TOUCH AS A LIFELINE – DAY 4
What is the science behind using touch to shift out of thoughts and into now?
Sometimes a little theory can help to motivate us. (Although ultimately, it is doing the practice, not reading about it, that changes the way our mind works. Just like bodies, we will never build muscles simply by reading about lifting weights!)
Touch uses the body’s entire sensory and motor nerve network. When we actively look at something, we use the eyes and the mind/brain to register what we see. Then, if we like it, a different part of the mind/brain registers: “This is pleasant”.
With touch the whole team are on board. The skin and all the sensory and motor nerves are engaged in the process of being fully aware and alive to this moment. When reaching out to touch a petal, your system is busy working out:
• how to coordinate the movement so as not to overreach or not reach far enough
• how to grip but not too hard (don’t want to destroy the petal!)
• how to stroke sufficiently to get a feel for the texture.
There’s lots going on! And the more your body and mind are engrossed in this activity of touching, the more the mind is diverted from storm-thinking. If you like what you touch, then even more good stuff comes online: happy hormones start being released.
Today’s invitation is to ‘keep-on, keeping-on’ with the touching all through the day. Touching and noticing will build this capacity to move away from thinking. Yes, the mind skips back in, but with practice you will soon start to loosen the old, ingrained patterns of thinking.
Linda France: Dreaming the real
I’m lying down looking at the colour
of sky falling through trees, dreaming
the real, tasting what it feels like to love it.
Why did it take me so long to let go, simply
exhale, so the day could breathe itself in
and open without me standing in the way?
How could I forget the grace of my own body,
strong as this blue, tender as the white
of the wild blossom, warm as midday light?
Let me practise a patience bold enough
to hold every weather, trusting the elements,
the beauty of rain, all its shades of grey.
I want whatever’s real to be enough. At least
it’s a place to begin. And to master the art
of loving it; feel it love me back under my skin.
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