Coming To Your Senses, Again and Again!
by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
When we talk about the Enchanted Self we are referring to positive states of mind and body that are unique to each of us. We are also referring to the process by which we tap into our Enchanted Self. (The name I have given to this delightful, happy, elevated part of us that knows how to have fun, feel alive and be joyful.) One step in the process is learning how to heighten and how to return to positive states of mind and body. Our memories always assist us.
As autumn flows into winter this a time when most of us prepare ourselves emotionally and physically for the Holiday Season. Many of us have just come off or a great American tradition: Thanksgiving. In fact, I am sitting at my computer right now feeling stuffed--too much pie and too many nuts, sweet potatoes, ice cream and who knows what else!
I am literally thankful to be sitting here, though, already 'full' both in the tummy and the heart with more good memories to bank in my personal memory account. I had the pleasure of time with my children and grandchildren and some other dear relatives. The minor aggravations already look smaller as I move away from Thanksgiving, and the good moments look larger as they take a place in my personal story. How can I even further enhance feeling good right now? How also can I get a quick fix of good emotional energies, when I need them, when I don't feel as great as I do now?
The most important first step is to focus on, review and then 'bank' our current positive moments. For example, rather than focusing on how tired I felt this morning as the weekend came to a close, I reviewed all the good moments over the last few days. I used my senses to help me. I remembered visually the pleasant scenes--sitting with family, joking in the car. I remembered sounds--my grandson's sweet little voice and laughter. I remembered aromas--the smell of the fresh applesauce I made on Thursday. I remembered touch--hugging our cousins. I remembered tastes--the pecan pie brought from Pittsburgh ... yum!
So, because I had some current wonderful moments I took advantage of them and literally savored them! I practiced tasting them again and again. I looked for the sensory part of each memory. A very important way to stimulate positive memories is to utilize your senses: taste, smell, touch, hearing and vision. Very simply stated, your senses provide information, which are transmitted to your brain helping you to perceive the world in which you live. You may never have paid any particular attention to your five senses but when focused upon individually or in groups, they can provide the stimuli necessary to recapture positive experiences either to help 'bank' them for further review and uplift or to go to your memory bank when you need to and take out some old memories that you can once again enjoy by remembering the smells, tastes, feelings, sights
and sounds that went with them!
I hope the above serves as a little 'present' for you and that you will try the following play-date with enchantment.
A Play-date With Enchantment
Using the Past to Your Pleasurable Advantage
Here is an exercise that can help you to retrieve positive images and sensations focusing on one or more of your senses. Begin by closing your eyes and listening to the sounds around you. Listen for a few minutes. When you feel drawn to a particular sound, stay with it. Allow yourself to mentally wonder remembering to focus on the positive. When you are ready, open your eyes and find an object to hold in your hands, such as an article of clothing. Close your eyes and explore the object, listen to the sounds around you. What positive memories and experiences are evoked by focusing on two of your senses, i.e. touch and hearing. Try this exercise mixing and matching your other senses.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is the originator of THE ENCHANTED SELF, a method of bringing delight and meaning into everyday living.
return to top
return to professionals write on grief
return to articles main page