Coming To Our Senses With a Greater Sense of Awareness

A tree without its roots in the Earth is like a man disconnected from his senses ~ Merely a piece of wood!

A tree without its roots in the Earth is like a man disconnected from his senses ~ Merely a piece of wood!

During the process of writing my Sensual Gardening series of posts, and yes it really was a process, I learnt so much. Or should I say, my senses taught me how to connect with them at a higher level and in doing so it also heightened my awareness of what was going on around me in every aspect and level. Now some may call that a spiritual awakening, others a psychological shift in perception, but I call it ‘connecting to my humanness’.

Our humanness is always with us, the only disconnection we have from it when we suffer some sort of neurological set back, a mental illness or disorder, which shuts down or alters how we see, feel and act within the ‘reality’ of whatever our brain perceives it to be in its new and disordered state. We don’t change, our brain changes us. All that set against a spiritual connection, which can also be argued to be with us at all times, but can be over-ruled by those sense-fed neural transmissions from our brain. I’m not trying to say that our brains are more powerful than our inner spirit, but the fact is, no matter how spiritual you may be you have as much chance of suffering from a debilitating illness, disease, nutritional issues  or physical/mental disability as someone who has absolutely no spiritual beliefs at all.

Maybe I’ve digressed a bit but my point is that to be able to live as well and as healthy as we can (with or without a disability of any kind), we need to connect and come to our senses with a greater awareness of what they are showing and telling us in their own separate as well as combined languages. In doing so we stand a better chance of looking after our mental and physical wellbeing as well as creating the awareness of being the very best for ourselves and others. Aware of how we can help, in whatever small way, to bring our own growing awareness and its fruits of knowledge into the world. The more I do my own research the more I see of those who claim to have awareness and understanding when in fact all that they are preaching with their rhetoric comes from an uneducated-self. They copy and paste what they find without checking the authenticity of the original source.  authentic-message Thankfully my research has also shown me many others who have taken up the challenge and like lone voices are bringing their genuine knowledge to people’s needs. They’re bringing their life experiences into view for all to see and learn from. However with support, these voices will no longer simply be isolated, stand alone pioneers of awareness. These are the people, the experts I now talk to, follow on social-media and elsewhere. These are the people who are expanding my senses, bringing awareness to subjects, opportunities and events that I would previously disregard as irrelevant or unworthy of further self-investigation.

My senses are becoming more receptive, the neurological highways of my brain are tingling with creativity and wanting to know more; my perceptions carry more clarity and understanding.  A shift, an awakening; No! An understanding of and through my humanness that even those sensual gardening posts written such a short time ago are no longer how I see, feel, hear, smell and taste the world today. Like a garden that grows and develops, my curiosity is being nurtured and flourishing too. That is why I felt the need (or urge, or insight) to start my new Self Awareness Project, a place where I can share my own awareness as I walk thought the valleys of old perceptions and upwards to the top of the hills to view an unlimited horizon of …. well, that’s what I’ll be discovering for myself and sharing with you! ~ Don’t panic, my spirit of nature is also still alive and well, my posts on nature will still flow out to you; but with an extra pinch of humanness and sensual awareness within them!

Sensual Gardening ~ Epilogue

A Narrative of Nature and Sensuality:

Walking out of our perceptions of reality, the expected that our brains expect, and into the realms of the unexpected we engage with our senses in an ever increasing awareness of their power and of the multi-dimensional world we live in.


The morning mist unfolds like a grounded cloud as it clings to to the landscape of the estuary; diffusing the light of the sun rising in the West into a oneness of North, South, East and West. All direction is lost to the shoreline walker. Beneath his bare feet the landscape, neither water nor earth, shifts in its dampness with each step. But where was he heading, towards the firmness and safety of the land or out into danger towards the incoming tide? His senses were being cloaked and his brain confused, unable to tune into the crackling static it received; no memories to cling to, no images to project onto the landscape of the mind. It was becoming as lost as the shoreline walker was being to feel. Standing, motionless, sightless and sense-less he considered his options, bombarding his neural pathways with thoughts of hope, fear and disorientation.

  • Wait for the mist to clear? ~ No, that might be too late to avoid the ravenous tide!
  • Wait for the tide to trickle around his feet? ~ No, he would get sucked into the quicksand like ground already clinging coldly to his feet and hold him there without mercy!
  • Walk in a circle, groping with his toes to detect signs change beneath his feet. The drier firmness of a pathway to freedom? ~ No, in this land of no-direction he wouldn’t know if he was walking in a circle into the jaws of a water end!

