Okay, so you may be wondering about the title of this post, my delay in posting for this month's theme (SENSING), and my choice of picture above...
This is a photo collage I made from my dad's recent college graduation. In addition to focusing on the joys of motherhood (Mother's Day) and life as a military spouse (Mil Spouse Appreciation day and Month of the Military Child/Family), this month of May is typically a time when we recognize the dedication and achievements of various types of graduates. My son, for example, just graduated from Kindergarten the other day (YAY!!! Photos to follow...).
My dad's graduation, captured above, represents the culmination of approximately 40 years of diligence, tenacity, and an inspiring love of learning that I am so proud to be a part of. The celebration of this special occasion was truly a feast for the senses. Whether it was your own graduation ceremony or that of a loved one, can you recall the intense emotions that were stirred within you when you:
*HEARD the processional music, HEARD your name or loved one's name called, HEARD our national anthem played as you stood facing our flag and perhaps sang along,
*first SAW the hundreds/thousands of students and families gathered together in this (perhaps large and somewhat overwhelming, perhaps small and intimate) space, with various emotions (love, joy, pride, relief, etc.) displayed on their expectant faces,
*SMELLED the congratulatory flowers decorating the auditorium stage or given to you by a loved one, or the crisp clean paper of your new diploma, or the surrounding air that just somehow seemed different on that day ("the SMELL of success?),
*experienced through your body senses (TOUCH, kinesthesia, vestibular) those congratulatory handshakes, loving hugs/kisses/pats on the back, walked across the stage to accept your degree, moved your tassel to the other side of your graduation cap (and tried not to eat it while posing for photos),
* and TASTED the delicious, nurturing, energizing food at a celebratory meal following the event?
Whenever I attend the graduation of a loved one, I notice that I take in a lot of energy through all of my senses. At the same time, positive memories of my own graduation experiences are triggered, along with corresponding emotions. If not at a graduation, you may have experienced something similar at weddings or other special occasions...SO POWERFUL!!!
If you'd like to share, I'd love to hear about your experiences with this as well. If you have not fully taken in and appreciated a life event with ALL of your senses, I encourage you to make a fun experiment of it the next time you have an opportunity to do so...it can even be something as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood.
Why is all of this important and worth mentioning here? Quoting Dr. John Travis and Ms. Regina Ryan from The Wellness Workbook (2004), "Vast amounts of energy are received from our environment and channeled by our physical senses...and they serve as our most basic form of communication. It is through the senses...that we come to know and enjoy the world (p. 45)."
If we are not staying present in the moment (a very common challenge for most of us) and remaining fully aware of how we are taking in sensory information, then how much JOY are we really able to get out of our lives???
Food for the Soul...