This will help if you find yourself consumed by your thoughts and worries to the point where you don’t enjoy the immediate experience of your being.
This will help you if you’re running through your day feeling emotions come up and pushing them down and away, because there’s just no time for them.
If you find yourself making judgments about yourself, other people, or your experiences all the time like “I’m too fat, I’m too thin, if only I could change that one thing about myself, this room is too hot, this movie is boring,” you may actually be creating an unpleasant emotional state such as anxiety, depression, anger, or a desire for unrealistic perfection.
Not to mention that it’s hard to feel like a radiant sensual being in such a state.
If you are single, you are more likely to attract a partner from a state of experiencing pleasure and receptivity. If you’re in a relationship, you are more likely to feel desire for your partner if you are relaxed, than if you are rushing and thinking critical thoughts all the time.
Mindfulness and sensuality are arts that can be cultivated and nourished.
Your immediate experience can be a work of art if fully felt, if you can bring your attention to the subtlety of eating, breathing, movement, and passing emotions.
The trick is to bring awareness away from the thought loops of the mind by awakening the senses and indulging in the experience of them. This is about slowing down allowing the mind to observe emotions, experiences, and thoughts without any judgment at all.
This comes from a receptive space of acceptance and leaning back rather than leaning forward in action.
A mindfulness practice is about feeling, but there is no goal in particular–not even mindfulness itself. After all, the more preoccupied we are with relaxing or achieving mindfulness, the less relaxed and mindful we actually feel.
I am amazed by how often I feel shifts in my body and emotions, and don’t even realize the specific thought that caused them unless I am consciously cultivating mindfulness.
A popular mindfulness exercise to cultivate this practice is called The Raisin Exercise, but I’ve altered it to make it more fun!
This exercise can ground you in your sensuality, so you can be more receptive to pleasure and tune out unhelpful thoughts. Being in a state of pleasure and openness is a great way to anticipate and welcome positive experiences. And strawberries are so much more yummy and sensual than raisins! But you can try this with any food–I just did it with my dinner!
Here is a visualization you can try now. I invite you to try this with some real strawberries later in real time :)
Sensual Strawberry Mindfulness Tool
Imagine that you have never seen a strawberry before. You don’t even know what it’s called, that it’s called strawberry.
In front of you is a white table bathed in sunlight streaming from a nearby window. There is a basket on the table filled with large, bright red strawberries.
You pick one up and feel its rough texture. It feels slightly chilled. You feel the ridges of the seeds, the roughness of the green leaves at the top. You feel the larger curves at the top and the smaller curves at the bottom. It smells fresh and sweet and feels soft in your hand.
Now place the strawberry against your lips and hold it there. Breathe in its fragrance. Do you feel any differently than you did when it was in your hand?
Take a bite out of the strawberry, but don’t chew it yet. What does the texture feel like in your mouth? Is it juicy and sweet? Or just a little bit tart? Can you still smell it?
Begin to chew–does the flavor change? Does it intensify? Does it become sweeter or more sour? As you chew, feel aware of the experience and notice any thoughts or sensations you have. You will soon feel the urge to swallow, but resist and chew a little more slowly. Be aware of the experience of chewing and the the taste of the strawberry. After you swallow, become aware of any sensations you are experiencing and notice if the taste lingers.
You take a few more strawberries from the basket. With each one, take the time to really experience the entire process and all the sensations you feel. Savor each one slowly.
When you feel satisfied and no longer feel a desire to eat anymore strawberries, sit for a moment and reflect on the experience.
How was this experience different from the way you normally eat food and feel sensations and moments? Do you eat strawberries often or rarely? Do you eat them quickly? Has it been a long time since you’ve had one? Did you notice yourself having any judgment thoughts about strawberries or your experience? Did the experience feel the same with each strawberry you ate or did it change over time?
This practice can be like a meditation, helping you to live more in the present moment and keep experiences in perspective rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about future events.
I think strawberries are great for this, but you could really use any food!
Leave a comment on the blog and let me know what you tried or any insights you gained from this experience.
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