If you want to skip the video then I recommend you either read teh intro below or download or listen to:
SENSORY AWARENESS MEDITATION WITH INTRO
If you already watched the video or listened to the audio track above, then you may wish to go ahead and:
LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD THE SENSORY AWARENESS MEDITATION W/O INTRO
When we see a deer in the forest, walking or eating or doing what deer do, we see that this deer is very relaxed. And yet if a wolf or a dog or even people suddenly come and startle the deer, BOOM! She is gone in a second bouncing over the bushes to safety.
And then she looks around herself and sees that it is safe, again she is relaxed, her legs hanging off her body like noodles, she munches and wanders, relaxed yet always seeing what is around her, always listening, always smelling, always aware and fully here now in the present moment. This way she uses a minimum of energy because she knows when she needs to move quickly away from danger, and the rest of the time she is just relaxed, just being and yet totally aware.
When we let go of our mind and come into our senses, we start to become more like the deer. Totally aware, totally relaxed.
The eyes are amazing because they are directly connected to the brainstem and to our fight/flight/freeze responses.
Have you ever been walking along when suddenly out of the corner of your eye you see a stick that is shaped like a snake and your body has a startle response? You may even jump! Then a few seconds later we feel silly because we see clearly that it is a stick and not a snake.
The reason why this happens is because our eyes are connected directly to our brain stem and our fight/flight/freeze responses. This is a really good thing, because it potentially allows us to respond faster to threat than we could with our thinking brain! The thinking brain is slower and by the time it processes snake or not snake, we may have been bitten. This is deeply wired into our neurology. This is also amazing, because it means that when we look around with our eyes, moving our eyes around the room and directly observing that there are no snakes, tigers, aggressive humans or other things that might harm us, this information is transmitted directly to the brainstem and tells the brainstem, “its okay, you can calm down, we are safe!”
When we are holding past traumatic experiences in the nervous system, our brainstem gets stuck in fight/flight/freeze survival patterning and can be almost constantly on high alert.
When we look around and give our brain the information that all is actually well in the present moment, we start to change this patterning and introduce a new pattern of safety, giving our brain and our whole physiology the information that “it is okay to rest”…
Feel into that for a moment.
How does it feel to consider giving your brain/body/whole being full permission to rest?!!
It may feel wonderful and easeful. It may even feel unfamiliar. It may even feel uncomfortable and a little scary! But I promise you that this is a major key to bringing your body into its optimal state of health and vitality. We need to be able to rest – throughout our day as we go about our tasks, our brain can be relaxed. And especially when we have downtime in our day or are sleeping at night, we need to be able to rest FULLY in order to allow all the cells of the body to cleanse and rejuvenate themselves. The brain needs to know how to relax.
This practice is a powerful step towards training your brain to relax, and also to respond appropriately to stress. LIke the deer responds to the wolf, we want to be able to respond quickly and efficiently to various stressors in our lives, and just as importantly we want to be able to quickly relax when the stress is over so we aren’t carrying unneeded stress in our bodies day after day, year after year. I hope you enjoy this guided sensory awareness practice.
Thank you for practicing with me, and please share any questions, insights or aha’s you have in the comments below. There are no silly questions ~ if you have a question someone else probably has the same question so please don’t be shy to ask. And if you have an insight it’s likely the exact thing that someone else needs to hear, (other people read these comments too!) ~ so please do share that as well.
Wishing you a healthy and peaceful holiday season ~
May all brains be happy!