One of my favorite things to write over at my little blog is what I call a Senses Inventory. It’s really simple, just a broken down mindful writing exercise. I sit quietly somewhere with a notebook and pen, usually somewhere here at the farm but not always, and I spend a few minutes taking stock of every detail of my surroundings. I divide my paper into seven sections then scribble down whatever can be perceived through sight, sound, fragrance, taste, touch, thought, and emotion. Sometimes a theme emerges and spins off into a fruitful train of thought; other times it remains just a luscious practice for noticing the beauty all around me. It also helps me notice what is important to me that day, how I’m doing, etc. An inventory of my senses. Like brain yoga or sensual meditation. Care for a sample?
See: Handsome to my right, alternately cooking my third birthday meal this week and playing his online video game which is such a great stress relief for him.
Hear: (The windows are open.) Geese honking at the wind. Parrot outside screaming hello! to the geese. Gentle click clack of my keyboard in an otherwise quiet house. Simmering, bubbling sauces growing more urgent in the kitchen. Airplane flying somewhere low. The glorious absence of television noise.
Smell: Red beans and rice, hot links cooking. Spicy, savory aromas, reminiscent of summertime here and New Orleans anytime. I also smell a bleachy spray cleaner from the bathroom behind us and that faint hot computer smell from my laptop. Vanilla-caramel Scentsy too, just barely.
Taste: Homemade minty lip balm on my mouth, clean cold water in my mouth, faint hint of lime-salt leftover from lunch with my friend. (I ate too many tortilla chips again.)
Touch: The outsides of my thighs are still hard and sore from yesterday’s long run, and my hips are stiff, but it all feels wonderful. My feet are much happier today. My hands are too dry from being washed a million times today but swift on the keyboard. These new padded leather dining room stool-chairs are so comfortable! Bare feet swinging and kicking against the smooth, polished wood slats there at the bottom. Crisp breeze combing through the open windows. Ponytail a bit too tight.
Think: Will I ever be able to control myself with tortilla chips, especially the lime flavored ones? If not, is it really that big of a deal? Will we drive to New Orleans this year? If not, will that magical city miss us? Should I invest in a grow light and heat mat for my seeds? Will a tornado hit us again this year? Or will it be an earthquake? Will I cry at the end of the marathon?
Feel: Completely relaxed. So unhurried that I am probably making Handsome wonder of I am bored. (I’m definitely not.) Peaceful. Better than just hopeful about our big life problems: Assured. Feeling healthy, capable, and strong. Feeling creative and in the mood to clean. Really hungry. My gosh, that pot of red beans and rice smell amazing.
So there ya go. Now it’s your turn! Just pause your whirlwind for a moment and notice something deliberately. Something you see, hear, taste, smell, touch, think, or feel. Then share it in the comments! I dare you to do this a few times per week or at least any time you’re feeling stressed or spread too thinly. It does wonders for your sense of right here, right now.
Thanks for reading! Happy Inventories to you!
Marie Wreath is the Oklahoma Women Blogger Blogger of the Month. Find her online at The (Not Always) Lazy W.