Stress and overwhelm seem to be the norm today. Life is busy, busy busy. “Hurry up, we’re going to be late,” are words often spoken. We don’t even recognize how stressed we are until something or someone demands our attention!
What is screaming for your attention? Is it a deadline at work? Family obligations, which annoy you, like the beeping of a smoke alarm demanding new batteries? Maybe you’re constantly tired and can’t remember the last time you slept for more than 5 hours. The kids get sick, you get sick and yet, life goes on.
In the 1980's there was a bubble bath called Calgon that put out TV commercials regarding the difficulties of domestic life. The protagonist of the commercial would then say, "Calgon, take me away!" And then you'd see her in a bathtub somewhere enjoying a bath in Calgon bubbles. (Click to watch the commercial)
This 30-plus-year-old slogan expresses what many long for- escape from reality! Even though our lives are incredibly full, demanding and hectic, we crave relief, serenity, and harmony.
The here and now is all you and I have. Slowing down, to be fully present in the moment, equips us with life-changing possibilities.
Close your eyes; imagine starting your day alert to the five senses God gave you. Picture yourself slowing down and tapping into these resources to guide your rhythm of life. God gifted us with five senses for many reasons. They help us experience the world and give meaning to life.
For example, caffeine, even though it is much needed some days, the smell and taste of coffee isn't just about the caffeine. The aroma of coffee may awaken you to the day, remind you of a special friend or take you across the ocean as you reminisce about a trip you took to Italy.
Seeing a brand-new baby, holding a child in your arms and smelling the innocence of a newborn may overwhelm you with emotions. The memories of your children may fill your heart with love or ache with the longing for the child who never came.
Our five senses connect us more deeply to self, God, and others.
What if each day you chose to awaken to your senses? Awaken to a reflective, slower pace of being. Really experience the world, on purpose.
I wonder how life could be different? Maybe feelings of overwhelm and stress would diminish, and you’d experience more choices. You might feel empowered instead of stuck or sense peace as a substitute for chaos.
In their book, Awaken Your Senses , J. Bill and Beth Booram help their reader explore the wonder of God by paying attention to our God-given senses in a way that causes life to flourish.
As you and I explore the wonder of God with what we hear, touch, taste, see and smell, we will move to a new level of noticing. We can observe the miracles in our ordinary and sometimes crazy life and detect God everywhere around us.
If you start your day like this, I bet you could:
· Enjoy life more deeply.
· Experience additional gratitude.
· Savor what you eat.
· Treasure your surroundings and
· Reduce your stress.
Are you ready for a little experiment? Take the next five weeks and step into a sensuous life. Start each day by letting your senses guide and teach you. Awaken your whole self to the wonder of God and look for new ways to live fully alive.
Start Your Day Like This
This next week, take two minutes and start each morning asking yourself these questions. It could be helpful to journal your discoveries each day.
· What do I hear?
· What do I smell?
· What do I taste?
· What do I feel?
Pay attention, because it matters. We often take for granted what is going on in our everyday lives. When we pay attention, on purpose, we recognize its significance. We appreciate the little things and their importance.
You are so very important. Your life is valuable, and those around you are beyond precious.
Commit to yourself and your ordinary or crazy life. Do life differently. For the next five weeks and with the inspiration from Awaken Your Senses, let’s dive into discovering the wonder of God.