Sight, sound, touch, smell and taste alone were not enough to bring order to the chaos around him. Mixed messages filled the air in a symphony of unfamiliar yet recognisable sensations. Recognisable like a half remembered tune, stuck in the brain until something in a single unfelt moment clicks into place releasing and embracing a greater power of awareness and understanding; a sensual evolution. A sixth sense emerging from the mists of cognitive misunderstanding, a sense of the here and now starting to plant seeds of a higher awareness and clarity. The mists of his neurological  landscape began to clear whilst remaining in the physicality surrounding him. Fear was replaced by calmness, a calmness that only fully engaging with his own sensuality could bring.

He couldn’t walk in a circle but he could turn in one and sense each point whether North, South, East or West. At each turn he could smell and taste the air, feel changes in the atmosphere carried on any wisp of breeze that may land upon his skin and listen for any clue of land or sea….. danger was over there where the tangy saline mix of salt and water mingled in the mist. The sting of iodine emerging from the seaweed clinging to the safety of the shoreline was in that direction. That brief hint of warmth that stroked his cheek yet made him shiver could only have come from the earth and not the chill of an incoming sea with its crisp bite. A swirling of wings combined with the honking echoes of geese as they headed to their morning inland feeding grounds was the final telltale sign.

The stillness had awaken the unfamiliar until it had became recognisable as a friend to lean on, to trust and guide him to the security of Terra-Firma, of solid earth …. the sensuality of Home! 

NB: Before venturing out into nature please take the time and effort to learn as much as you can about the landscape beforehand. It’s weather patterns, tide times and levels, etc..  Train your senses, heighten your awareness and always pack your common sense where you can easily find it. Nature is magnificent in it’s beauty but merciless in it’s actions!

Sensual Gardening ~ Conclusion …. or is it!


Writing about our senses and how we connect with, use and develop them has been a powerful lesson for me and although I want to share this conclusion to the series with you, it isn’t a conclusion at all. It can’t be, because as in so much else in life; whether it be a spiritual journey or an awareness of our humanness, it never has an ending. The only conclusion can be death and even then  …. well, who truly knows! So this is a topic that I can see myself returning to again and again because having just re-read my posts I can see that with the awareness I had at the time of writing I haven’t done them the justice they deserve!  As I learn more and more about how our senses make us who we are, how we behave and how we, via our brains, perceive ourselves, others and the world about us the more I begin to pick up the threads and reach an understanding rather than the previously held restricted perception of how we function as the bodies of physical and mental energies we all are.

By training ourselves to use our senses to their fullest in as many of the given moments we are blessed to live and breathe in we can develop our perceptions of what being a human-being really is and discover new insights into what being-ness truly holds for us. For myself it has brought the realisation that I am and have been for most of my life using my (for want of a better phrase) powers of sensual-observation-awareness at a very basic level. It has made me aware that the connection I have with Nature has more to do with sensual connection than of being a spiritual one. That’s not to say that I have lost my spirituality, quite the reverse, I have grown more spiritually aware through a ‘coming to my senses’ rather than arriving at yet another self-perceived ‘spiritual awakening Aha moment’ which I’ve written so much about before.

When you take the time to examine how each of our senses works individually as well as together to send signals to our brains, which based on our memories of past experiences gives us the picture we call our vision of the world you will surely begin to see that by developing our senses we can paint a bigger, better, bolder version of that picture. If we continuously do that our brains will also paint bigger, better and bolder memories for us to use in our moments of need. Especially those moments when we need a boosting surge of energetic wellbeing flowing through us. Those time of illnesses, loss, self-betrayal or when we’re simply having a really bad day can surely be turned around by using the unlimited potential of our senses. I use the word unlimited because in my opinion it is only our present perceived knowledge of how to use those beneficial energies to heal ourselves at many levels of life (allied to modern and traditional medicines) that is holding us back from reaching our full potential.


Fortunately things are changing, more people who already have the awareness of how to use these energies are stepping forward and sharing their knowledge, whether that be from their own personal experiences, talents, learning, observations or a combination of all of those things. Healthy lifestyles, eating the right foods, and physical and mental exercise are given a whole new meaning, or ‘food for thought and the brain’, as they share their knowledge of how to stimulate rather than dull our minds and bodies with us.  We learn from them that all of those things enhance our senses and it is that heightened sense of smell, hearing, sight, taste and touch that opens the doors to a greater and more powerful ‘sense of wellbeing’ and perhaps to discovering other senses beyond todays average awareness. This is why I can’t truly call this post a conclusion, it’s a perpetual work in progress that we all need to self-experience as the individual bodies of energy we are.


