The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines sensual as: 1. relating to or consisting in the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of appetite; 2. sensory; 3a. devoted to or preoccupied with the senses or appetites; 3b. voluptuous; 3c. deficient in moral, spiritual, or intellectual interests.
Psychology Today defines sensual as: in essence, how in tune you are with your senses. Do you notice smells, textures, sounds? How sensual you are plays a key role not only in your sex life but in your overall ability to derive pleasure from life as a whole.
Honestly the “official” Merriam-Webster definition pisses me off. It has a puritanical overtone to it that encourages us to be alienated from our bodies, from our senses, from both pleasure and pain. It labels being sensual as an “indulgence” and states right out that it equals being “deficient in moral, spiritual or intellectual interests.” It may as well say, if you are a sensual being (which every human on the planet is) you are a harlot, a whore; you are depraved and non-spiritual. I have a LOT of issue with this. The definition screams of oppression, to me, and well that just doesn’t sit right my body, or mind, or spirit.
Psychology Today (PT) takes out all of the judgement when defining the word sensual and says exactly what it is: being in tune with one’s senses. There is no puritanical judgement involved and in fact PT states that being in-tune with your senses allows you to “derive pleasure from life as a whole.” And deriving pleasure is a Good Thing!
Because isn’t this what we all want? A pleasurable, joyful life? Isn’t this part of being alive — to feel, to smell, to taste, to hear, to see; to take in and put out beauty? To feel good in our own skin, to be present in the moment, to release shame from our Selves? To tune into the spirituality and connection to the world that being into to our senses allows?
For me, the answer is a resounding YES. This is where my course Savoring Sensuality grew from: a place of connecting to the present moment, to my own body, and finding pleasure and joy, right now. This course is a course in self-care, a course in connection–to our Self, to our world, to the present moment, to those we love. It is a course in slowing down and learning to savor what we have right now. It is about gratitude and seeing the abundance that fills our lives now.
As those of us in the northern hemisphere start to settle into fall, to get cozy, to move inside our homes, our minds, our bodies and spirits as the days become shorter, it is a perfect time to start to deeply tune into our bodies, spirits and selves. We are surrounded by the comforting smells and tastes of fall and winter foods, by the feel of warmth and smell of earthiness of a fire in our fireplace, as we curl up in our cozy sweaters and fleeces and under fluffy warm blankets, our senses are coming alive and it is the perfect opportunity to slow down and savor those perfect moments.
For those in the southern hemisphere, your world is coming alive from a long sleep. As the flowers bloom and days get longer, now is the time to take those moments and savor the beauty, the re-birth and to open yourself to your own re-birthing process by connecting to your body, to nature, to these perfect moments as they unfold.
Any time of year is the perfect time to connect to our selves, to the present moment. At any time we can start the journey of slowing down and savoring these moments of beauty and grace before they pass us by.
I would love for you to join me on this journey and participate in Savoring Sensuality. The special celebration pricing is available until midnight pacific standard time on Wednesday (that Tuesday night/Wednesday morning) and now is the time to take advantage of this deep discount and join the amazing community that is growing around this program. We begin on November 1. For more information and to register click right here.