“Look, don’t touch.” How often did I hear this as a child? I was about 15 before I realized you actually were allowed to pick things up off the shelves in shops, and that the phrase was just there to keep kids from breaking things! However, far from discarding this idea at 15, I realised the other day that “look, don’t touch” is still a part of my approach to life. It happened something like this…
I recently had the pleasure of crossing paths with a girl from Thailand, full of energy and life. We were spending our days at a farm-café, working together in the kitchen along with a few other great people. Squished into the narrow kitchen, wedged between the sink and the kitchen island, things about this girl began to stand out. This girl would smell everything. Taste anything. She didn’t wait to ask, “Is it okay if I taste this?” She just dove straight in. Not only that, she would pull the rest of us over too – “Taste this! What does it need? More salt?” And as I watched her, I began to get a sense that she experiences life deeply. And I thought, “What a wonderful way to be.”
What was the difference, between her and me? The thought came to me…I spend a lot of time looking at things, and listening to things, but how often do I taste? Smell? Touch? I realised that somehow I feel like these things are forbidden – like that child in the store being told to “look, not touch”, I’ve taught myself not to fully engage with my world in case it isn’t allowed, takes extra energy, or looks silly to those around me. It’s as though I’m standing back, waiting for someone to give me permission to explore with all my senses.
So, for the last week I’ve been giving myself permission; stepping out of my comfort zone, engaging my senses, and connecting with my environment. I’ve been prompting myself with the question, “How else can I experience this moment?” Out on a walk one day, I stopped to admire some interesting mosses growing on a rock wall. As usual, I looked – I took some photos. I was about to walk on, but stopped – “how else can I experience this moment?” Reaching out, I gently stroked my fingertips across the moss – and found it was soft and furry. Then I lent in close and smelt the moss – damp and earthy. The idea floated into my mind – how nice it would be to lie on a forest floor, covered in moss. I closed my eyes and imagined this as vividly as I could. Just wonderful! I came away feeling that I’d experienced that moment in a much deeper way than usual.
Anyway, that was just a bit of rambling from me! I hope that you are doing well in your corner of the world, feeling safe and loved. Wherever you are, I hope that you might find some space in your day – however large or small – to breath deep, engage your senses and experience a moment deeply. And if you find yourself waiting for permission, like I was – this post is it. Go ahead and explore your world! There are great treasures to be found.