Real pleasure can actually be derived from many things that may have previously appeared to be mundane or ordinary, but if you can get creative and actually surrender to the power of your senses, you'll find that there is a great magic to be found in the mundane and a deep sense of gratitude and splendour all around you that is not only free but also very easy to access.
And yes, this will require a certain level of surrender from you in order for you to really access the full benefits of this practise and I understand that this will take some people longer than others to master completely because releasing control and just letting go are not usually things that we are encouraged to do. However, I cannot stress enough how empowering this level of release will be for you and how much you will gain out of every mundane minute if you can just allow yourself to try this very simple and pleasurable practise of finding joy in the exploration of your own senses.
As you employ each different sense, take note of which experiences drop your stress levels or shift your thoughts from your monkey brain scrambling thoughts to 'the now.' By allowing your senses to shift you to a 'now' consciousness you will become more focused and calm, and in turn be able to embrace the joy of what you are experiencing more completely.
Using your senses is a work of experimentation and great joy, because you are literally going to discover what it is about you and your unique makeup that gives you real pleasure and release. Undertake these small experiments with a calm and open mind and soon you will be untapping new and rewarding ways to care for your own wellbeing, finding pleasure in the previously mundane and unfold new ways of experiencing the world around you.
Please try not to look at these lists of activities as exhaustive. You may like to try one or two things each day as a little self experimentation/ self exploration time. This time of self isolation has presented us all with a unique opportunity to better explore aspects of ourselves as well as the world, so why not take advantage of that? Undertake each task with joy, and if anything that you try feels uncomfortable or unpleasant to you, then stop doing it immediately. This is an exploration of pleasure in the mundane, so aim for feelings of intense calm and joy and settle for nothing short of that.
Let's begin with your sight, and remember to take note of all of the feelings that arise within you and take note of what brings you feelings of calm, pleasure and escape.
- Look at a photo of a cherished moment or memory of your life.
- Go outside and find five different flowers and five different leaves, spend time really observing them and taking them apart.
- Find a plant or tree in your yard that you like the best. Sit near it and think about what it is that you like about it, this is your calm space now.
- Think about your favourite colour, go and find five items around your home that are that colour, have them near you or on you all day.
- Blow bubbles and watch them float away.
- Observe the birds, wildlife, animals, creatures that live in your yard. How close can you get to them without disturbing them?
- Watch a sunset and/or a sunrise.
- Read a book.
- Watch a youtube clip that contains 'oddly or most satisfying' video material.
- Watch a moonrise and observe the stars when they come out.
- Watch the rain fall against the window and the plants outside as it falls.
- Go for a walk around your neighbourhood and mindfully look for 5 things of beauty.
- Light a candle or burn some incense.
- Make a fresh coffee or herbal tea and hold it in your hands and breathe in the aroma for 3 minutes before you allow yourself drink it.
- Bake a batch of cookies just to smell them when they come out of oven.
- Experiment with essential oils.
- Put on your favourite lotion or hand cream.
- Every time that you see a flower, if you can - try to stop and smell it.
- Smell all of your food just before you eat it.
- Go outside and smell at least 10 pleasant things that are growing in your yard.
- Breathe in the fresh clean air around you when you're outdoors.
- Wear your favourite perfume.
- Smell the fresh clean linen that is full of sunshine as you take it off the line.
- Smell the rain and the smell of a thunderstorm.
- Cut open a piece of citrus and sniff it deeply.
- Wrap up in a warm blanket.
- Have a bubble bath.
- Stroke your cat or dog mindfully.
- Get or give a massage.
- Knead dough for a loaf of bread.
- Put on your favourite jumper or clothing item.
- Hold a comfort object.
- Squeeze a stress ball.
- Hug someone mindfully.
- Feel the textures on the various plants and trees in your yard.
- Walk barefoot on the grass.
- Take a hot shower.
- Pop bubble wrap.
- Brush your hair or brush someone else's hair.
- Push your hands into rice or sand.
- Stroke a feather on your body.
- Run your fingertips over various household objects and observe the sensations.
- Chew a piece of gum.
- Eat your favourite food slowly and deliberately.
- Smell some dark chocolate and then let it melt on your tongue.
- Drink a glass of good wine or alcohol and savour the taste.
- Eat a piece of perfectly ripe fruit.
- Put on your favourite chapstick and taste the subtle flavour on your lips.
- Eat a cookie straight from the oven.
- Suck an ice block.
- Mindfully eat something crunchy.
- Sip a cup of good coffee or herbal tea.
- Try a new food.
- Taste small amounts of familiar foods in isolation eg. honey, peanut butter, yoghurt.
- Mindfully eat a bowl of popcorn.
- Listen to your favourite songs.
- Close your eyes and do a guided meditation.
- Go outside, close your eyes and listen to the sounds of nature.
- Talk on the phone to someone.
- Sing a song.
- Listen to a TED talk.
- Listen to recorded sounds of nature eg, crashing waves, leaves in the trees, birds singing.
- Hang chimes on your porch to listen to.
- Listen to an opera or some classical music.
- Listen to a podcast.
- Be read to or listen to an audio book.
- Read to someone.
- Mindfully play an instrument.
- Have a stimulating and engaging conversation with someone you value.
- Listen to a fountain or water running.
- Listen to rain or a thunderstorm with your eyes closed.
- Go for a stroll or run.
- Make love.
- Do yoga.
- Exercise or workout.
- Roll your head around and shrug your shoulders.
- Roll or tumble in the grass.
- Throw a frisbee with a friend.
- Ride a bike.
- Spin around with your hands outstretched until you feel dizzy.
Release Date: 2019
Running Time: 108 mins
If you were ever a fan of INXS and was shocked by the news of Michael Hutchence's death in 1997, then you really need to see this documentary. Written and directed by Richard Lowenstein, the film relies mainly on archive footage, outtakes and private home video and audio commentary to illustrate the life of musician, actor and lead singer of INXS, Michael Hutchence.
This is both engrossing and interesting storytelling that outlines all of the major influences, relationships and achievements that Hutchence experienced during his brief and often troubled life. Clearly he was always a very charismatic and engaging individual, even in his early years, however beneath that Dionysian sexiness and confident exterior he was actually a very complex, fractured and sensitive individual.
Mystify: Michael Hutchence is an emotional and beautiful ode to a man that left his mark on the music industry and the world at large and is an unmissable watch for INXS fans.
FINAL SAY: Don't ask me, what you know is true.
3.5 Chilli Peppers