Week One - - - Day Three
LUST, part one:
We are mammals. We are meant to. . .
We are often happier when we don’t talk
Touch to the rescue
Today is a day to be grateful.
They all are.
Today is a day to be present.
They all are.
(Now is the moment to be present.
They all are.)
Today is a day to connect to nature.
They all are.
Today is a day to touch.
They all are.
We are mammals.
We are warm blooded.
We are meant to touch.
And . . .
not all of us live with someone. And some of us live with someone with whom we’ve forgotten how to touch, or are even “turned off” to touching.
God Bless us all.
No matter what our circumstances: we are mammals. Touch feeds a certain need in us that we all, hopefully, felt as infants, when being cuddled, or nursed, or passed from friendly adult to friendly adult.
Or as children in our silly play as we formed “pig piles,” or concocted other ways of delighting in touch.
If our family was lucky, there were a lot of hugs.
And, one of life’s great truths is this
THE PAST HAS PASSED. IT’S OVER. Good family: great. Not so great family: great. There are people around, right now, dying to be hugged. Everywhere.
TOUCH WITH AWARENESS IS ENLIGHTENMENT
NO WORDS NECESSARY
DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF REALITY
Nature and Touch as Enlightenment, #1
Stand and go to a window
Look out and see some bit of nature - - - clouds, sky, trees, sunshine, stars
Take a breath as deeply into your belly as you can
Feel your belly go out for the air in, and in for the air out
Take your left arm and bring it a little bit up and forward
Have your left hand in hitch-hiking position
Rub up and down your left arm with your right hand
Rotate your left arm so the hitch hiking thumb is pointed in all the directions possible
And keep rubbing
And sensing two things:
The arm as it is being rubbed
The hand as it is rubbing the arm
Do this for NINE deep breaths.
Then switch arms and do it with the left hand rubbing the right arm
That is rotating in hitch hike position
Smiling as you breathe deeply is encouraged
Looking at nature as you feel the nature of you alive as a living mama is good
Life is good
LIFE is good.
Nine breaths on this side
Touch is good.
You are good. Life is good. This touch reminds us of that.
Let the mammal in your enjoy the simple non-verbal miracle of touch.
One reason Carol and I struck gold with our twelve hour non-date that we didn’t plan, and had a lot of talking and listening (and watching the TED talk on vulnerability, twice) and some sweet kissing at the end, and going out to dinner . . .
Okay that sounds great
And there was more, which will more or less form the framework for this book (two Bible verses, listening in turns, you’ll see),
We’d had ten hours of touch without many words in my “Feldenkrais lessons” for her.
These are very much like dancing: touch that is making small movements for her back and neck and shoulders, as she lies down comfortably out of gravity.
I move slowly, not the fix, not to get her to do anything “right,” but to help her explore her own nervous system.
This is amazing, and a rare way of relating.
For people as good with words as Carol and I, with all the perils of that, this was gold: to learn to listen and touch and not explain it, and not have the usual yammer conversations.
Dance can be that way for those wanting to meet a partner.
Dance plus soul work that you share when you finally talk.
More on that as we go along.
But for now
Let’s touch hands.
Hands are a huge part of our brain.
Think how much we do with them.
Toes are too, but fairly neglected in the modern world, so we’ll start with hands, but jump into foot rubs/ explorations/ messages if you have a partner and the hand enlightenment works its usual wonders.
Touch and our human nature as enlightenment #2:
Take your dominant hand. Let it be the recipient.
Take your non-dominant hand.
Set a timer for three minutes.
Explore, caress, touch the dominant hand with your non-dominant hand.
Rub up and down each finger.
Do some pressure circles in the palm with your non-dominant thumb.
Do some sort of rubbing with your fingers and palm.
All the while, be silent and noticing:
What the receiving hand is feeling
What the giving hand is feeling
What the mammal YOU is feeling.
NOTICE ESPECIALLY WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BREATHING.
When you are done, enjoy each hand and notice two differences:
One hand to the other
Your general sense of well being now vs before you started
DO THIS NOW.
ONE HAND TOUCHES, CARESSES, EXPLORES THE OTHER
Two more games, if you have a partner, or a friend who is willing to explore life at a more intimate level and can handle touch without having to cash it in as a sexual connection.
Touch and enlightenment game #3:
Touch and caress and explore the dominant hand of another person
For three minutes.
They notice at the end:
Differences hand to hand
Differences before and after
Differences in your hands having done this
Differences in YOU having done this
And then switch.
Three minutes the other way
See what happens if you ask for this a couple of times a day if you’d like.
And here’s a touch and love game.
Touch and love game #1:
Find a friend who is willing or find your partner who is willing
Sit near each other
Share 3-5 gratitudes while looking at each other
Each person shares 3-5 while the other listens
No other conversation
Notice the shift in doing “just” that.
Now, hold hands and share 3-5 gratitudes
They can be the same or new.
Feel what happens by holding hands.
This is what a good parent instinctively knows: a child needs touch much more than words when feeling afraid or scared or sick.
This is what lovers know instinctively: you can tell each other so much without any words.
And the hands are a handy, and deeply important way to start the gift of touch for yourself and for your relationship.
Enjoy your day.