering in my energies right now, and to boot when I feel a subtle but certain sense of ease and alignment with flow when doing those things, I don't feel any need to make apologies about anything I'm doing or not doing, to anyone."
Correcting Aristotle + thoughts, emotions and sensations
This past weekend, most of the world celebrated -- December 31 - January 1 -- what is widely known as the New Year. As the time neared, this was the first year I found my self powerfully sensing a call to align, most familiarly, with creatures that hibernate and plants that become dormant in the winter. So much so that my usual drive to find a party, grown up drinks, high energy spaces and a dance floor was all but entirely replaced by a desire to be home, be still, be quiet, be with my children and family, be warm and move slowly. The more I sensed and thought about it, the more the customary December 31st New Year's Eve reveling felt like it has strange placement on the calendar for being a celebration of renewal. The word 'renewal' immediately conjures, for me, visions of spring. Does it also for you? When I hear that word I think of comfortable warmth, pouring sunlight, flowing water, cleansing, blossoming, openness, maybe even a calm, refreshing breeze. Yet, there I was, and here I am still, deeply sensing the pronounced want to close off, conserve my energy and cocoon. I've even noticed changes in the timing of my children's requests to eat -- initially, over the course of days and weeks in December, they came more frequently than usual and then, spaced out, farther and farther than usual. Lunch is up; dinner's ready, but no one is hungry or wants to eat. As December 31 approached, it seemed more and more to me as if opening myself up -- blooming -- in the big, traditional winter NYE ways felt random and better belonged somewhere in the March or April maybe. I still wonder.
If all my talk of "sensing" is lost on you in this context, I blame Aristotle. Now, careful: I'm not vicious toward the great Greek thinker and teacher about the "Five Senses" concept he put forth eons ago. I think he offered what he did based upon what he had language for and keen awareness of at the time. I also think it's due season for us to begin building upon and opening up more broadly this notion of there being only five sensory points -- sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste -- from which to take in information in this world.
We've heard obscure and "woo woo" talk of a "sixth sense" and extra-sensory perception or ESP. If you were like me growing up, even among the dreamers and believers who made up my immediate and close but extended family, most people you heard speaking of these broader senses and sensory abilities widely thought them to be special gifts only given to select individuals. I contend that that idea is in desperate need of evolution.
Here's an interesting chart in case you're the kind of thinker that needs sciencey support to make points more compelling:
I am a firm believer in senses beyond the traditional 5 and those not only for a select few special individuals. I believe all who are Earthside can sense in more ways than 5, but that few have opportunity to explore, better understand and sharpen their consciousness in this area. In our family's #homebasedED lifestyle, we're trying to raise free people (kiddos + ourselves included) who have a sharp awareness of and some regular practice in utilizing intuitive, frequency-based and vibrational understandings and also in parsing through the subsequent thoughts, emotions and sensations those might bring about. Think about it: how may times have you heard someone say, or said yourself a phrase like "something told me to be careful" or "something told me to look again"? ..."I have a weird feeling about this" or "that thing just didn't sit right with me." Generally speaking, our societal language range for anything beyond surface seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling or touching is profoundly stunted, no? We play radios, use the internet and cell phones with arguably strong faith, even full expectation that when we pay for or merely turn on our access points to the frequencies, network signal or wireless data that there will be a notable flow of information there for us to tap into. We cannot see, hear (unless you still have dial-up), taste, smell or touch the frequencies, signals or data anywhere between their origin points and their appearance as songs playing through our speakers, this blog entry you're reading or the en route phone call you receive. Still, we know something substantive must be there.
I think our bodies constantly function as conduits, much like radios and wireless handheld devices, sending and receiving subtle information: sensing -- all the time. I think there are instances where this ability becomes especially pronounced and the step that comes after sensing -- processing -- leads to sometimes spontaneously clear and seemingly inexplicable thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations (the latin suffix "-ation" meaning the action or result of -- in this case the action or result of sensing).
Mmmm. Who else knows what I'm talking about?
I've grown to have a great deal of confidence in my additional senses. So if the invisible pulling is toward rest, laying low and gathering in my energies right now, and to boot when I feel a subtle sense of ease and alignment with flow when doing those things, I don't feel the need to make any apologies about anything I'm doing or not doing, to anyone.
Staking your claim -- to yourself, your energy, your power, your space
No apologies. It is my understanding that the term "staking [one's] claim" was coined when settlers in the "new world" (don't get me started on unpacking the misnomer and atrocities there) would run out to drive wooden stakes into what was presented to them as "open land," there for the taking. The stakes would signify a roping off of one's envisioned homestead, upon and inside which somebody's life would eventually be built and sustained. Those settlers unapologetically "took" their space, undoubtedly with their selves and their families present and future in mind.
Yes, here I am, using this horribly complicated and grimy-feeling historical idiom to admonish you to take, protect and let your space beautifully be. And this space could come in many configurations and forms, dear ones: a few moments to stop and mindfully breathe in the midst of a chaotic day, a couple of minutes to mindfully wash your hands in a soap of your favorite scent, responding to a request for your time or attention with "let me think about it and circle back to you," designated times to check emails and social media messages, an altar space in your home or workspace that you create with grounding elements that speak to you, deciding to read or limit viewing rather than constantly watching or listening to the news, knowing when to not take on other people's stuff, distancing yourself (for a time or for good) from toxic people and situations, adjusting your own expectations of yourself to fit your present reality, saying "no," closing the doors you don't want your houseguests to enter when they go looking for the restroom, taking a mental health day, some total health weeks, months or even a year or two. The bottom line: boundaries -- separation lines for you and others to note and honor.
That's all I want to say about that, I think. Stop saying "I'm sorry" so much. Just stake your inward and outward claims, being fluid enough to reconfigure when/where appropriate, and be.
Chocolate, wine and bubble baths, sure, but also...
I shared a post on my social media platforms the other day. It was birthed from a marriage between annoyance with what was feeling like a misleading imbalance in the fairly new narrative of self-care and a personal understanding of what it has looked like to fight for the very practical, very affordable, very needful if not life-saving care of my own self in my own life.
I've written about in-the-gutter self-care in the blog posts listed below too! I guess you might say I'm an accidental expert on the subject -- by way of sheer desperation:
Power & Love,