All I can recommend to you for now is to go ahead and do your own research into the neuroscience of those eternal questions of ‘who, what and why?’  Get out and about in nature, plant some seeds and nurture them. Fully sense your food, the music you listen to, the people around you and every other experience that comes your way and you will start to feel the vibrational stirrings of those infinite sensual energies for yourselves. 

Sensual Gardening ~ Part 5 ~ Smell


Smell! ~ It’s everywhere yet we probably don’t really notice it until it reaches the extremes of its scale of unpleasantness or fragrance but there’s plenty of others that we either just don’t notice or have subconsciously learned to take for granted and block out from our daily experience. Man-made odours often take over from those of the natural world; air fresheners, perfumes and deodorants cascade over us whilst air pollution blankets our towns and cities preventing the delicate bouquet of life from reaching our olfactory sensory neurons or for want of a simplistic term … our noses!  Smell fills the gap in our defences early warning system left by our other senses, it detects the unseen, untouchable, unheard and untasted dangers; gas, smoke and food that may look okay but is on the way to being uneatable are just a few.  Before I charge ahead now is probably a good time to do a little research and remind ourselves of how we detect smells and how our sense of smell works for us. Go ahead and check it out, I’ll wait for you here!


Now that you’ve re-familiarised yourself with your olfactory system let’s move on and examine how shutting out as many man-made odours as we can by treading the natural paths of nature can benefit us. Let’s face it many of those pleasant man-made essences are merely manufactured copies of what nature provides us for free. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts in this series my garden is full of plants that give me a sense of wellbeing through their perfumed essential oils. Mints, lavender and other herbs are there both day and night, spring, summer, autumn and winter to be savoured by rolling and crushing their leaves and taking in the goodness that exudes from them.  All of them can be used as culinary (and taste) enhancers, adding flavour as well as filling the kitchen with their various forms of sensuality, taking cooking to another level, an experience of pleasurable anticipation of the meal to come. Of course when the garden is in flower, nature sends an explosion of exhilarating scent to attract my nostrils. But beyond the garden gate is nature Herself, a cupboard full of spices and seasonings waiting to be opened and explored.


Walk through the woods, especially after its been raining which always seems to cleanse and enhance the natural aromas of earth, plant and air and you’ll be mesmerised by mind tingling sensations. You’ll discover pine needles crushed under foot exude freshness and vitality, mosses emit a grounding earthy sensation like a comforting arm around your shoulder and the air itself is filled with a mysterious piquancy that invites further investigation. All of these combine to send our brains racing, searching for connections to identify each of them on a personal level. We all perceive things differently depending on how our brains associate our senses with past events, people and experiences; giving us the emotional up’s and downs we all get from our relationship with everything we touch, taste, hear, see and smell. Understanding these relationships and building our sensual awareness of what turns us on or off is a big step in developing our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Stimulating ourselves as often as we can  is a beneficial gift we can all use everyday. By heightening our awareness of what our senses are, of how they operate and what they can do for us we are able to become healthier, happier, regain that feeling of ‘aliveness’ and of being more in touch with ourselves through them. Nature is the greatest guide we have. Use Her well and She will reward you in more ways than your imagination can imagine, so ….. Enhance Your Senses, Enhance Your Life!

Sensual Gardening ~ Part 4 ~ Sight

Looking into nature

I suppose that our sight is probably the sense that we most often take for granted, purely because we’re always using it. We wake up in the morning and perhaps after a stretch and a yawn the first thing we do is to open our eyes and ‘see’!  We continue our day continuously ‘seeing’ until it’s time for bed and we close our eyes again. It’s also the sense that will arouse our interest in things, make us want to take a closer look at something that has caught our eye. The act of ‘looking closer’ at something will arouse our sense of touch, smell and in certain circumstances, taste. Hearing is the odd one out as the speed of sound is faster than the speed of light which is why we’ll more often than not hear something before seeing it and then be drawn towards the sound to see what made it. Sensual teamwork in action! But let’s get back on topic and concentrate on sight and investigate, explore and discover how it affects us and how we can enhance it through nature and other simple means of ‘sight therapy!’ But before we head off in that direction I’d like you to take just a few minutes to remind yourselves of what ‘seeing’ involves and how our senses are linked to our brain, our memories and other cognitive processes which give us our initial perceptions of what we see; and why our perceptions of reality are rarely what they first appear because it’s the focus point (sorry for the pun!) of what’s to come. So I’ll see you after class!

