TOUCH AS A LIFELINE – DAY 7
Touch and grow young…
On the last day of this course: a week of reversing the ageing process.
When we deliberately develop the ability to notice the sensations of different textures and temperatures, we reverse the natural ageing process. It is sad, but true, that the more times our brain and nervous system detect something that is not dangerous, the less likely we are to notice it the next time we come across it. As we age, we lose contact with touch, and so lose contact with real life.
As Ruby Wax so eloquently put it (and I may misquote her here): “Your whole system is hard-wired for safety and not one cell in your body gives a sh*t about your happiness”.
This means that many wonderful moments just vanish out of our life. The touch of your loved ones (pet or human), the touch of sunshine, the touch of cool water on your tongue or soft socks on your feet. The touch of your duvet as you snuggle down at the end of a long day. A foot massage.
This series has been encouraging us all to use touch as a grappling hook and unbreakable rope back towards a more joyful and peaceful life.
But using touch as a lifeline is a practice. It can’t be said often enough. If we do it many times a day, gradually the brain rewires and the blanking of safe moments diminishes. It becomes second nature to notice once again. Brain scans of people who have engaged in mindfulness practices on a regular basis show an increase in density of neuronal tissue, as the mind shapes the brain and the brain shapes the mind.
We are not on a one-way path to old age, with a hardening mind, thickening skin and diminishing comfort zone. We do have agency. We do have a say. We can shape our lives. And it only takes moments. Many moments every day: “Just doing NOW”.
Today’s invitation is to begin over, using the miracle of touch over and over to enhance your moment, your day and your life.
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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