Right, if you’re back with me, let’s move on ….

When you look back throughout the history of mankind you’ll soon realise that the men and women who have made the biggest leaps of discovery in the natural sciences and that the majority of our celebrated artists, writers and philosophers have all had two things in common. The first is a deep connection with nature, and the second is ‘observation’. Curiosity combined with observation develops creative thought and stirs the imagination into endless possibilities of wisdom, beauty and wellbeing.

homboldt  lily-pond-monet  constable-landscape  picasso-landscapes

  • Alexander Von Humboldt who turned his scientific observation of the natural world into poetic narrative, and his writings inspired naturalists and poets such as Darwin, Wordsworth and Goethe as well as politicians such as Jefferson. It was also arguably Humboldt’s influence that led John Muir to his ideas of preservation and that shaped Thoreau’s ‘Walden’.
  • Landscape artists such as Claude Monet, John Constable or Pablo Picasso who observed nature and depicted it from their own distinctly different creative minds onto the canvasses we know and love today.
  • Albert Einstein who stated that, ‘reality is merely an illusion albeit a very persistent one’ and ‘look deep into nature and you will understand everything better!’

I could go on and grow that list, but I’ll leave it there for you to think of other ‘observers’ you know of who may have influenced some of your own visual perceptions and outlooks on life.

Observation is the focussing of our sight on the small details we see and bringing them into the bigger picture that we call reality. It’s why an observer will ‘see’ much more and understand better what is going on in the world than a mere ‘looker’. I’m sure we’ve all come across the phrase of someone having a ‘trained eye’ from time to time; and that trained eye is the eye that every single observer has developed and used to bring us the world as we know it today. The great news is that with time and practice we can all become observers simply by using the camera lenses of our eyes to focus for a while on the smallest details and then slowly panning out to reveal the bigger picture, bringing the awareness of the connectedness of everything we see into focus. The more we practice this the more information we will send to our brain, enhancing our memories and the clarity of those energy driven images we call sight.

4 seasons

There are a couple of posts here on my blog which show how I do this when connecting to nature called ‘Magical Freeze Frame Moments’ and ‘The Bigger Picture’ which you can check out in your own time. But here is a quick example of what I mean; the next time you see a tree that catches your eye in some special way don’t just stand there and admire it. Widen your perspective of it, walk around it, view it from different angles and degrees of closeness. Look up into it and ‘observe’ how it changes in the light, observe the direction it leans, which side has more foliage or buds and observe the direction the branches point! You’ll not only be learning about the tree, but you’ll also be learning about the direction of the prevailing winds, start to recognise the direction of North, South, East and West without a compass and you’ll also discover that moss doesn’t just grow on the North side as the old myth tells us it does! There’s a plethora of knowledge to be gained from a single tree, especially if you observe it throughout the seasons, just imagine if you took that observer’s eye and directed it at the world as a whole. You would be training and developing your brain, getting a better perspective on all manner of things as well as enjoying, understanding and appreciating the time you spend in nature a whole lot better.

By constantly practising the art of observing life, of participating through our sense of sight to its fullest and stop ourselves from being mere onlookers we can improve our perceptions of it through a better understanding and grasp of the bigger picture. This visual activity will give a boost to our already powerful brains, improve our memory and energise our own individual creative imaginations; to bring a clarity and reality to our perception of life that we never recognised or thought possible before. We will also feel a greater sense of mental wellbeing by feeling more in touch with our true-selves, others and nature in its completeness of separation. But there is so much more we can do to maintain and in certain cases enhance our sense of sight. There is far too much to discuss right here and now so I’ll just mention a couple of them for the moment.

                                        eat-your-greens   yoga-eyes

Developing a sensible healthy diet and ‘eating our greens’ like our Mothers and Grandmothers drummed into us has many more positive benefits than just giving us curly hair! As my own new interest in healthy and appreciative eating has shown me, a home cooked meal tastes so much better when it’s presented well and eaten at a restaurant style table setting than on a tray on your lap in front of the TV?  There are also eye exercises that we can do on a regular basis, how about trying some Yoga for your eyes?  We can also use the simple common-sense methods of wearing eye protection when in bright sunlight or dusty atmospheres and of not staying up all hours staring at those alluring blue screens on our cell phones and other devices. Our eyes need rest just as much as our minds and bodies do so with that in mind I’ll call it a day and we can all close our eyes and our laptops for a few well deserved moments of recuperation!